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Posted on: June 25, 2019

Warren Gulch Trail temporarily closed to all use for safety concerns

IDAHO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 24, 2019) — 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.

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