Rau: Trail information for the Memorial Day weekend
Grand County Trails
Finally spring has arrived, with occasional return to winter. There has been too much rain and snow for most of us and we are yearning for the warm sunny days we normally have. The snow will come again in spurts but hopefully last only the day and the warm sun will make short work of it. Time to get the garden going but don’t forget to protect those tender young plants until they can survive the cooler and even cold nights as well as the mid-day fierce sun. Thanks to nature’s bounty, water is everywhere, even where it isn’t supposed to be. Thanks for the cooler days and nights slowing the melt in high country or we might be in flood stages.
Be careful on the soft trails. We are so anxious to get out on those great single tracks but many of the single tracks are not ready for us. Bike tire tracks and footprints made in wet, soft dirt will last as ruts all summer. Please try to wait until the trails dry out before using them. Most road base areas like the Fraser to Granby Trail are in good shape.
US Forest Services for the Forest Service in Granby said Cascade Creek has small patches of snow up at Cascade Falls and has more than 20 trees down from the Arapaho Pass Spur Trail and Cascade Creek Trail juncture up to the Lower Falls area. Be prepared with appropriate footwear and gaiters or rain pants for the wet and muddy spots you will encounter. Also keep an eye out for more falling trees when the ground is saturated.
Rocky Mountain National Park advises that the West Meadows including Coyote Valley River Trail and Sun Valley Trail to Holzwarth Historic Site are in good condition with little snow. North Inlet is open to Cascade Creek Trail. The Falls and the East Inlet Trail is clear of snow to Adams Falls and about three miles beyond. Timber Creek Campground may be open this weekend – call for updated information. Trail Ridge Road is open to Milner (as of Thursday morning) and crews are trying to open the entire road for the Memorial Day weekend. RMNP has a backcountry information office at the Kawuneeche Visitor Center
Bureau of Land Management in Kremmling warns boaters using the Pumphouse put-in on the Colorado River that the drinking water system is not open and will be under construction the week after Memorial Day weekend. Black Mountain and Sulphur Gulch area, Strawberry/Hurd Peak area and Spruce Creek in the Dice Hill area are closed but expected to open June 1.
Adopt a Trail
Adopt A Trail is now operated by Headwaters Trails Alliance (HTA) and is the best friend of our county trails system. Started many years ago by Fraser Valley Partnership for Trails, this program is also associated with the US Forest Service. Grant writing by HTA has helped fund summer staff to head this ever-expanding program because the concept is so beneficial and really works. People taking care of a specific trail are also cognizant of the need to take care of all our trails. Welcome back Erica Bean who has been a Grand County resident for several years and has had the opportunity to work with the US Forest Service and Colorado Parks and Wildlife, and volunteered with Rocky Mountain National Park as a wild land firefighter. Her assistant in the field this year will be announced shortly.
We have many local individuals, families and businesses that have already adopted their favorite trail or trails. There are many more trails that need attention. Please consider adopting your favorite trail by contacting Erica Bean, HTA Adopt-A-Trail Coordinator at GCadoptatrail@gmail.com or Meara McQuain at HTA 970-726-1013. Headwaters will be starting weekly columns next week to provide more information on trail conditions, projects and upcoming events.
Saturday, May 28, the Grand County Wilderness Group and US Forest Service present a day of Wilderness Stewardship Trainings at the St Louis Creek Campground on County Road 73 west of Fraser. Starting a 9 a.m. until noon, three classes are featured – WISDOM Training, Wilderness Rules and Regulations refresher and Clearing Wilderness Trails. For more information, call USFS at 970-887-4100 or contact Bob Saint at email@example.com.
All this water means spring flowers but we need sun to really get them going. Walking on the county road near my home on Red Dirt Hill, the early purple Pasque flowers and blue Lanceleaf Chiming Bells are everywhere welcoming the sun this week. More in the weeks to come from Grand County Naturalist Pat Berman.
Pray for sunshine so we can enjoy the outdoors in this picturesque Grand County with the snow still in the mountains and lush green in the valleys. But be aware that Mother Nature can be fickle and be prepared in the backcountry. Carry extra clothing, food and water and always tell someone where you are going.
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The Mustangs cross country team trudged through a muddy 5K Saturday morning during the West Grand Invitational, a race that slowed times but sent the fun factor through the roof for many of its competitors.