Spring conditions affecting National Forest System roads and trails

By Reader Staff

The U.S. Forest Service is reminding visitors traveling on the Idaho Panhandle National Forests’ extensive network of roads and trails to be aware of changing conditions and the hazards of driving on soft roadbeds as roads thaw.

Excessive snowmelt causes road shoulders to be soft and unstable. USFS officials advise people to avoid driving on soft roads and be aware that out-sloped icy mountain roads can increase your risk of sliding off the road, particularly when passing another vehicle. In addition, driving on soft roadbeds also can cause significant rutting and resource damage, which results in costly repairs.

Visitors traveling on forest roads are encouraged to be mindful of changing conditions and snow at higher elevations. As the snow continues to melt and spring rains create soft trail and road surfaces, it is important to be on the lookout for flood and landslide damage. 

“The Forest Service appreciates everyone’s cooperation caring for National Forest System roads and trails so that they are accessible and well-preserved for everyone to enjoy,” officials stated in a March 23 media release.

Report any new road or trail damage to the local Ranger Station. The Idaho Panhandle National Forests posts road and trail conditions, as they are reported, at fs.usda.gov/alerts/ipnf/alerts-notices.

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