For Immediate Release Contact: Mariah Leuschen, 406-548-1174
Date: March 28, 2014 Marna Daley, 406-587-6703
Hyalite Road Closure Offers
Non-Motorized Recreation Opportunities; Seasonal Trail Changes In Effect
Bozeman, MT – Starting April 1 and continuing through May 15 the Bozeman Ranger District will close the lower portion of Hyalite Road at the mouth of the canyon to motorized use. Each year, spring break-up during this time period causes the road sub-grade to thaw and become saturated with snowmelt. Hyalite Road has an overwhelming amount of traffic and the asphalt road is unable to support the repeated motorized use during the spring thaw which causes additional surface cracking and potholes. This transition time period provides a great opportunity for non-motorized recreationists to use this very popular corridor on the Custer Gallatin National Forests.
“The Hyalite Corridor is one of the most popular winter recreation destinations and we estimate over 10,000 visitors a month enjoy the area for ice climbing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling and cross country skiing activities,” said Lisa Stoeffler, Bozeman District Ranger. “With the start of spring, many recreationists are able to bike, hike and run the Hyalite Corridor enjoying the canyon from a different perspective. Each winter a continued partnership with Gallatin County, the Friends of Hyalite and the Forest Service keeps the road plowed. “This season, Gallatin County and Friends of Hyalite did an excellent job working to keep Hyalite accessible despite the significant amount of snowfall,” Stoeffler continued.
As the spring thaw is underway, bears are starting to emerge from their dens and recreationists are reminded to carry bear spray and to have it readily accessible when traveling into the Hyalite Corridor and across the Custer Gallatin National Forests. Spring break-up can also cause loose rocks and debris to fall onto the road. Administrative vehicle traffic may be present with crews maintaining the road and dam.
Starting April 1 – June 15, seasonal trail changes will also take effect on the Buffalo Horn Trail #1, Porcupine Creek Trail #34, and Teepee Creek Trail #39, all in the Gallatin Canyon south of Big Sky; these trails will be closed to pack and saddle livestock and mountain bikes. During this time of year these trails can be very soft and muddy, and use can significantly increase damage and rutting to the trail and soil. Many other roads and trails on the Forest are also wet and muddy this time of year. Please use caution and common sense when planning your trip.
For information about road and trail conditions, please contact the Bozeman Ranger District at 3710 Fallon Street or by phone at 406-522-2520. For more information on the Gallatin National Forest, visit us on the web at http://www.fs.usda.gov/gallatin.