More and more people are beginning to visit the Bighorn National Forest and unfortunately, some of those trips are ending with a tow truck and a few have received violation notices. According to Forest Service officials, there is still a substantial amount of snow and most roads and facilities are not yet accessible. Road and trail crews spend a significant amount of time and resources every year repairing damage from use that either occurs too early or too late in the season.
The Forest Service reminds people that they can protect their access by making the right decision and avoiding wet and muddy trails and by adhering to seasonal closures. If the route you’d like to travel is still snow covered, or you cannot travel without leaving deep footprints or wheel trenches, please don’t go. Forest visitors also need to be prepared to pack out their trash, as garbage collection is not currently available at Forest Service facilities and restrooms are not cleaned or stocked until Memorial Day weekend.
The Forest Service encourages those with over-snow vehicles to check on seasonal restrictions before heading out. In most areas, over-snow vehicles are restricted to roads and motorized trails after May 15 and a minimum of six inches of snow in an effort to prevent resource damage.
Travel regulations can be found here: https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd521143.pdf
Many of the low elevation canyons and areas are now dry and free of snow. Please be a good steward and stick to those locations while you wait for the rest of the mountain to open. Visit Tread Lightly! at https://treadlightly.org/ or Leave No Trace https://lnt.org/ for more tips on how you can do your part to recreate responsibly.