Category Archives: Trail Information

Spring Trail Closure Info for Snowmass/Burnt Mountain

This is a sensitive time for our neighboring elk herds in the valley.  Please respect all trail closures.   Elk show a strong fidelity to the calving area in Burnt Mountain, from Snowmass Village to Buttermilk and a number of other areas that we share.

Here is a quick rundown of what is still closed and a few options for what is open.

Annual Closure Dates for some Snowmass Village Trails:
April 25 – June 21, (open on June 22nd)

Tom Blake
Anaerobic Nightmare
Sequel
Government Trail (portions)

Sky Mountain Park, North Rim and Seven Star Open May 16

Also of note: Glassier Open Space in the Mid-Valley opens May 16th. (Lower Buckhorn, Buckhorn Traverse and the rest of the Crown is good to go as of April 16th)

Open Trails During this Time Period:
Highline / Lowline
Rim Trail South (Mtn View to Sinclair)
Ditch Trail
Stark’s Trail to Powerline Trail
Elk Camp Work Road & Sam’s Knob
Prince Creek
The Crown
Red Hill
Grandstaff
Stairway to Heaven

The number of calves born annually has decreased significantly.  Numerous biological studies date back to 1974 to support the area closure for elk calving. In addition, wildlife cameras show deer fawns, bear cubs, moose and mountain lion. As trail & public land supporters, please help us protect the sanctuary in your back yard.

Ducking ropes in sensitive wildlife areas is not a good idea.

“We are lucky enough to have a wildlife presence in our own backyard that rivals national parks,” Laurie Smith, Snowmass Village animal services officer, said in a statement. “Protecting these species is so important that all four entities that manage our integrated trail system are working together to improve trail signage and public information on the seasonal closures.”

Wildlife monitoring cameras in 2017 revealed multiple closure violations by trail users, according to a statement from the town of Snowmass Village.

All violators were identified and cited. Stress and disturbance from humans can lead to abandonment of this critical habitat. Cow elk are recovering from winter and need to forage and nurse without disruption.

“It’s up to all of us — mountain bikers, hikers, or dog walkers — to respect these constraints to allow our local wildlife population to thrive,” Smith said.

The public is advised to honor closure gates and signs. Violators will be fined between $50 and $5,000

Please call Snowmass Village Animal Services at (970) 923-5330 with any questions or to report trail poachers.

New Prince Creek Climbing Trail Section Open!

The new Prince Creek (Climbing) Trail is open for business!

Consider this an upper extension of last fall’s access climbing trail on @pitkinost land and easements (parallel to paved portion of PC Rd).

This new trail was approved by BLM to reduce conflicts, and allows the lowest portion of Monte Carlo Trail to now be downhill direction only!

Due to current BLM land boundary, you’ll need to pedal up the road a short ways to find the new trail entrance on your left.

More signage is planned for the PC area trails in coming weeks to clarify these changes.

Big thanks to our volunteers, many of them RFMBA board members in this case, who helped get this trail open so early in the riding season! Special thanks to Bruce H. The Wood Doctor who crafted the new removable bridge over the ditch (to allow for annual ditch maintenance), and thanks to Lowe’s for some of the materials we needed!

Please Be Mindful of Muddy Trails & Seasonal Closures

Muddy Trails
As winter in the upper valley fades, and warm spring days have certainly arrived in the lower valley and beyond,  many of us are slowly turning our attention back to bikes and dirt trails.  

Mother Nature, however, may have other plans. Colorado’s weather has been known to be a bit two-faced.  When the weather turns this time of year, trails conditions can get ugly fast. Please do not ride overly muddy trails!  If your tires are leaving ruts and your feet sink into the ground the trail is too muddy.  Please don’t walk around the mud and off the trail – keep the singletrack single!.  Instead, turn around and choose an alternate route or come back when it’s had a day or more to fully dry out.

