Closures starting Dec. 1 will help mule deer and elk through the colder months
Starting Dec. 1, some lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management, Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the City of Durango will close to protect mule deer and elk that descend from higher elevations for the winter.
“The cooperation of the public helps ensure that these critical areas remain available for wildlife that are under increased stress during the winter months,” said Connie Clementson, field manager for BLM Tres Rios office.
Agencies are coordinating to identify key wildlife areas to protect, while keeping other areas open for winter recreation.
These area trails are closed to the public each year from December 1 to April 15, with a possible extension until April 30 if conditions warrant:
- Big Canyon and Sale Barn trailheads (access east of US Highway 160).
- South Rim Trail, portions of Sidewinder and Cowboy Trails on BLM land accessible from Carbon Junction Trail or Crite’s Connect.
- Grandview BLM trails (access from Three Springs).
Animas City Mountain
- BLM lands above the lower loops (about 1.5 miles above the 32nd Street trailhead).
Twin Mounds Area
- All upper trails are marked.
Bodo State Wildlife Reserve
- Exception: Smelter Mountain Trail is open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; dogs are prohibited. Small game hunting is permitted 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 until July 31. Perins Peak is open to foot traffic only for the rest of the year, and the northernmost trails in Animas City will also be closed until July 31. protect nesting peregrine falcons.
These areas will remain open for hiking, biking, snowshoeing and skiing:
Horse Gulch, Telegraph, Crites and Skyline areas
- Meadow, Stacy, Mike, Telegraph, Crite and Sugar trails.
- All of the Raider Ridge Trail to Medicine.
- Down and Out and Snake Charmer trails.
- Carbon Junction trailhead on Hwy 3 to Telegraph via Crite’s Connection is open.
Lower Twin Buttes Trails
- Access by US Highway 160 west; the upper loops are closed.
All of Mount Dalla Park
- Access by Junction Creek Road.
Overend Mountain Park
- Access to 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 (accessible from the Powerline trail).
The Colorado Trail
- Access to Junction Creek.
A 1.5 mile loop trail on the lower part of Animas City Mountain
- Access from Birket Drive and 32nd Street trailheads or Dalla Mountain Park.
CPW data on deer and elk movements throughout the year indicate that closing areas to human activity is necessary to protect critical foraging habitat and allow animals to conserve energy to survive the winter.
BLM reminds those recreating this winter to remember to view wildlife from a distance and keep dogs under control at all times.