Snow drifts, mud limit access to Flat Tops
July 3, 2011
GLENWOOD SPRINGS – Persistent snow and muddy conditions mean several popular roads and recreation facilities to the southern Flat Tops remain closed.
“The Coffee Pot Road (FSR 600) is closed at Crane Park, prohibiting access to the Deep Lake, Kline’s Folly and Supply Basin campgrounds, said Paula Peterson, recreation staff for the Eagle and Holy Cross ranger districts.
“Access to Coffee Pot Campground requires a high clearance, four-wheel-drive vehicle to get across a large mud hole at the entrance to the campground,” Peterson said.
The Buford-New Castle Road has been plowed by Rio Blanco County and is open to vehicle travel, said Kyle Grambly, recreation staff for the Rifle Ranger District.
Meadow Lake Campground road has been plowed and is open for the July Fourth weekend, too.
Many side roads off the Buford-New Castle Road remain closed due to snow.
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Even on roads that are open, wet and muddy conditions will be encountered. Motorists are urged to drive with caution and to respect all posted closures. Driving around gates and snowdrifts will damage forest land and can cause expensive damage to vehicles.
“This is an unusual summer,” said Forest Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams. “The snow is usually gone and the roads dried out at this point. We urge everyone to respect our road closures and to remain on road surfaces rather than driving off road to get around gates and snow drifts.”
The Forest Service has received numerous reports of vehicles being driven around snowdrifts, resulting in extensive damage to wet soils and vegetation along roadsides.
There have also been reports of cut locks and damage to gates by people trying to gain access to areas of the forest that remain closed because of road and snow conditions.