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exbiologist's picture
Location: Colorado
Joined: 09/19/2008
Posts: 2397
Before you go scouting this weekend...

Check road closures and conditions. Many Forest Service Roads are closed until May 30th. The roads that are open seem pretty dry and to be in good shape right now here in Colorado. Most of the snow levels that I saw were pushing 10,500 feet if they had much southern or western exposure. In the shade it was closer to 8,500 feet. I did see a large herd of bulls right at snowline, so they've already moved up beyond the reach of many roads. It actually surprised me to see them that high, but it was warm and even though the grasses looked dead at first, there were little bits of new green shoots coming up. The cows are much lower(8-9,000ish) and will begin calving by this weekend. Calving grounds can sometimes be good late fall spots to look for elk.
Forest Service Road Conditions are available on the National Forest Website: http://www.fs.fed.us Or call them during normal business hours.
Many campgrounds are still closed also, so check before you go.

Also, if your planned hikes include any creek crossings, think twice. The creeks and rivers are deep and fast moving right now.

You can also check high elevation snow depths near your area with the NRCS SNOTEL data: http://www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov

Keep in mind that not all water sources that you find now will be available in the fall.

Have good, up to date maps, a Plan B, a shovel and a chainsaw. Sometimes beavers will make a dam across a road, sometimes roads are washed out, trees fall across roads, etc.

elkkill06's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Fruita Colorado
Joined: 02/02/2009
Posts: 2069
Re: Before you go scouting this weekend...

That is some great info Ex. Thumbs up Especially for the newbies to the sport. Always be prepared for anything, I personally have walked many miles off the Unc when I was younger. Oops!