The U.S. Forest Service has lifted a months-long ban on motorized travel on the Pole Mountain unit of the Medicine Bow National Forest, just in time for Memorial Day weekend.

The Laramie Ranger District implemented the temporary road closures earlier this year due to a combination of wet conditions and years of damage to resources and roads.

“It has helped for the last three years to be able to temporarily close those roads during the wet time of year,” says Aaron Voos, Forest Service spokesman. “It’s really helped cut down on damage to the actual road beds.”
Voos says wet conditions exacerbate wear on forest roads and damage to soil and vegetation caused by illegal off-road travel.

Voos says folks will be able to access all roads except the 707A road by this weekend. That road remains closed due to a washout, but the Forest Service expects it to be repaired this summer.

Road crews paid extra attention to the 700 road, also known as the Vedauwoo road, which was damaged by moisture and heavy use over the last few years. Voos expects the road will be open before this weekend, potentially as early as Thursday.

Forest Service officials emphasize that visitors must stay on designated routes; off-road travel is illegal. Motor vehicle use maps are available for free at the Laramie Ranger District Office or online at this link.

The Forest Service says it is the user’s responsibility to know where they are and what types of restrictions may be in place when accessing public lands.

The Vedauwoo and Yellow Pine campgrounds are open. The Tie City campground remains closed due to snow and hazardous trees, but Voos says the campground will open later this summer once it has been cleaned up.