Forest Service plans to reroute Warren Gulch Trail near Idaho Springs to reduce user conflicts
IDAHO SPRINGS, Colo.—December 9, 2019— The Arapaho National Forest is seeking comments on a proposal to reroute the historic Warren Gulch Trail on the Clear Creek Ranger District near Idaho Springs. By reconstructing the trail on a new alignment away from private property, recreation use will be restored while minimizing the potential for conflicts with landowners.
The Warren Gulch Trail is a 4.3-mile National Forest System trail built sometime before 1938. The trail begins near Echo Mountain on Colorado Highway 103, heads north, and then runs steeply downhill. As originally constructed, the trail crossed 18 mining claims, many of which have subsequently been developed as residential properties. Increasing recreational use of the trail, particularly for downhill mountain biking, resulted in conflicts with private landowners. This summer, the trail was closed for safety reasons, as felled trees on private land created hazards to users and could not be removed due to easement issues.
Under the proposed action, the lower 1.7 miles of the trail will be decommissioned and replaced with a newly-built 1.4 mile route which avoids all private property and ends on Forest Service Road 760.1 only 0.1 mile from the current trail’s endpoint. The trail will be designed and built to Forest Service mountain bike standards –one to two feet wide – and will be open to all non-motorized uses, including hiking. Plans call for the rerouted trail to be opened to the public in fall 2020.
“The Forest is committed to maintaining a high-quality recreational experience on the Warren Gulch Trail, while also building good relationships with our neighbors,” Clear Creek District Ranger Scott Haas said. “We look forward to working with partners to build and maintain the new route so that visitors can responsibly enjoy the area for years to come.”
During the scoping period, interested parties may make any concerns with the proposal known and raise substantive issues for environmental analysis. To comment, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Warren Gulch Trail Reroute.” Alternatively, comments may be sent via mail, express delivery, or messenger to: Scott Haas, District Ranger, USDA Forest Service, Clear Creek Ranger District, P.O. Box 3307, Idaho Springs, CO 80452, or faxed to (303) 567-3021. Comments should be received by January 8, 2020.
Map for trail and proposed changes