Dixie National Forest prepares for visitors, advises caution on backcountry roads

Mill Flat in the Pine Valley Mountain Wilderness in Washington County, Utah, part of the Dixie National Forest, photo taken October 12, 2015 | Photo by Don Gilman, St. George News

CEDAR CITY — Springtime is a beautiful time of year to get outdoors and visit the Dixie National Forest. The warm weather and melting snow are making travel routes in the forest more accessible. The Dixie National Forest encourages visitors to “Know Before You Go” and learn about the travel conditions and numerous opportunities available for exploration in the forest.

Signal Peak, highest point in the Pine Valley Mountain Wilderness in Washington County, Utah is part of the Dixie National Forest. Photo taken March 21, 2016 | Photo by Don Gilman, St George News
Signal Peak, highest point in the Pine Valley Mountain Wilderness in Washington County, Utah is part of the Dixie National Forest. Photo taken March 21, 2016 | Photo by Don Gilman, St George News

The appearance of a wet road during the spring months can be deceiving to the eye. Wet, muddy conditions that make a road unsuitable for travel often result in deep road ruts and expensive tows to get vehicles unstuck. Until conditions are suitable for motorized travel, the forest may have some temporary seasonal closures to prevent ruts and damage to roads and trails.

“Before you head out, know where you are going. I encourage the public to learn about current road and trail conditions and to pick up free brochures and maps,” Angelita Bulletts, Dixie National Forest Supervisor said in a news release. “The Dixie National Forest website and Facebook sites have travel updates, recreation information and videos to help you plan your next visit to the Forest.”

Free maps can be acquired by visiting one of the Dixie National Forest offices, by phone, or by mail. There are free maps available for download, including a travel map that can be downloaded from the website.

Following the spring snow melt, the Dixie National Forest campgrounds will be preparing for visitation with an expected opening of Memorial Day weekend. Make camping reservations at recreation.gov or call the district offices for additional information on campgrounds.

The Red Canyon Visitor Center will be opening for the 2016 season beginning Easter Weekend, March 25 to 28. The center will be open in April with a weekend schedule: Friday – Monday, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. daily. Beginning Tuesday, May 3 the visitor center will be open seven days a week, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.daily.

For information about the Dixie National Forest, please visit the website or contact your local District Office in Cedar City, Escalante, Panguitch, or St. George. For general forest questions, call Tel: 435-865-3700.

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

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