BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) — The Deschutes National Forest will close two Forest Service roads next week due to recent and forecast snowfall.
On Monday, the Sisters Ranger District will close Forest Service Road 16, which provides driving access to Three Creek Lake, at the Upper Three Creek Sno-Park. The Bend-Fort Rock Ranger District will close Forest Service Road 4603 which provides driving access to Tumalo Falls. Both roads will close at 8 a.m. on Monday.
The roads are closed to provide for public safety and minimize resource damage, as well as, to preserve the snowpack as these routes transition to opportunities for winter recreation. Forest managers would like to remind visitors that Forest Service roads across the Deschutes National Forest are not plowed or maintained for winter driving access.
The forest’s road crew on Friday also completed removing boat docks across the forest for the winter season, to prevent ice and weather damage.
Visitors recreating on the forest should be prepared for winter driving conditions. Some tips for those enjoying winter recreation on their public lands, include:
- Plan your trip – check the weather, bring plenty of warm clothes, enough water for everyone for 3 days, emergency food, tire chains, shovel, flashlight, flares and/or something to start a fire with, camp saw or hatchet, and cold weather sleeping bag or blankets.
- Make sure you have a full tank of gas when you leave, and you are prepared for changing conditions in the mountains and high desert.
- Let someone know where you are going and when you plan to return.
- In snowy conditions, if the snow on the road is three inches or greater, turn around – conditions are not likely to improve ahead.
- Do not count on technology – GPS devices can steer drivers onto impassable roads and cellphone service can be inconsistent.
- Pay attention to weather conditions, including increased winds and snowfall, to ensure plenty of time to safely head back home.
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