Summit County trails update: some are ready, most are not
The temptation to get out and explore the trails of Summit County is always there, but as always, explorers should be careful not to access trails that haven’t dried completely.At this point, only a handful of trails are dry, leaving the paved bike paths as a rider’s first option to get into biking shape. With the ability to walk over snow banks or through mud puddles, hikers can access more trails than bikers, but if a trail is muddy, a hiker can still damage it. By riding or hiking on a wet trail, a person can incise the tread, causing ruts to form where water will accumulate instead of drain off, as it would naturally. On singletrack trails, people are advised to go through mud puddles instead of around them so they don’t widen the path, but oftentimes it’s better to just turn around.Scott Reid, the resource specialist for Summit County’s Open Space and Trails department, gave just a few options for riders looking to get off the paved path.”The biggest challenge for the trails is water,” he said. “The Oro Grande Trail, east of Dillon, is dry; the loop around Old Dillon Reservoir is ridable; Gold Run Gulch is pretty dry; and the lower and middle flumes at the Upper Blue Basin are dry, but the upper flume is not.” Reid still wants people to see for themselves, though.
“Go out and explore,” he said. “But if you encounter snow or wetness, you have to make yourself turn around.”Great Adventure Sports manager Chad Hanley said the rental shop is sending most of its customers to the paved bike paths. “Right now we’re sending them up on the flume trails, but 80 percent of our customers use the paved paths,” Hanley said. “People are still leaving town if they want to go mountain biking.”The Colorado Trail – one of the more popular in the county – is still not completely dry. Riders and hikers should watch out for what Reid called a “muddy quagmire” that will stay there all summer if they don’t use precaution on the trail.While the Peaks Trail is mostly dry, it still has some snow banks remaining.Check out the Summit County Bike Guide for more information about trails in the area.
Andy Frame can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 236, or at firstname.lastname@example.org box:Trails are still drying. Here are some of the accessible mountain paths and some that are still off-limits.Trails ready to ride, run or hike on:
Oro Grande TrailUpper Blue Basin’s lower and middle flumesGold Run GulchOld Dillon ReservoirTiger Road
Off-limits:Colorado Trail (at higher elevations)Upper Blue Basin’s upper flumeBoreas PassThree Forks of the SwanKeystone Gulch
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