Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Check on USFS road conditions before you go ... still lots of snow in elevations above 5,000 feet

Even if some roads are melted out, they're soft and wet, and susceptible to lasting damage.
Hi all,

Payette National Forest and Boise National Forest officials are cautioning forest visitors to check with local ranger districts before you head out to go play in the national forests this month of May. They're getting reports of people getting stuck in the snow.

In general, forest roads above 5,000 feet are still covered in snow, and it will take time for things to melt out after a big winter ... most snowpack levels in Central Idaho are more than 100 percent of normal, with some exceptions.

"Even below 5,000 feet, people may encounter snow in shaded areas two to three feet deep," said Brian Harris, spokesman for the Payette National Forest.

Let us know what you find in your adventures ... send us a comment and post it below.

Press Release from Boise N.F., dated April 11: 
BOISE – Boise National Forest officials are cautioning visitors heading into the mountains to use caution driving forest roads. Roads at lower elevations are clearing, but as roads reach higher elevations, snow remains on the road surface.  Drivers are risking driving through the snow, thinking they can go further only to find they get stuck in the deeper snows.
Last weekend in the Granite Creek area, just east of Idaho City, Forest Law Enforcement Officers assisted 6 vehicles on Saturday that got stuck on the snow covered roads.
“It is easy to think you can keep driving once you reach the snow line, but that snow typically just gets deeper,” said David Olson, Boise National Forest Public Affairs Officer. “That leads to potentially expensive tows or long walks to get help.”
Although the snow is slowly melting waiting for a few weeks and then checking with forest offices regarding higher elevation road access is advised.
For more information contact the Interagency Visitor Center at 208-373-4007 or visit the Boise National Forest Web site at To reach the Boise National Forest ranger districts, go to this web page.

Press release from the Payette National Forest, dated Tuesday, April 29: 

McCALL, Idaho - As spring continues to emerge across the Forest, we expect more visitors to experience the great out of doors in the weeks to come.  However; Forest officials are suggesting that visitors contact a District office to inquire about access and road conditions before heading out.

On the Weiser Ranger District, many roads that normally open on the first of May are expected to remain closed for a little longer.  Roads on the Council Ranger District that normally open on the 15th of May might also be opened later than normal depending on weather and temperature. The Forest Service opens road as the surface conditions become stable enough for vehicle traffic.  “We did experience a late string of storms across the district that has led to many roads still being too wet to open,” said District Ranger Greg Lesch.  “It’s best to call one of our offices to get the latest information.”

Roads on the New Meadows, McCall and Krassel Ranger Districts are higher in elevation and tend to stay closed a little longer than roads in the lower elevations.  Know, before you go is a great way to stay informed and ensure you have a pleasant visit to your national forests.  If members of the public encounter road conditions that are unsafe, we encourage them to share the information with the Forest Service so an evaluation can be done.

Motor Vehicle User Maps are always available at our District offices and are free of charge.  For specific more information, please call:  Council RD: 253-0100; Krassel RD: 634-0974; McCall RD: 634-0400; New Meadows RD: 347-0300; Weiser RD: 549-4200

Thank you.