Top 5 most-read stories last week: Tightening up dispersed campsites, bear scares, local drought might end soon
Stories in this list received the most page views on SummitDaily.com in the past week.
1. Bear scares in Summit County: An uptick in encounters makes residents worry about deadly consequences of improper food storage
Recently there have been multiple bear encounters in Summit County.
In both the Wildernest Village in Silverthorne and in Dillon Valley, two residents have reported bears within feet of their homes.
Kyle Walker grew up in Summit County and moved back in 2020. Walker said he’s seen many bears throughout his years here but never one this close.
Walker and his partner, AJ Gaddis, were cooking dinner at home July 29. Their home backs up to Tenderfoot Mountain, right outside of Keystone, and has windows on the first floor that open to the outside with no screens. Thinking nothing of it, they left the windows open while they cooked.
At around 8 p.m., Gaddis left through the front door to grab something out of their car. He thought he saw a large brown dog, a usual occurrence in their neighborhood, so Gaddis didn’t look too closely at the furry creature on their front deck.
— Eili Wright
2. Rangers crack down on dispersed camping at unofficial sites in Summit County due to crowding, environmental damage
The Dillon Ranger District will be closing unofficial dispersed camping sites in popular areas of Summit County and placing signage at official dispersed camping sites to help visitors better understand where they are allowed to camp.
Parking your car or trailer to camp at sites that are not marked with a tent symbol and site number will be illegal once designated sites are implemented. The Forest Service started requiring campers to use designated sites on Boreas Pass Road July 29. Designated sites will be implemented at Peru Creek on Aug. 26 and at Spruce Creek and McCollough Gulch starting Sept. 30.
The change is being made in an effort to help prevent wildfires and allow for better protection of natural resources, according to a U.S. Forest Service statement.
— Eili Wright
But for the people who have been in the area for more than 10 years, the summer of 2022 has left them in shock, remembering how the weather in the mountains used to be.
Holly Watts has lived in Clear Creek her whole life and has spent 20 years making the trip up to Loveland Ski Area.
The frequent rains have been a daily topic of conversation this summer, Watts said.
As a young girl, Watts remembered growing up with daily thunderstorms and has missed them these past few years.
She recalled what they were like in her youth. “It’ll be a nice hot, sunny day. And these big black clouds roll in, and there’s lots of thunder and lightning and it just downpours for half an hour, and then it’s gone. And everything is nice and cooled off.”
Watts joked that her mother used that time as an excuse to put her down for a nap. But by the time she turned 16, she noticed that summers got drier, and fire danger became more apparent. Soon enough, fires became a constant worry.
— Eili Wright
The Silverthorne Planning Commission approved the preliminary site plan for a new hotel for the third time Aug. 2, initiating the process to construct the 147-room Element Hotel by Westin on Meraly Way.
Commissioners initially approved the preliminary plans back in 2018, which outlined a 101,201-square-foot hotel with 114 rooms. According to previous Summit Daily News reporting, after looking at the cost of building it above a new parking structure, the developers at the time decided it wasn’t financially viable and adjusted the designs.
The plan returned to the commission and to council in 2019, and though many of the building features remained in line with the first submittal, the changes were significant enough for the developers to revisit council with an updated preliminary site plan for the proposed hotel, then envisioned to house 119 rooms.
— Eliza Noe
There are plenty of challenging mountain bike races across the state of Colorado. Many are known for challenging both the competitors’ physical and mental limits across 50 or 100 miles of biking.
However, maybe one of the most underground and challenging races in the state of Colorado is the Arapahoe Basin Reverse Enduro mountain bike race. Although the race only spans about 3 miles, the course is known to be extremely challenging.
Competitors are timed only by their ascent up the mountain on a mix of singletrack and an extra-steep dirt road. Participants start at an elevation of 10,780 feet at the base of Arapahoe Basin Ski Area and steadily climb to the summit of the mountain at 12,456 feet.
— Cody Jones
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