Many trees down on Sulphur Ranger District |

Many trees down on Sulphur Ranger District

Grand County CO Colorado

Wind storms have brought thousands of trees to the ground across the Arapaho National Forest’s Sulphur Ranger District this winter and spring.

U.S. Forest Service trail crews spent last month clearing hundreds of trees from popular trails, including Flume, Strawberry Lake, Doe Creek and Monarch Lake. And in the past week alone, crews have cleared dozens of trees from roads in the Church Park and Stillwater areas.

Meanwhile, more trees are coming down on the trails every day, according to Forest officials. Some 30 trees were cut off of Flume only a few weeks ago and already another 30 trees have fallen across the trail.

“We just can’t keep up with it,” said Sulphur Ranger District recreation manager Miles Miller. “We appreciate the public’s patience while we work to open up roads and trails for the summer season.”

Both live and dead trees are falling without warning, and sometimes even without the wind blowing.

“The dead trees are rotting at the base,” Miller said. “And the live trees, with all their needles, are catching the wind like sails, blowing over and pulling the dead trees down with them.”

Forest visitors are advised to be extremely cautious when traveling on forest service roads and trails. Look for open areas when selecting a location to camp or park. Take a hand saw with you to remove fallen trees from roads and trails to avoid becoming trapped. Remember, safety is your responsibility.

Contract and forest service crews plan to cut thousands of hazardous trees along roads and trails this summer to address public safety. This will cause temporary closures of roads, trails, trailheads and dispersed campsites throughout the summer and fall, so be sure to call ahead to the visitor information hotline at 970-887-4100 to get the latest status.