Caribou-Targhee National Forest announced seasonal closures this week for the Westside Ranger District in the Mink Creek and Pebble Creek area near Pocatello.
Other roads and area closures for the region’s National Forest start seasonal closures Nov. 25 and Dec. 15.
Six roads near Pocatello are closed to wheeled motorized vehicles, including electric bicycles, starting this week. The public is still welcome to access the areas but may have to change their mode of travel.
The roads include East Fork of Mink Creek, South Fork of Mink Creek, Pebble Creek, Inman, Elk Meadows Loop and Toponce. In most cases, roads are now gated.
“These annual closures help us protect resources and roads as constantly changing weather conditions increase erosion concerns,” said Sheila Larsen, recreation management specialist for the ranger district. “We typically open areas back up around May 15 depending on snowpack.”
The majority of campgrounds and group areas near Pocatello are also closed for the season in that area. For specifics on gate closures, contact the Westside District Office at 4350 Cliffs Drive, Pocatello, or call 208-236-7500.
In the Ashton-Island Park area, winter travel restrictions begin Nov. 25. Big Bend Ridge is currently closed until Jan. 1 to protect migrating wildlife. “The majority of south-facing slopes along the Teton Mountain Range area are also restricted,” said Sarah Wheeler, public affairs officer with Caribou-Targhee.
In Teton Basin, most south-facing slopes on the Teton Range will be restricted starting Nov. 25. The gate on the Teton Canyon Road will be closed Nov. 20. “As a gentle reminder, dogs must be on a leash at all trailheads and they are not allowed on the Southern Valley trail system from Dec. 1 through April 1,” Wheeler said.
In the Palisades area, travel restrictions start Dec. 15 mostly to protect wintering wildlife. “Rainey Creek, areas in the Fall Creek drainage, and National Forest slopes above the South Fork of the Snake River near Heise are examples of areas where no human presence is allowed to protect wintering wildlife,” Wheeler said. “Other portions of the district are closed to all motorized use from Dec. 15-April 15.”
Maps outlining closed areas are available at any of the Forest Service offices of the Caribou-Targhee National Forest.
“Each map distinctly describes the closures in place so winter recreationists are urged to obtain a current map before traveling in the Forest,” Wheeler said. “You can also find maps and other useful information available for free online at https://go.usa.gov/x7yjg.”