Hermosa Park Road closed for safety
SJNF reminds skiers, snowmos Purg's slopes are off-limits

Hermosa Park Road closed for safety

Hermosa Park Road closed for safety

 
In an effort to stop a surge in illegal traffic on the slopes of Purgatory Resort, the Columbine Ranger District announced it is closing the gate on Hermosa Park Road, aka FR #578, to over-snow travel, effective 7 a.m., March 2.

The Hermosa Park Road is typically open to over-snow travel from December - April to allow snowmos, skiers and other winter recreationists access to forest lands behind the resort. Forest regulations prohibit public motorized travel within the ski area boundaries from Nov. 15 – April 15. However, since the resort closed abruptly March 15 due to concerns over the coronavirus, the there has been a surge in over-snow motorized and nonmotorized travel within resort boundaries. With snowmos and skiers illegally accessing Purgatory slopes in droves, Forest Service officials said the closure is en effort to mitigate concerns over safety and the possibility of skier/snowmobile collisions.
 
“If folks are recreating in a closed resort area, conditions are more like they are in the backcountry,” Columbine District Ranger James Simino said in a press release. “The emergency services that people are accustomed to when the resort is open are not readily available.”
 
The Forest Service also reminds skiers that access to the backcountry and Purgatory ski trails is not allowed through the Purgatory base, Columbine or Gelande areas.
 
The San Juan National Forest asks the public to recreate responsibly, and high-risk activities, such as backcountry skiing, that increase the chance of injury should be avoided.
 
For more information, contact Jed Botsford at (970) 884-2512 or at jed.botsford@usda.gov.