After waiting for almost ten years for this plan to come out, and writing pages and pages of comments, it somehow was released without much fanfare or publicity. In order to keep this report somewhat short, this will just be a brief summary. Realize that this is FINAL and unless you want to appeal the TMP (a lengthy process), this is what we are stuck with. Overall though, there were no real tragic losses and we did okay! If you have any specific questions leave them in the comments below and I will respond.
First, the good news:
Mostly, the good news is that we really didn’t lose much. Please email and tell us what is missed. I confess, I don’t know the Ryan Gulch trails that well.
It looks like almost all of the trails around Tiger Road/Horseshoe Gulch/Summit Cove were kept open with the exception of the ‘Mushroom Trail.” This is a surprise since many of these were threatened to be closed.
Siberian Loop is still non-motorized; 100 acres trail is now officially a mtn bike trail; CDT Trail near Warden Gulch is open to bikes: Argentine Pass is open to mtn bikes:
Switched from motorized to non-motorized – Burro Trail; that rough 4wd road below south Mt Helen is now non-motorized; lower McCullough Gulch Road; eastern end of PA ridge Road; Black Gulch Road; Little French Road; Yellow Brick Road; Great Flume; Horseshoe Basin in upper Peru Creek
Now the bad news:
Decommissioned – “Stables Trail” – this is a bit of a bummer but it did need some TLC. This is the steep singletrack from Spruce Valley Ranch Horse Stables up to Boreas Pass Road (but they left in the similar but just as eroded ‘Secret’ Trail – that dirtbike singletrack that connects Boreas Pass Road to the meadow of Indiana Creek).
Also decommissioned – a lot of trails/old roads around Baldy -maybe “Pinball”Trail, but hard to tell; “Okie highway”; “Powerline (steep trail into Bakers Tank) Powerline road into Bakers Tank; 360 trail off PA Ridge; lots of the old jeep roads around lower Quandary; Wheeler Flats Trail (old railroad grade next to Hwy 91); steep but fun road up to Ruby Gulch which is below Grays/Torreys; lots of very short stretches of social trails that connect Wildernest Road to the Ryan Gulch/Salt Lick zone
Closed to bikes but open to hikers: Tunnel Trail (sad loss); Corral Creek Trail off Vail Pass; Upper Fredonia Gulch Road; CDT Trail from Georgia Pass to Santa Fe Peak
- Get involved when the Forest Plan is revised. The Forest Plan was released before the Travel Management Plan (TMP). It is more of the general division of land in Summit County. The Forest Plan doesn’t look at specific trails and roads (which the TMP does) it just defines in a general way the level of protection a parcel of land will receive. So for instance, the terrain around Eisenhower Tunnel was given a higher level of prescription (5.5 Forest Landscape Linkages – a fancy way of saying this is a wildlife travel corridor, in particular a lynx travel corridor and so mechanized Travel is not recommended in this Forest Plan prescription. Because of this, the Travel Management Plan was able to close the Tunnel Trail to mountain bikes because of this Forest Plan designation. We need to start dialogue with Forest Service folks now, as to why mountain bikes should be on equal level with hikers in some cases. It just doesn’t make sense that this awesome trail is packed with hikers and off leash dogs but mountain bikes are not permitted. Seasonal closures, dogs not allowed – all ways to be pro-active in protecting this sensitive area.
- GPS trails and roads or make sure the Forest Service does. It was a surprise that even after commenting numerous times about a few roads and trails (Mushroom Trail, Dysersville singletracks and the cabin road as an example) these routes were still not recognized by the forest service. Thus, they are considered closed routes. Kind of a shock since one of these routes is such a developed 4WD road.
- Start discussion on what are the needs of mountain bikes. Corral Creek was closed to mountain bikes because “it isn’t a complete loop.” True, you have to hike your bike for about ten minutes under I-70 and through some weeds, but I’ve always believed that mountain biking can include some hike-a-bike. Maybe I’m wrong though and this is just the old school in me when we hiked with our bikes often. But what are our needs? More trails at higher altitudes? More smooth routes? Aren’t out and backs okay? Short rides fine or does it always have to be a certain distance???
I am not covering most of Golden Horseshoe here since Town of Breckenridge is covering all of that and knows this area better than I do.