IDAHO CITY, Idaho — The Idaho Transportation Department has closed Highway 21 north of Idaho City to Lowman because of blowing wind, drifting and because it just keeps snowing.
Later in the afternoon, ITD told us they expect to close Avalanche Alley on Thursday morning at 10:00 a.m. this is the section of Highway 21 north of Lowman starting from Grandjean to Banner Summit.
This section of the road connects to Stanley, ITD cited the closure because of a high risk of avlanches.
ID 21: Road closed from Granite Creek Road to Banks Lowman Road (31m N of Idaho City). Drifting snow, Heavy snow, Hazardous driving conditions. https://t.co/j7z6FTdfWU— Idaho 511 (@Idaho511) January 5, 2022
Crews have been working non-stop to keep the roads clear and they were on Tuesday, however, the snow continues in the high country.
"Right now there is so much heavy snow in that area we did have to close down Idaho state highway 21," said Jillian Garrigues of ITD. "With the weather coming in, it could be a few more days until the road is back open."
We were up there cross country skiing on Tuesday, the plan was to tell people about Idaho Parks & Recreation free ski day on Saturday at the Park N' Ski locations between Idaho City and Lowman.
Even before the closure happened Parks and Rec were encouraging people not to come they couldn't guarantee the parking lots would be clear as ITD has had to spend all their time clearing the main highway.
They also sent out a warning that the trails were not groomed, every they attempted to groom the trails the snow would erase their efforts.
I made it around the loop at Gold Fork, but it was a lot harder having to break the trail in all the fresh powder and we ran into a family coming back from a yurt.
"The people before us had to go through three feet of snow to get up to the yurt," said Shelley Zimmer. "It was pretty steep and hard."
To keep up to date on road conditions drivers can check 511.Idaho.Gov for conditions in real-time.
"That is where you can find the latest information and updates to see if the road is back open again, but yeah if you can avoid driving in these winter conditions please avoid it," said Garrigues.