Greenie Peak Trail System Closed for Elk Calving
by Tracy Green, Contributing Writer, Treasurer/Secretary - Red River Off-Road Coalition
Every year there is confusion among locals and visitors alike as to when the Greenie Peak Trail System closes for elk calving.
On May 1st until June 15th every year the majority of Cabresto Road just to the east of the Lake turnoff is gated off. Gates are also closed all along Sawmill Road. This means that access to Greenie Peak and Midnight Meadows is completely closed off from May to June 15th.
Sawmill Road and Cabresto Lake can be accessed after the snow thaws which generally happens by May. Sometimes the thaw is earlier but it doesn’t look like that will be the case this year.
Members of our group have heard folks say they have been up in that area in that time frame. This has probably been in a year when poachers have torn down the gates to illegally harvest elk or other wildlife.
So no matter if the gate is closed or not – you are in violation of USFS codes if you access the Greenie Peak or Midnight Meadows trails/areas in the period between May 1st to June 15th.
Our group has heard many complaints about this from entitled locals and demanding tourists. But there is a good reason for the closure. This area is precious birthing ground for elk cows and their calves. Elk cows are very sensitive to threats in the early days after calving
and will easily abandon their offspring which leaves them vulnerable to our area’s many predators as well as starvation.
This applies to off-road enthusiasts and hikers/bikers. All access is restricted.
Contact the USFS office in Questa with any questions and respect the rules of these shared public lands.