Roads on south side of Pole Mountain unit open for season

Ground conditions have dried enough on the southern portion of the Pole Mountain unit, Medicine Bow National Forest, to open National Forest System roads south of Wyoming Highway 210 (Happy Jack Highway). This decision was made following weeks of consistent evaluation by USDA Forest Service personnel.

The open roads include popular routes such as the 700 (Vedauwoo Road), 705 (Blair/Wallis Road), and 707 Roads.

All Forest roads north of Highway 210 remain closed but are anticipated to be open prior to the Memorial Day holiday weekend.

Seasonal road closures on the Pole Mountain unit went into effect Feb. 1, 2019 to protect resources in the Medicine Bow National Forest. It has been the second year of established, annual, seasonal road closures on Pole Mountain. In prior years, temporary closures were utilized due to misuse and illegal off-roading, which resulted in long-term damage to roadbeds and natural resources.

The decision to seasonally close roads on Pole Mountain during snowmelt and/or wet conditions is a result of the Pole Mountain Travel Management project decision, signed in July 2017.

Tie City, Vedauwoo, and Yellow Pine campgrounds are all open for public use, as well as the Vedauwoo Day-Use Area. Campgrounds are first-come, first-serve, and some services may be unavailable to begin the season.

The Forest Service would like to stress that even as roads dry and reopen; users must stay on designated routes and may not travel off-road.

An additional reminder for recreationists on Pole Mountain is that annual shooting restrictions are in effect.  These restrictions prohibit the discharge of firearms from March 31 through Sept. 10.

Off-road violations or shooting violations can be reported to the Laramie Ranger District tip line, (307) 745-2392.

Located north of Interstate 80 between Laramie and Cheyenne, the Pole Mountain unit encompasses approximately 55,000 acres on the Medicine Bow National Forest. The area experiences heavy year-round usage from the Laramie, Cheyenne and Fort Collins areas.

Those traveling through the National Forest should pay attention to signage and refer to the Pole Mountain Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) for details. It is the user’s responsibility to know where they are and what types of restrictions there may be when accessing public lands. MVUMs are free and physical copies can be obtained at the Laramie District Office, 2468 Jackson St. in Laramie. Electronic versions of the free map are available online at https://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/mbr/mvum/maps.

For more information on the Pole Mountain unit, contact the Laramie Ranger District, (307) 745-2300. You can also visit our website at https://fs.usda.gov/mbr, or follow the Medicine Bow National Forest on Twitter, @FS_MBRTB.