Confusing Run-in with Locals on Back side of Gross Res?
I had a quick trip planned up the backside of Flagstaff/CR 68J to Gross Reservoir today and ended up not doing to trail and getting harassed by locals.
I'm not a veteran of trail driving so maybe this is a common thing, but it appeared as though locals had taken it upon themselves to try and close 68J up to Gross. Shortly after 68J begins in the east there was a handwritten note on the side of the road on particle board that said "Road washed out. Go back.". The note was accompanied by spliced together yellow "DO NOT CROSS" tape strung about 7 feet off the ground between some trees. This road is a "public easement" through private property.
The trail road looked great and the "closure" looked very home-made so we decided to park and do some recon. We walked up the trail and came across a resident who said a section just got repaired/smoothed, but there may be some rough spots further up. Guy seemed nice enough and told us we could hike up to check it out.
We hiked up a mile or more and it all looked fine so we decided to head back to the cars and give it a go. When we got back to our cars there were a couple locals standing by them. One fine gent was upset and said the sheriff was on his way. We asked if he knew what the deal was with the sign and he was vague, unhelpful and suggested getting a better map and exploring elsewhere. He was an ass.
Without much experience with these odd closures we turned back and called it a day.
Are trail closures normally more "official"? This closure seemed strange and more like the locals were trying to keep people out for the hell of it rather than an actual Ranger-sponsored closure. I can't imagine a Ranger hand writing a note on wood and setting it on the ground, propped up with rocks and stringing a couple pieces of yellow DO NOT CROSS tape on a couple trees.
Any advice is welcome. Maybe I'm a clueless newb, or maybe the locals were trying to keep people out. I should have taken pictures, but I was feeling quite unwelcome and just left.