Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Warren Gulch Trail closes temporarily for safety concerns

Due to imminent safety concerns and private landowner conflicts, Warren Gulch Trail on the Arapaho National Forest is temporarily closed to all use. District staff are scouting potential alternative routes for the lower portion of the trail and looking for partners interested in participating in a reroute project.

The historic Warren Gulch Trail is a 4.3-mile National Forest System trail on the Clear Creek Ranger District that has been in existence since at least the 1930s. The trail begins near Echo Mountain on Colo. Highway 103, heads north, and then runs steeply downhill. The lower third of the trail crosses several private claims with multiple owners, terminating near Idaho Springs.

Felled trees now block the trail on portions of private land at the bottom of the hill, which is used predominately by mountain bikers riding at high speeds. These safety threats cannot be cleared due to easement issues. As mountain bikers are unlikely to turn around at the steep downhill section that borders the private property, the entire trail will be closed until a solution is identified.

The Forest Service is seeking opportunities to relocate the trail to avoid private landowner conflicts. Environmental analysis will need to be completed and a new route will need to be constructed prior to the trail reopening.

“The goal is for the new trail to be more sustainable and enjoyable for users,” said District Ranger Scott Haas. “Part of making that successful will be engaging in partnerships to help implement the new trail connection. In the meantime we ask users to please respect the closure for their own safety and to avoid conflicts with private landowners.”

If all goes smoothly with route-finding and environmental analysis, Haas said he would hope to have the new trail opened by fall 2020.

See the Warren Gulch Closure Order and Map.



Jeff
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
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Ramble On: A History of Hiking

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Beaver Meadows Visitor Center Parking Lot Closed Thursday, June 27th / Glacier Gorge Trailhead Parking Lot Closed June 26th For Pavement Preservation Work

Beginning at 5 a.m. Thursday, June 27 through 7 p.m. the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center Parking Area and Visitor Center in Rocky Mountain National Park will be closed to all uses for a pavement preservation project. Visitors entering the park from the east side on June 27, are encouraged to visit the Fall River Visitor Center that day.

Beginning at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, June 25, through 7 a.m. Thursday, June 27, the Glacier Gorge Trailhead Parking area along Bear Lake Road will be closed to all uses. On this day park shuttle buses will not be dropping off or picking up visitors at the Glacier Gorge Trailhead shuttle stop. All other bus stops in the Bear Lake corridor will be operational.

Beginning Monday, July 22, not on June 10 as was originally reported, staging for the pavement preservation project will take place in the Park & Ride lot along the Bear Lake Road corridor. The staging area will fill approximately 100 parking spaces, making these unavailable to the public, until the fall.

Due to limited parking, park visitors are encouraged to board the Hiker Shuttle. This shuttle runs every 30 minutes from the Estes Park Visitor Center to the Park & Ride on Bear Lake Road. Expect wait times to board the shuttles.

This important project is critical for the long term protection of park roads and parking areas. Due to the elevation of Rocky Mountain National Park and temperatures, resurfacing pavement projects can only take place in the summer. Work will not take place during the weekends or holidays.

Other areas of the park that will be impacted throughout the summer by this ongoing pavement preservation project include the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center Parking Lot, Bierstadt Lake Parking Lot, Alluvial Fan Parking Lot, Lawn Lake Parking Lot, Sheep Lakes Parking Lot, Horseshoe Park Overlook, Many Parks Curve Parking Areas, Rainbow Curve Parking Area, Forest Canyon Overlook Parking Area, Rock Cut Parking Area, Lava Cliffs Parking Area, Lumpy Ridge Access Road and numerous smaller parking areas and overlooks. Work will also take place on Bear Lake Road and sections of Trail Ridge Road. Park visitors should expect rolling delays of up to 20 minutes during road work. When specific work dates are scheduled for other areas, this information will be disseminated.

For a list of hikes and trailheads impacted by each of the areas listed above, please click here.

For further information about Rocky Mountain National Park, please visit www.nps.gov/romo or call the park’s Information Office at (970) 586-1206.



