It’s that time of year in the upper Roaring Fork. The snow is melting quickly, but some of our favorite trails are off limits for a couple more weeks in some cases and all the way through the summer solstice in others. We ask that all mountain bikers respect seasonal trails closures because it’s the best policy for our local wildlife. As a side benefit, the more these closures are respected by riders and other trail users, land managers can become more likely to approve new trail projects.
Sky Mountain Park (Airline, Cozyline, Skyline Ridge, Viewline, Deadline, & Ditchline) + North Rim Trail (north of Sinclair Rd.) + Glassier Open Space. Seasonal wildlife closure for all of these areas is in effect Dec. 1 through May 15. Get out for a ride on Saturday, May 16 to enjoy opening day on Aspen/Snowmass’ new favorite riding area (SMP), the full Rim Trail, or go check out Glassier Open Space.
As the snow continues to melt, the elk herds migrate to the higher elevation areas of the Government Trail + Buttermilk Bowls Trail (west of the Buttermilk ski area boundary). This area is seasonally closed May 15 through June 20 for elk calving season. As part of this closure, most of the Tom Blake Trail is closed April 25 through June 20. Enjoy the full Gov’t trail on Sunday, June 21.
Why obey closures? This video by White River National Forest Biologist Phil Nyland tells the story quite well. Click play for the learn’n, but watch to the end for the great game camera footage of cute & wild critters along the Gov’t Trail.
While most of us wouldn’t consider riding in the areas during the closures, here’s a reminder… Don’t be like this guy, getting caught on camera lifting his bike over a closure gate! Want to know more about seasonal closures? Check out this Aspen Times article from last week.