Durango area seasonal wildlife closures begin December 1

Durango, Colo.Annual winter closures go into effect on December 1 for wildlife winter range on public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW), and the City of Durango. These closures remain in place through April 15 to protect wintering mule deer and elk that move down from higher elevations to weather harsh winter conditions. The agencies coordinate to identify key wildlife areas for protection while continuing to offer areas open for winter recreation.

“The public’s cooperation helps ensure that these critical areas remain available for wildlife that are under increased stress during winter months,” said Connie Clementson, BLM Tres Rios Field Manager.

CPW data on deer and elk movements throughout the year indicates that closing areas to human activity is necessary to protect critical foraging habitat and enable the animals to conserve energy for winter survival. The following area trails are closed to public use annually from December 1 through April 15, with possible extension to April 30 if conditions warrant:

  • Grandview Ridge
    • Big Canyon and Sale Barn trailheads (access located east of U.S. Highway 160)
    • South Rim Trail, portions of Sidewinder and Cowboy trails on BLM accessed from Carbon Junction Trail or Crites Connect
    • Grandview BLM trails (access from Three Springs)
  • Animas City Mountain - BLM lands above the lower loops (approximately 1.5 miles above the 32nd Street trailhead).
  • Twin Buttes Area - All upper trails as marked.
  • Bodo State Wildlife Area - Exception: Smelter Mountain Trail is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; dogs are prohibited. Small game hunting is allowed in the area south of La Plata County Road 210.

The Perins Peak area east of County Road, 208 and west of Hogsback will be closed through July 31. Perins Peak is open only to pedestrian traffic for the remainder of the year, and the northernmost trails on Animas City will also be closed through July 31 to protect nesting peregrine falcons.

The following areas will remain open for hiking, biking, snowshoeing, and skiing:

  • Horse Gulch, Telegraph, Crites, and Skyline areas
    • Meadow, Stacy’s, Mike’s, Telegraph, Crite’s, and Sugar trails
    • All of the Raider Ridge Trail to Medicine
    • Down and Out and Snake Charmer trails
    • Carbon Junction trailhead at Highway 3 to Telegraph via Crites Connection are open.
  • Lower Twin Buttes trails - Access off of Highway 160 West; upper loops are closed.
  • All of Dalla Mountain Park - Access off of Junction Creek Road.
  • Overend Mountain Park - Access at Leyden Street and Hidden Valley Circle.
  • Trails around Fort Lewis College and along the Rim
    • Lions Den, Chapman Flow, and Jump Line
    • The Rim, Squawker, Talker, Skyline and Shocker trail (accessed from the Powerline Trail).
  • The Colorado Trail - Access at Junction Creek.
  • A 1.5-mile loop trail on the lower portion of Animas City Mountain - Access from the Birkett and 32nd Street trailheads or Dalla Mountain Park.

When recreating on public lands in winter, remember to observe wildlife from a distance and keep dogs under control at all times. Maps and a complete list of areas affected by winter closures are available online at https://www.blm.gov/programs/recreation/recreation-activities/colorado/closures and at both Tres Rios Field Office locations: 15 Burnett Court in Durango and 29211 Highway 184 in Dolores. For additional information, call the BLM Tres Rios Field Office at (970) 882-1120.

-BLM-

This year, we invite everyone to reimagine your public lands as we celebrate 75 years of the BLM’s stewardship and service to the American people. The BLM manages approximately 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The agency’s mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. 

Release Date

Organization

Bureau of Land Management

Contacts

Name:
Shawn Reinhardt
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