Contact(s): Matt Zumstein, Norwood District Ranger, 970-327-4261
Kathy Peckham, Norwood Recreation Staff, 970-327-4261
Kim Phillips, Public Affairs Officer, 970-589-0842
Dylan Peters, Public Affairs Specialist, 970-462-2969

San Juan National Forest Closure and Impacts to the GMUG

Norwood, Colorado, June 13, 2018 – With the implementation of a Stage 3 Fire Closure for the San Juan National Forest (SJNF) several border areas of the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison (GMUG) National Forests will be affected. Most notably the southern half of the Lizard Head Wilderness will be closed to all entry due to its location on the SJNF. Areas affected by this closure include: Mount Wilson, El Diente, and Navajo Basin.

The Uncompahgre National Forest (northern section) of the Lizard Head Wilderness remains open including the following areas:

• Wilson Peak via the Rock of Ages Trail (NFST 429)
• Bike Basin via either the Wilson Mesa Trailhead (NFST 623) or the Lizard Head Trail (NFST 505)
• Woods Lake Trail (NFST 406)
• Elk Creek Trail (NFST 407)
• Lone Cone Trail (NFST 426)
• Wilson Meadows Trail (NFST 512)
• Lizard Head Trail (NFST 505) – first 3 miles to Black Face Ridge

Due to area closures and upcoming seasonal events the following areas are expected to experience higher than normal volumes of visitors:

• Alta Lakes Dispersed Camping Area
• Gold King Basin
• Wild Boy Lake
• Alta Road (NFSR 632)
• Hope Lake Road (NFSR 627)
• Lizard Head Pass Dispersed Camping Area
• Priest Lake Dispersed Camping Area

Recommended alternatives to the aforementioned areas include:

• Woods Lake Campground
• Beaver Park Dispersed Camping Area
• Grand Mesa National Forest

When recreating in the southern Uncompahgre National Forest, please carefully consult with a map to ensure that you do not inadvertently cross in to the SJNF closure area.

The Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests remain under Stage 1 Fire Restrictions. The Grand Mesa National Forest is not under fire restrictions. GMUG Fire Officials utilize several criteria to determine the Fire Restriction level and reevaluate conditions daily. Visitors to the National Forests are encouraged to call local offices ahead of time to check on current fire conditions and restrictions.
“There are many factors that we consistently assess when making fire restriction decisions, including both environmental and human factors, we are constantly monitoring conditions and collaborating with our cooperators to assess the need to make changes to our restrictions” said CorDell Taylor, GMUG Fire Management Officer “We have not seen an increase in the number of fire starts, this means people are being very careful and doing their part in wildfire prevention”
For information on prescribed burns, wildfires and fire restrictions on National Forest System lands and other areas, call the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests Fire Information line at 970.874.6602, or 970.765.8563, visit the GMUG Forest website (; West Slope Fire Info: Twitter (#GMUGNF); Facebook:


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