Jeff
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
HikingintheSmokys.com
Ramble On: A History of Hiking

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Be Aware Of Swift Water Danger When Recreating In Rocky Mountain National Park

As temperatures increase and thunderstorms occur, visitors to Rocky Mountain National Park should be aware that mountain streams can be dangerous especially in late spring and early summer. Don’t underestimate the power of water.

Park visitors are reminded to remain back from the banks of streams and rivers. Rocks at streamside are often slippery. Water is extremely cold and can be deceivingly deep. Water levels generally rise in the afternoon and follow thunderstorms. Always provide proper supervision for children, who by nature, tend to be attracted to water. Powerful currents can quickly pull a person underwater.

Due to rapid snow melt, area trails and bridges may become impassable due to rising water levels. If you encounter impassable areas, be prepared to back track to alternate hiking routes.



Jeff
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
HikingintheSmokys.com
Ramble On: A History of Hiking

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

American Trails Video: Building Trail Culture

American Trails recently published the presentation (below), which was given by Amy Camp during this years' International Trails Symposium. Ms. Camp's presentation discussed "Building Trail Culture" in communities across America. As trails in our national parks and forests become increasingly overcrowded (which I discussed in detail in my book), utilization of local trails will become more important as hiking participation rates continue to grow. Here's a synopsis of the presentation:
Trail communities around North America have come to appreciate (and clamor for) the economic benefits of trails. In fact, a model for community development—“trail towns”—has emerged to aid struggling communities in leveraging their trails. But we’ve got it mostly wrong. While economic gain contributes to community vitality, too heavy of a focus on any one trail benefit lacks balance…and heart. Those places that value trails simply for the dollars brought into town miss out on the “trail magic” that can touch communities. If we flip our focus from visitor transactions to truly engaging both visitors and locals, culture shift is possible. One concrete way of doing so is through programming immersive, memorable, joyful trail experiences. This talk will share programming examples and make a case for how these connections can transform communities from a culture of indifference to a culture of “yes,” of hospitality, of inclusion, and stewardship.

Building Trail Culture-Amy Camp from American Trails on Vimeo.




Jeff
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
HikingintheSmokys.com
Ramble On: A History of Hiking

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Bear Lake Parking Lot Closed June 17 - June 21 - Pavement Preservation Project In Numerous Locations Throughout The Summer In Rocky Mountain National Park

Beginning at 6 p.m. Monday June 17, through 7 a.m. Friday, June 21, the Bear Lake parking area in Rocky Mountain National Park will be closed to all uses for a pavement preservation project. On Monday, June 17, shuttle buses will continue to operate from the Bear Lake Parking Area until 7:30 p.m.

Beginning on Tuesday, June 18 through Thursday, June 20, park shuttle buses will not be dropping off or picking up visitors at the Bear Lake shuttle stop. All other bus stops in the Bear Lake corridor, including the Glacier Gorge Trailhead bus stop, will be operational.

Beginning Monday, June 10, staging for the pavement preservation project will take place in the Park & Ride lot along the Bear Lake Road corridor. The staging area will fill approximately 100 parking spaces, making these unavailable to the public, until the fall.

Since 2016, park staff have restricted vehicle access in the Bear Lake Road corridor when parking areas filled and heavy congestion warranted. Due to less parking availability, particularly from June 18 through June 20, park visitors who plan to hike in the Bear Lake Road corridor during these three days should plan for vehicle restrictions to occur earlier in the morning.

Due to limited parking, park visitors are encouraged to board the Hiker Shuttle. This shuttle runs every 30 minutes from the Estes Park Visitor Center to the Park & Ride on Bear Lake Road. Expect wait times to board the shuttles.

This important project is critical for the long term protection of park roads and parking areas. Due to the elevation of Rocky Mountain National Park and temperatures, resurfacing pavement projects can only take place in the summer. Work will not take place during the weekends or holidays.

From Monday, June 10, through Thursday, June 13, work will take place in the Moraine Park Campground. From Monday, June 24 through Thursday, June 27, work will occur in the Longs Peak Campground. These campgrounds will be closed during these periods.

