Slow melt

Snowmobile gates on the Bearlodge Ranger District, Black Hills National Forest, will open late this spring to protect natural resources.

Generally these gates open on March 31, but will now be opened on April 13. This year many of the trails are still too muddy and some impassable from snow or debris from the winter. In order to avoid trail, road and resource damage, the Forest Service will wait until conditions improve for about two weeks and areas dry out before opening gates.

(Jeff Moberg photo) A gate near the Reuter parking lot remains in place to keep wheeled vehicles off soft snow and muddy trails further up the mountain.
(Jeff Moberg photo) A gate near the Reuter parking lot remains in place to keep wheeled vehicles off soft snow and muddy trails further up the mountain.

Please keep in mind, even when a gate is open, it does not mean that the road or trail is passable. Even on roads without gates, forest visitors should still be alert for downed trees, soft road beds, high flowing creeks or other dangerous conditions.

“These areas need to be safe for visitors before we open the gates,” said Michael Gosse, Bearlodge District Ranger, Black Hills National Forest. “We also want to prevent road damage that can be expensive to repair and take time to fix. We plan to open the gates protecting the snowmobile trail in time for the opening of the Wyoming spring turkey season.”

Note: These gates are closed specifically for protecting the snowmobile trail and are different than seasonal gates. The Forest Service plans to open seasonal gates on May 15.