Seasonal Closures
It’s also a good time of year to be mindful of seasonal closures.  Having full compliance with official closures established by public land mangers, especially by mountain bikers, can make a big difference for wildlife during a sensitive time of year.  Respect for the closures also makes it easier for mountain bikers to retain access to the trails we love & to get approval for new and improved trails in the Roaring Fork Valley.

  • Speaking of Prince Creek, the portion of the Rio Grande Trail between Rock Bottom Ranch and Catherine’s Store Road that makes the Prince Creek Loop possible is closed until May 1st.
grandstaff trails

Come Celebrate the New Grandstaff Trail – Thursday, October 5th @ 12pm

Come on down to Glenwood Springs this Thursday October 5th to celebrate the completion of the newest Trail in town, the Grandstaff Trail. We’ll kick things off with a ribbon cutting. We’ll have a shuttle at the trailhead but feel free to hike or bike as well. If you plan on riding your bike, please park at the Glenwood Springs Rec Center and ride your bike over on the Olsen Trail. You can also download a map of the trail system which includes the location of the ribbon cutting ceremony.

In 2014 the Roaring Fork Mountain Bike Association (RFMBA) and Two Rivers Trails began planning for the future of local soft surface trail systems. The Glenwood Springs Area Concept Trails Plan was issued early in 2015, identifying opportunities and challenges to improve and expand the existing trail experiences. With local commission and City Council support, RFMBA embarked on creating the Red Mountain Trail Improvement Plan during 2015, including a series of public feedback meetings and surveys. Following approval of this plan, funding commitments were secured during 2016 to implement the project. Many people who learned about this project during the planning process became aware of the high return on investment that modern soft surface trails can bring, both for the health and wellness of local residents, and the economic benefits associated with increased visitation.

Thanks to the City of Glenwood Springs, Garfield County’s Healthy Communities Coalition, Alpine Bank, the Catena Foundation, and RFMBA’s supporters and members, project work finally started in early June of 2017. Progressive Trail Design, well known for successful trail projects in Aspen, Snowmass, Denver, and beyond, utilized a small crew to refresh two existing segments of trail while carving and sculpting the new rolling tread and turns now known as the Grandstaff Trail. With work starting at the top of Red Mountain, trail users have been enjoying the improvements and new trail as each segment was completed and opened to use by mountain bike riders, runners, and hikers. The completed Grandstaff Trail is a worthy destination for everyone who appreciates big views, flowing dirt and rocky tread, modern bermed turns, optional air time, and yes, a bit of effort to get a big reward.

Special thanks go to the good folks at Rof.net and Thirsty Corp. for their in-kind donations.  They provided a full water tank, pump, hose, and labor to get a bunch of the new berms watered and packed down in the midst of a dry August!

Most of the trail is in thick oak brush terrain, with occasional massive views of downtown Glenwood Springs, the Roaring Fork and Colorado Rivers, the Flattops and even Mount Sopris in the distance. Evidence of the Red Mt. Ski Area that graced the lower slopes of the mountain from 1938 to 1966 are evident with the chairlift towers that remain. The new trail actually goes under one of these bright orange steel tower structures, making for a unique photo opp. With intersection signage planned for Fall 2017, and new trailhead maps and kiosks planned for early 2018, Glenwood Springs will be fully ready to invite mountain bikers and trail lovers from near and far to enjoy this one of kind trail experience. Users new to the area can find the best mapping using the Grandstaff Trail on MTBproject.com.




 

Any visit to Red Mountain and this new trail is not complete without a visit to the highpoint and panoramic views a couple hundred yards east of the top of the trail. Nearby, a tall steel cross hints at the long and interesting life of William Grandstaff. Formerly known as Negro Bill of Moab, William Grandstaff fled red rock country after being falsely accused of cattle rustling. He lived out his days operating a saloon where South Canyon meets the Colorado River, serving miners in the area. He eventually sold the saloon and settled atop Red Mountain before passing in 1901.