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Forest Service transitions from summer to winter recreation on Vail Pass

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November 16, 2020, 11:43 am

The U.S. Forest Service last week issued the following press release on the transition from summer to winter recreation management beginning Monday, Nov. 16 on Vail Pass:

SILVERTHORNE, Colo. – The transition from summer to winter recreation management began Monday, Nov. 16 at Vail Pass.

Beginning Monday Nov. 16, the Vail Pass Winter Recreation Area will open to over-the-snow-vehicle travel in motorized travel zones. The Shrine Pass Road (FSR #709) will be closed to wheeled vehicles at Vail Pass and Red Cliff, and the Resolution Road (FSR #702) and McAllister Road (FSR #708) will be closed to wheeled vehicles at Camp Hale.

Fee collections will begin on Nov. 28. Day passes are $10 and season passes are $65.

“These user fees fund trail grooming, plowing, ranger patrols and visitor information services, which we provide in partnership with the Vail Pass Task Force,” said White River National Forest Mountain Sports Administrator Sam Massman. “Forest Service rangers will be staffing the entrance booth at Vail Pass seven days a week this season.”

Massman encourages people to plan ahead if they are looking to visit Vail Pass this year. Vail Pass is an extremely popular winter recreation area, and it’s expected to see even higher use this winter. The visitor parking lots typically fill by 9:30 a.m. on Fridays, weekends and holidays. Visitors are asked to park only in designated areas; parking in unauthorized areas causes road safety issues and inhibits plowing.

If the lots at Vail Pass are full, visitors will need to come back at a later time or access the Vail Pass Winter Recreation Area from trailheads at Camp Hale or Redcliff. 

Day passes can be purchased on-site at the trailheads. Season passes are available at Vail Pass via credit card at the automated fee machine. Season passes will also be available for credit card purchase by appointment only beginning Nov. 16 at the Eagle-Holy Cross Ranger District in Minturn, 970-827-5715, and the Dillon Ranger District in Silverthorne, 970-468-5400. 

Additional information on the winter recreation area, including georeferenced Avenza trail maps for mobile devices, is available at https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/whiteriver/recarea/?recid=40891.

Visitors are reminded to follow state and local guidelines for face coverings and social distancing. Recreate responsibly, be respectful of other users, and get the avalanche forecast: https://avalanche.state.co.us/education/caic-programs/know-before-you-go-colorado/

#recreateresponsibly. 

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