Some lower elevation roads across the Custer Gallatin National Forest near Bozeman will open to summer use on Thursday.
While some will be opening, others are still snow covered or incredibly wet and muddy and will remain closed. June 16 marks the spring opening of many trails to summer motorized use across the Bozeman Ranger District. This later date gives trails time to melt off and harden, particularly trails at higher elevations and north and east aspects.
Road gates opening on May 16th on the Bozeman Ranger District include: Jackson Creek Road #977 – first 4.3 miles; Olsen Creek Road #6944; Hyalite Creek Road #62; Storm Castle Road #132 – first 5.6 miles; Swan Creek Road #481 – first 1.5 miles; Portal Creek Road #984; and Spanish Creek Road #982.
The following roads will remain closed due to snow and/or soft roadbeds: Miles Creek Road #1706; Moose Creek Road #479; and East Fork Hyalite Road #6280.
The following trails are closed April 1 to June 16 annually to mountain bikes and horses due to wet, soft, and snowy conditions: Chestnut Mountain Trail #458; Porcupine Creek Trail #34; Buffalo Horn Trail #1; Tepee Creek Trail #39; and Bear Canyon Trail #440 (closed to mountain bikes and horses until July 16).
“Please use caution and help prevent roads from getting damaged if you experience wet areas,” said Corey Lewellen, Bozeman District ranger. “Not driving through wet and muddy sections of the road helps prevent damage and additional maintenance costs, particularly when we have a limited maintenance budget.”
Spring weather conditions in the Bozeman area can change rapidly. Ensure you are prepared for changing weather and variable road and trail conditions whether visiting the front or backcountry. PREP yourself before heading out — Plan, Risks, Equipment, Prepare. Learn more at healthygallatin.org/emergency-preparedness/backcountry-safety.
Additional information about road and trail opening dates and conditions can be found by calling the Bozeman Ranger District at 406-522-2520 or on the Custer Gallatin National Forest on Facebook page.