The Bureau of Land Management asks recreationists and other travelers to steer clear of muddy trails and roads as spring snowmelt and precipitation have resulted in muddy conditions throughout our …
The Bureau of Land Management asks recreationists and other travelers to steer clear of muddy trails and roads as spring snowmelt and precipitation have resulted in muddy conditions throughout our area.
“Waiting a bit now for trails and roads to dry up is better for our shared public lands and resources in the long run,” said BLM Outdoor Recreation Planner Rick Tryder. “Whether you’re on foot, bike, horse or motorized vehicle, please plan ahead and choose south-facing routes that get more sun and are more likely to be dry.”
Traveling by foot, bike and horseback
Before piling into the car, take a moment to search trail conditions online or give us a call. “If your destination is muddy, find an alternative—your favorite trail will still be there in a few weeks,” said Tryder.
As tempting as it might seem to step off the trail to avoid mud, this tramples trailside vegetation in the early stages of growth. Over time with hundreds or thousands of users skirting muddy sections of trail, not only are the plants robbed of their opportunity to grow, but erosion increases rapidly.
If you’re horseback riding or mountain biking, please be mindful of how the added weight will impact soggy areas.
Traveling by off-highway vehicle
Driving on wet two-tracks and roads can cause soil erosion, damage to vegetation and archaeological sites, and ruts. Small ruts made now can compound and make roads impassable later.
In addition, as temperatures increase throughout the day, a road that was frozen in the morning might be muddy by afternoon.
“Waiting for roads to dry up is also the best way to avoid getting stuck,” Tryder added. “Travel safely and let us know when you discover deteriorating road conditions.”
Finally, before heading out for a drive, let someone know where you’re going in case you do become stranded.
If you encounter muddy trails or roads, or those that have been damaged from use, call the Cody Field Office at 307-578-5900 or the Wind River/Bighorn Basin District Office at 307-347-5100.