Some popular mountain biking and running singletrack trails along Prince Creek Road, near Carbondale, were brought into the official route system while others will be rerouted and a couple will be closed in a decision made recently by the BLM. Read the recent article detailing the official BLM record of decision by Scott Conden in the Aspen Times.
Existing Trails now Official
You might have heard of the Sutey – Two Shoes Land Exchange over the past many years. One of the reasons for RFMBA’s support of that proposal was to secure public access to the Haines Parcel. With the land exchange approved last year, the BLM studied the newly acquired land and the routes on the ground in this area, leading to all of the key Lower Prince Creek singletrack trails becoming an official parts of the BLM route system: Monte Carlo, Christmas Tree, Ginormous, Trough, and parts of South Porcupine. English Trim and Plunge were also made official as part of the approval.
Lower Jens Reroute
Join RFMBA & RFOV to build over a mile of new trail in Prince Creek! The Lower Jens Reroute has been approved by the BLM as an improved way to climb up to the higher slopes of the Crown to the Skull Bucket Trail, a favorite descent for many long time locals. This reroute project secures permanent public access by routing the trail on to BLM land. Unfortunately, a little less than a 1/2 mile of Upper Creekside and the current lower portion of Jens will be closed as part of this approval due to private land issues.
New Prince Creek Climbing Trail
RFMBA is taking the lead this spring on building about a 1/2 mile of new trail that will parallel the existing Monte Carlo. This will serve as an extension of the new Prince Creek Trail built on Pitkin County land and easements last year, and will allow for directional traffic – and fewer conflicts between trails users! – on the lower portion of Monte Carlo. Monte Carlo will become downhill direction only from where it intersects with Christmas Tree, joining the downhill only Lower Monte Carlo Trail!
Father of Ginormous Extension
Great news for FoG fans. This downhill direction only trail will be extended from it’s current finish at South Porcupine, all the way down to a new 4-way intersection with Christmas Tree, the new Prince Creek Climbing Trail, and the point where Monte Carlo will become downhill only to the north, and 2-way traffic to the south (uphill). This improvement will allow for even more directional-only trail use in this high use area, limiting conflicts between trail users. The approvals also allow for a minor reroute to the “Uncle” lower-entrance drop in to the Father.
A new 1.5 mile long trail, yet to be named, will serve to connect the top of Lower Jens (described above), to the Divide / parking lot trailhead at the top of Prince Creek Rd. and West Sopris Creek Road. Riders will use this trail to connect to Skull Bucket or as part of a connection towards the Hay Park area. The trail will serve as a climb or descent from/to the Divide. The short bonus “Dune Descent” option has been approved by the recent BLM decision, taking advantage of a small shale bluff area that lacks vegetation but makes up for it with flowing terrain features.
Minor Buckhorn Reroutes
On the other side of the Crown, this approval allows for two short reroutes, each about a 1/4 mile long on the Buckhorn Trail. One reroute will close an old section of doubletrack road to create new singletrack, the other will reroute a steep section that has eroded into a deep rut over recent years.
For all of these projects, stay tuned to our Events calendar and be sure to jump on our email list by using our email signup widget on this page… so you can join us for an Evening, a Saturday, or a Sunday Funday of digging in the dirt, evolving the Prince Creek and Crown BLM trail system to be better than ever!