Wet weather renders primitive road impassable near Bare Pass
by Bridger-Teton National Forest
June 1, 2015
Big Piney, Wyoming – Motorized vehicle traffic traveling between South Cottonwood and Middle Piney Roads on the Bridger-Teton National Forest will not be able to pass through on a portion of the road on the Big Piney Ranger District due to a slump in the dirt road caused by recent rains.
The road damage is located approximately 31-miles northwest of Big Piney, Wyoming about three-fourths of a mile past the Apperson Creek crossing on Forest Service Road 10046, or about one- mile past the North Piney Off Highway Vehicle Trailhead on Forest Road 10370. "The slump in the road is significant enough that a standard vehicle will not be able to pass," said Big Piney District Ranger Rob Hoelscher. An ATV (All-Terrain Vehicle) might be able to cross the damaged portion of the road once it has dried out. "There is a substantial amount of standing water on the portion of the road that slid, and with the wet weather last night and into today, the conditions are not improving," he said.
"Before we can even begin to looking at repairing the road, it must first dry out," said Hoelscher. Meanwhile, the Bridger-Teton is encouraging people to minimize impacts to natural resources by not traveling on roads that are susceptible to rutting due to wet conditions. "I know people want to explore the forests and enjoy the outdoors, however some roads are extremely muddy and traveling on them could cause damage, or potentially be unsafe," Hoelscher commented. Becoming stuck and unprepared for a long hike out or an overnight stay in the mountains can be very unpleasant. When recreating on the forests, you should be prepared to spend the night by bringing plenty of water, food, and warm clothing, and always let someone know where you are going and when you expect to return.
The Bridger-Teton is urging recreational users to choose more hardened trails until ground conditions change. Horse, bike, and foot traffic during muddy conditions can cause areas of trail damage, including rutting and potholes that will require costly maintenance. These types of forest activities destroy vegetation, expose soil to erosion, and leave scars upon the land that may last for years.
The Bridger-Teton National Forest wants forest users to enjoy their public lands. Responsible use of forest roads and trails will not only avoid further damage to the resources, but also ensure that there are future riding opportunities on the forest.