The Jackson Ranger District of the Bridger-Teton National Forest will close the gates along the Fall Creek Road in Teton County, Wyoming at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, December 22, 2017 in accordance with the winter travel plan.
Seasonally, the gates are closed but access is available by snowmobile, skiing and foot traffic. “The issue is roads at lower elevations have remained somewhat cleared, but as this most recently predicted storm approaches, all Forest roads are expected to mirror the conditions of those at the higher elevations with drifted snow on the road surface. Drivers are risking driving through the snow thinking they can go further only to find they get stuck in the deeper snows,” said Mary Cernicek, Bridger-Teton National Forest Public Affairs Officer. “More snow is on the way and we have several visitors heading out to get Christmas Trees and roads you could traverse a few weeks will likely no longer be passable,” she said. “It is easy to think you can keep driving once you reach the snow line, but that snow typically just gets deeper. That leads to potentially expensive tows or long walks to get help,” she added.
Every year the Forest hears of motorists caught on a Forest road during a severe blizzard or storm. The results can be traumatic and/or fatal unless you are prepared. Make sure you check with local authorities such as the local Forest Service Offices about road conditions before you set out on your trip.
Most Forest Service roads of the Bridger-Teton National Forest are covered with deep snow and are not plowed, and are impassable during the winter. Also check current and forecast weather conditions before beginning your trip. 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 equipment, and vehicle or snowmobile plus a little common sense can ensure a safe and enjoyable trip.
Layers of clothing which can be adjusted to prevailing conditions are best. Avoid tight fitting clothes and boots that may restrict circulation. Take extra socks and gloves or mittens, warm cap, matches in a waterproof container, fire-starter, nylon cord, general purpose knife, high-energy food, plastic tarp, space blanket, signal mirror, first aid kit, wide tape for repairs and metal container for melting snow.
The condition of forest roads can change dramatically without warning; wind, snow and rain events can have substantial and detrimental effects on road and trail conditions causing hazards and obstructions to travel. Forest visitors should always consult the local office before a trip. “Please exercise caution and good judgment while traversing on roads that are snow covered. Always let someone know your travel route and when you plan to be home,” said Cernicek.
For more information, visit the Forest Website at http://www.fs.fed.us/r4/btnf. For additional information, contact the Bridger-Teton National Forest at (307) 739-5500.