Snow Conditions, Access Has Improved For Spring Turkey Hunters

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Forest road conditions have improved in many high country areas over the past couple of weeks, but spring turkey hunters and other outdoor recreationists may still find impassible snowpack or muddy conditions on some side roads at higher elevations.The main forest roads are open in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest, but some of the side roads above 9,000 feet may still have snow, particularly on the shady sides of hills. Be advised that Forest Road 587 near Stray Horse Campground off Highway 191 (about 35 miles south of Alpine) was closed this week due to the Eagle Wildfire. Some trails in that area may be closed as well. 

On the North Kaibab, forest roads are generally open in pinyon-juniper terrain, but some will still have some impassable snow in ponderosa pine country, particularly above 8,500 feet. Highway 67 from Jacob Lake to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon is closed until May 15.

In the Coconino, most forest roads south of Flagstaff through the Lake Mary and Mormon Lake corridor are open, but there are a couple of closures due to snowy, wet or muddy conditions.

Please exercise safe, responsible practices when out in the field under these conditions. Drive carefully and observe closures and locked gates—driving on wet, muddy roads or detouring off-road to avoid mud puddles creates costly and sometimes irreversible damage to the natural resources. Camp in dry areas and make sure all campfires are completely out when you leave.

Because of the potential for getting stuck, leave a detailed itinerary with a family member or friend, including specific hunting and camping sites and an arrival time back home. Cell phone coverage can be spotty in remote areas

Check for the current closures before heading out. Contacts for the latest updates on road closures and conditions are:

Arizona Department of Transportation, 5-1-1 or (602) 712-7355

Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest, (928) 333-4301

Coconino National Forest, (928) 527-3600

Kaibab National Forest, (928) 635-8200