Public lands in the Durango area will remain closed through the end of April to protect vulnerable wintering wildlife. The Bureau of Land Management, the City of Durango, and Colorado Parks and Wildlife extended multiple seasonal closures in place since December 1. Normally, some closures expire after April 15, but deep and persistent snowpack this year has led to extensions through April 30, 2023. The closures had not been extended since 2019.
The CPW will extend seasonal closures on Bodo State Wildlife Area and Perins Peak State Wildlife Area. The BLM has extended closures on Animas City Mountain and Grandview Ridge. The City of Durango has extended its closure of upper Twin Buttes. Big Canyon, Sale Barn, and Three Springs trailheads to Grandview will remain closed, as will the upper loops on Animas City.
Durango and Public Land Closures
Big-game animals move to higher elevations as the snow melts and plants become nutritious. Until the snow melts at higher elevations, big game remain at lower elevations to avoid harsh conditions. Therefore, the BLM and CPW close areas that are critical for wintering wildlife.
Seasonal trail closures are crucial for the sustainability of wildlife. As the human footprint grows through development, there are fewer areas for wildlife to seek sanctuary during the winter months. All closures are well marked with signs, and those in violation are subject to citation and fines. BLM and CPW officers write citations for violators every year.
The public is reminded to give wildlife space and keep dogs on leashes when recreating outside to help wildlife preserve critical calories during an important time when they are running on their last bit of built-up reserves.
“We recognize this has been a long, intense winter for humans, too, and we’re all excited to get back on the trails. We appreciate the patience and support of Durango trail users at this time.” – City of Durango Natural Resources Manager Amy Schwarzbach.
There are still abundant recreational resources currently dry and open to the public, including the Animas River Trail and local gravel roadways. Open trails include those at Horse Gulch, Overend Mountain Park, Dalla Mountain Park, Skyline, the lower loops on Animas City Mountain connecting to Dalla Mountain Park, and the lower Twin Buttes trails. Consider alternative locations if these trails are muddy to prevent trail damage.