You might have been able to get out into the Bitterroot National Forest last year during the second week of March, but that's not the case this year.

Tod McKay said the forest is "weeks behind where we would've been" because of the heavy amounts of snow in the past weeks, with more snow falling on almost a daily basis. He said most of the forest roads are not plowed, which also hinders access. And he warned of the extreme avalanche danger in the back country. Another concern, voiced by almost every public official in Ravalli County, is potential flooding. When the snow melt starts, it can quickly develop into enough water to cause major damage to almost any forest road.

McKay suggested you check the Bitterroot National Forest Facebook page for the latest information about forest recreation areas. A weekly report is posted on Fridays. (And their photos are great, too) Any urgent update is also online and will be shared with KLYQ and other media. You can always call to a forest district ranger station to check on conditions before you head out.