(Jeff Moberg photo) The gates across Warren Peak Road will close to wheeled vehicles next week in order to facilitate snowmobile and ski trail grooming activities, provided the snow continues to fall across the area.
December 15 marks the beginning of winter recreation on the Black Hills National Forest as officials open snowmobile, cross-country ski and snowshoe trails in the Black Hills area and close seasonal gates and recreation sites that do not remain open through the winter.
Gates are closed to provide a seasonal refuge for wildlife, protect road surfaces and other resources and provide for public safety as some of the roads are converted into part of the snowmobile trail.
Seasonal closures also occur at many of the recreation sites including some campgrounds and picnic areas. Most restroom facilities and trash collection are closed for the season.
The Bearlodge snowmobile safety shelter is currently being refurbished in Lander by the Wyoming State Trails program and is expected to be back in its usual spot on the trail system as the grooming season gets underway.
As a reminder, use extreme caution when driving on forest system roads as the road ahead may become impassable or hazardous due to ice and snow cover. National Forest System roads are not plowed or maintained during the winter.
Seasonal recreation sites and roads typically reopen mid-May, weather depending.