Flagstaff, Ariz., Dec. 22, 2016, For Immediate Release — As winter conditions approach and the chances for snow increase, the Coconino National Forest is taking several measures to provide for the safety of visitors and protect forest resources and roads.
Each year the Coconino National Forest implements seasonal road closures in order to protect the roads and also keep people from getting stuck and stranded in the middle of the forest during snow storms. Seasonal road closures occur at different times each year and are dependent upon incoming weather and conditions of the roads.
Beginning today, the Mogollon Rim Ranger District will begin their seasonal road closures and many roads on the district will be closed for the season. Many forest roads on the Flagstaff Ranger Districts are also being closed for the season. Most of the seasonal road closures will be accomplished by noon on Friday (Dec. 23).
The Red Rock Ranger District will continue to temporarily close roads as weather dictates, as it has in the past, and reopen them year-round when or where possible.
Snow players and winter recreationists are encouraged to Know Before You Go and take the time to learn about the conditions and closures in place before heading out.
Many of the roads at higher elevations are closed seasonally, so be sure to watch for posted closure signs, call one of the district offices, or check the Coconino National Forest website at www.coconinonationalforest.us and click on “Road Status” in the right column under Quick Links.
Drivers are reminded to avoid driving on saturated surfaces to prevent road damage, soil erosion and getting stuck. As well, be aware that even though a forest road might start on an open road in the desert, if it begins to climb in elevation the driver could encounter deep snow, 4-wheel driving conditions and closed gates in other districts or neighboring forests. Some of the roads that people experience this drastic change in the winter months include roads such as Schnebly Hill Road, Forest Road 214, FR 618 and FR 229.