Spring has arrived in the valley, but hazardous conditions still exist in the mountains, according to the district ranger of the Pleasant Grove Ranger District.

"Extreme caution should be used by everyone, no matter how experienced they are," Robert Easton said.The unique and rugged beauty of the Mount Timpanogos Wilderness area attracts thousands of visitors every year to explore the mountains, but visitors should be aware that snow fields on Mount Timpanogos are undermined by streams and often create unstable snow bridges, he said.

These bridges can create a deadly situation for unwary hikers, Easton said. The snowfields look fun to slide on, but they are extremely dangerous and the forest service advises against travel of any kind over such areas.

Many people also forget that the weather at the top of the mountain can be quite different from the weather at the trailhead, or that mountain weather can change very quickly. A smart hiker is prepared for all kinds of weather, he said.

To eliminate damage to living trees by people seeking firewood, open campfires are not permitted within the area and all cooking must be done on gas stoves, Easton said.

All exploration should be done on foot or by horseback. Motorized vehicles are excluded from the area. For more information and the latest condition report, contact the Pleasant Grove Ranger District at 785-3563.