Winter Travel

A Different World

Many people are unaware of the hazards of winter travel. Harsh conditions of wind, cold, snow, or whiteout can turn an outing into a tragedy. Knowledge of the area, weather, route, and the limitations of your body and equipment--plus a little common sense-- can insure a safe and enjoyable trip.

Where To Go?

Most of the National Forest land is open for winter travel. General recreation map and information is available at Forest Service offices.

Winter Road Conditions

You will encounter a wide range of road conditions during the winter months, including dry pavement, black ice, hard packed snow, ice, loose snow, slush, and every combination. Roads to winter destinations may be plowed periodically. However, road conditions may often be very difficult even after plowing. The typical standard for higher elevation, unpaved roads are single-lane with turnouts and a 2-inch cushion of snow/ice on the roadway to protect the gravel surface. Be prepared! High-clearance vehicles with 4-wheel drive and good mud/snow tires are best. Other vehicles, especially RV's, may find the going very difficult at times. Be especially careful going downhill when there is packed snow and ice! Some areas may be plowed to a higher standard. Call your local Forest Service office if you have questions.

Share The Country

The National Forest is vast, but in some areas those traveling by skis, snowshoes, and snowmobiles must share the same routes and areas. Common sense and courtesy will provide a safe and pleasant experience for everyone. The following suggestions are for your benefit:

* Snowmobiles should operate at a minimum speed near skiers or snowshoers. do not accelerate until well beyond those on foot.
* Skiers and snowshoers should yield the track to oncoming or overtaking snowmobilers, unless the track is wide enough for safe passage.
* Snowmobiles are not usually permitted on developed ski areas. Ski touring and snowshoeing may be restricted or regulated. Check with the local Ranger or ski manager.

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