While most of the Medicine Bow National Forest remains snowbound and a winter recreation destination, some lower elevation areas will begin to see an increase in other types of recreational usage in the coming months from visitors who are itching to get outside as days get longer and spring fever sets in.

Visitors to the forest should note that there are nearly 40 roads on Pole Mountain that fall under a seasonal road closure order from March 1 through May 25 of each year. The order is in place for a variety of reasons, including the protection of watersheds, big-game birthing areas and the integrity of the actual road beds themselves.

In the Laramie, Cheyenne, and Fort Collins area, the Pole Mountain unit is some of the closest and most accessible National Forest Service land. This portion of the Forest, located between Laramie and Cheyenne along I-80, has a variety of recreation opportunities, and sees heavy spring usage from visitors who want to explore public lands.

The seasonally-closed roads are signed and those traveling through the National Forest should pay attention to signage and refer to the Pole Mountain Motor Vehicle Use Map, or MVUM for details. MVUMs are free, and physical copies can be obtained at the Laramie District Office, 2468 Jackson St. in Laramie. Electronic versions of the free map are available online by clicking here. It is the user’s responsibility to know where they are and what types of restrictions there may be when accessing public lands.

U.S. Forest Service officials would also like to stress that if an open road, without seasonal restrictions, is blocked by a snow drift, then you need to turn around and try a different route, or park your vehicle and walk to your destination. According to a release from the National Forest Service, the majority of resource damage done during the spring months is often by Forest users driving off road around obstacles such as snow drifts.

For additional information on recreational use of the Pole Mountain area, please contact the Laramie Ranger District office at 307-745-2300, visit http://fs.usda.gov/mbr.