Seeley Swan Pathfinder -

Dunham Creek Road closed to motorized use


October 31, 2019

Map provided

SEELEY LAKE – The northern one mile section of Dunham Creek Road #4388 on the Seeley Lake Ranger District will be closed beginning Oct. 29 for repairs following a summer debris flow. In late July, the Spruce Creek drainage which typically flows under the Dunham Creek Road by way of a culvert, experienced a large, natural debris flow event that temporarily closed the road.

Although emergency repairs were quickly made after the debris flow in July, follow-up assessments by engineers and hydrology specialists indicate a need to close the northern portion of Dunham Creek Road for additional work.

Crews will begin work this week to remove the culvert at the Spruce Creek stream crossing. The road will be temporarily closed to motorized use throughout the winter and into next summer season to let the drainage naturally reestablish and prevent road washout during the 2020 spring runoff. The culvert will be replaced with a new bridge in the summer of 2020.

"We thank the public for their patience and understanding as we work on this critical repair," said Quinn Carver, District Ranger. "We are still addressing challenges associated with the 2017 fire season and this project is part of that ongoing response."

Motorized access to the Lodgepole Creek Trailhead will be temporarily closed due to this repair. Alternative access to the Bob Marshall Wilderness includes Pyramid Pass, Monture Creek, McCabe Creek or the North Fork Trailheads.

The northern portion of the Dunham Creek Road/Spruce Creek drainage is situated within the 2017 Rice Ridge Fire burned area and experienced moderate to high soil burned severity during the fire creating conditions susceptible to natural debris flow events. Debris flow events occur when a high-intensity convective storm cell releases high volumes of precipitation in a very short duration over burned landscapes.

For updates or continued information visit the Lolo National Forest Facebook or call the Seeley Lake Ranger District at 406-677-2233.


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