FARMINGTON – The Farmington Canyon road is open, but only for recreational access by ATVs or snowmobiles.
After nearly two years, the U.S. Forest Service announced in a press release that major road repairs have been completed where the road failed due to a landslide in May of 2011.
While it’s open for limited use, the public is being urged to use caution when using the canyon road. It will not be maintained for winter use. The route is described as steep and narrow with multiple switchbacks and should not be used in adverse weather or traveling conditions, according to the press release.
Farmington City, in cooperation with the Forest Service, has kept the canyon gates closed while the landslide area and the road were stabilized and repaired.
The city will continue to keep its gate closed and locked during winter months when adverse weather creates dangerous road condition. The press release indicates the gate has been modified to allow recreational vehicles, horses and foot traffic to get through even when the gate is closed.
The city also improved a trailer parking area for public use in the area just above Farmington Pond, so all recreational users can safely unload horses, ATVs or snowmobiles, according to the press release. Farmington will only plow to the trailer parking lot.
In May, 2011, the road was damaged by three rock slides, which were caused by 5.3 inches of rainfall that fell throughout the month.
On May 22, 2011, the Forest Service closed the canyon after a mudslide of large boulders and debris hit about a mile past the pavement.
At that time, the Forest Service put a 48-hour emergency measure in place to allow agency engineers to evaluate the area’s stability. Before the day ended, forest service managers received permission to close the road indefinitely.
Homes in the area were not affected, but those needing to get to Farmington Canyon had to go through Bountiful.
In past years, the Federal Aviation Administration kept the road plowed during the winter to allow personnel access to the radar tower on top of Francis Peak. The FAA no longer plans to plow the road, according to the Forest Service. Consequently, there will be no snow plowing conducted by Farmington City, the Forest Service or the FAA above the Farmington City gate near the entrance to the Farmington Pond.