Spring conditions plague trails, mandatory elk closures persist through April 15
Snow is melting and trail users are getting antsy. Steamboat Springs finds itself in the usual mid-April limbo of no-longer-winter-but-not-quite spring conditions and it’s hard to find places to recreate with prime conditions.
If you’re looking for spring, remember that Hot Springs Trail, Mad Creek Trail, Mad Creek Road, Red Dirt Trail, Spring Creek Trail above the gate, and the area south of the Steamboat Ski Area to Highway 40 are all closed due to elk habitat. The closure is in place through Friday, April 15.
Additionally, there is a voluntary closure of Coulton Creek Trail, Greenville Mine Roads 440 and 471, as well as Silver Creek Trail, Sarvis Creek Trail and the Lower Bear Trail and Rocky Peak Area.
The best spring conditions can be found west of town or in predominantly south-facing or wide-open areas. Mad Creek is generally one of the first trails to dry out, but of course, isn’t open until April 16.
If you’re looking for winter, Rabbit Ears, Buffalo Pass and North Routt are still very much covered in snow. However, lower elevation trails such as those on Emerald Mountain, are quickly transitioning away from winter.
Post-holing in soft snow and leaving deep prints or ruts in the mud makes using the trail difficult. Travel on spring conditions when the temperature is colder in the morning or the evening. Or, opt to not use a muddy trail until it’s drier.
Over the next couple weeks, Emerald and other trails will likely close due to wet conditions.
To reach Shelby Reardon, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.
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