Other areas of the park that will be impacted throughout the summer by this ongoing pavement preservation project include the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center Parking Lot, Bierstadt Lake Parking Lot, Alluvial Fan Parking Lot, Lawn Lake Parking Lot, Sheep Lakes Parking Lot, Horseshoe Park Overlook, Many Parks Curve Parking Areas, Rainbow Curve Parking Area, Forest Canyon Overlook Parking Area, Rock Cut Parking Area, Lava Cliffs Parking Area, Lumpy Ridge Access Road and numerous smaller parking areas and overlooks. Work will also take place on Bear Lake Road and sections of Trail Ridge Road. Park visitors should expect rolling delays of up to 20 minutes during road work. When specific work dates are scheduled for other areas, this information will be disseminated.



Jeff
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
HikingintheSmokys.com
Ramble On: A History of Hiking

Friday, June 7, 2019

Moose attack outside Nederland prompts warnings of potential aggressive wildlife behavior defending their young

A 69-year-old man was attacked by a cow moose while working on a ranch Thursday morning and was transported by ambulance to Boulder Community Hospital for examination of his injuries.

The incident occurred on private property outside of the town of Nederland. The man was doing property work near thick willow brush when the cow (female) moose attacked him.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers surveyed the property and found a cow moose still in the area and witnesses report seeing her with a calf recently, likely prompting the defensive and aggressive behavior. A dog was also present at the scene of the attack.

No action will be taken against the moose because this incident occurred outside of town on private property, the moose was in its natural habitat and likely a result of seasonal behavior being very protective of its young.

Although this incident was not believed to be sparked by irresponsible behavior, it does serve as an example that wildlife are just that, wild, and they can act in unpredictable ways. CPW reminds the public to respect wildlife and their space.

“It serves as a good reminder that not only moose, but elk and deer are also having babies right now, and does and cows can be aggressive when their fawns and calves are newborn and very vulnerable to predation,” said Area Wildlife Manager Kristin Cannon. “They may be aggressive towards people, but especially people with dogs, and especially if those dogs are off leash.”

Many birds and mammals give birth this time of the year. Now through the end of the month, newborn wildlife will be found across the landscape and it is important that when they are observed, that people do so from a distance and never try to interact with them.

Having dogs off leash often escalates run-ins with wildlife from just a sighting into what could be a dangerous situation.

“As people are recreating for the next three or four weeks, they should be keeping their dogs on a leash or leaving them at home,” Cannon said. “They should be aware of their surroundings and should give all wildlife plenty of space.”

One way to avoid an unnecessary run-in with a moose is to steer clear of thick willow habitat in riparian areas where they are likely to be found eating or resting. Their calves, who are born at the end of May and early June, are often lying in the willows while their mother is off grazing. Calves are usually weaned off a mothers milk after a couple months.



Jeff
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
HikingintheSmokys.com
Ramble On: A History of Hiking

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Trail Ridge Road Opens For The Season Prepare For Icy Conditions

Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park is open for the season. Due to melting snow on the road and the potential for freezing temperatures visitors should be prepared for icy conditions. At this time, night time closures will not be implemented. However, because weather conditions may change rapidly, park visitors should be prepared to adjust travel plans accordingly and are encouraged to call the park’s Trail Ridge Road recorded phone line at (970) 586-1222. Park staff will update the recorded line during and after regular office hours, when the road status changes. Alpine Visitor Center and Trail Ridge Store are anticipated to open by this weekend.

Trail Ridge Road historically opens on Memorial Day weekend; last year the road opened on May 24, in 2017 it opened on May 31 due to a late May snowstorm. The earliest the road has opened was on May 7, 2002; the latest June 26, 1943. Trail Ridge Road is the highest continuous paved road in the United States, climbs to 12,183 feet and connects the towns of Estes Park and Grand Lake. Trail Ridge Road officially closed for the season last year on October 31.

National Park Service plow operators normally begin clearing the snow in the middle of April. Crews from the west side of the park and crews from the east side of the park move along the road and eventually meet at the Alpine Visitor Center. The visitor center is the highest in the National Park Service, sitting at 11,796 feet above sea level. Spring storms often impact plowing activities. This year, crews ran into average or below average snowpack in many locations until May when numerous spring storms brought significant snow and drifting above 11,500 feet.



Jeff
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
HikingintheSmokys.com
Ramble On: A History of Hiking