We have been flirting with Spring weather since early April and, just when you think Spring is really here, we have another brief return to winter. Enough is enough – I for one am yearning for the warm sunny days that we normally have and I think they are finally here. The snow might come again in spurts but hopefully last only the day and the warm sun will make short work of it. Time to get the garden going but don’t forget to protect those tender young plants until they can survive the cooler and even cold nights as well as the midday fierce sun. Thanks to nature’s bounty, there is water in Grand County, even where it isn’t supposed to be. More is trickling down from high country, and high country is loaded. The early purple Pasque flowers and blue Lanceleaf Chiming Bells are everywhere welcoming the sun earlier this week.
Be careful where the trails are still soft. We are so anxious to get out on those great single tracks but many of the single tracks are not ready for us. Bike tire tracks and footprints made in wet, soft dirt will last as ruts all summer. Please try to wait until the trails dry out before using them. Most road base areas like the Fraser to Granby Trail are in good shape. Call ahead for trail closures. Take time to help streams stay within their banks. Help by rearranging rocks or digging out silt from last season or removing a fallen tree or tree branch cogging the stream bed.
Here’s a couple of trail tips or reports from the US Forest Service Sulphur information desk in Granby:
- Doe Creek Trail is along the Arapaho Bay Road about three miles from Highway 34. Doe Creek West is fairly dry and hikable while Doe Creek Trail is very wet through the meadow. A hiker should be able to get very near the Strawberry West Trail. Watch for falling trees with the saturated soil conditions – periods of high winds will bring down more trees across the trails so alert.
- Monarch Lake – the last mile of road that goes up Monarch Lake opened May 7th. The Cascade Creek trail along the north side of the lake is passible up around 2.5 miles from the Monarch Cabin. Please climb carefully over fallen trees – do not create a side trail around the fallen tree. This keeps the areas alongside the trail from eroding and losing vegetation.
- Colorado River Trail should be mostly snow free although some may linger in shade areas. To get there, drive from Highway 34 on Cty Rd 66 / Green Ridge Road past the campground to the closed gate. Hike beyond the gate, along the road, to the AA Bar Ranch Barn where the trail begins. The Colorado River Trail goes one mile SE from the barn and to Columbine Bay of Lake Granby along the Colorado River.
Dogs are allowed on leash on this trail but Moose and other wildlife are often seen so keep a safe distance. Animals will be protecting their young – both male and female moose may become aggressive toward both dogs and hikers. If they do – you and your pet are in danger. Moose always have the right-of-way and they can move fast! Do NOT cross the river bridge at the AA Bar Ranch barn into Rocky Mtn National Park with pets.
Animals everywhere will be protecting their young. Please do not attempt to approach them, touch them, or feed them. Keep your distance as animal parents can turn on you or the young can be injured trying to flee. Be aware that many moose in our area carried ticks in their winter fur. As they shed that fur when bedded down (even in your back yard!), that area can become infested. Keep checking both your family and pets for ticks this year, even if it seems unnecessary.
Learn about trail maintenance techniques, wilderness ethics and regulations, crosscut and hand saw training and wildlife safety by attending the Colorado Public Lands Day Stewardship Workshop Training this Saturday 19 May at the St. Louis Creek Campground from 10am-4pm
Join Headwaters Trails Alliance, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, US Forest Service-Sulphur Ranger District, and fellow outdoor enthusiasts for this free workshop[ to learn more about the environment you play in and enjoy. Snacks and door prizes will be provided. Please RSVP for this workshop by calling HTA at 970-726-1013 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Annual Trails Night Saturday May 19
HTA Trails Night is the annual kickoff party to the summer trails field season. Join us at the Headwaters office in Fraser from 5-7pm on Saturday May 19th to learn about the upcoming 2018 trail projects and events from different government agencies and trail organizations. There will be a number of agencies and organizations giving updates on their projects and events including USFS-Sulphur Ranger District, Bureau of Land Management-Kremmling office , NPS-Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Grand County Wilderness Group, Grand Mountain Bike Alliance, and more! Refreshments and appetizers will be served.
Please RSVP by calling HTA at 970-726-1013 or emailing email@example.com Refreshments and hors d’oeuvres will be provided. Come learn how you can get involved.
Adopt -a-Trail is headed by Headwaters Trails Alliance operating with the US Forest Service and is the best friend of our county trails system. Grant writing by HTA has helped fund summer staff to head this ever expanding program because the concept is so beneficial and really works. People taking care of a specific trail are also cognizant of the need to take care of all our trails.Many more trails need attention. Please consider adopting your favorite trail by contacting Erica Bean, HTA Adopt-A-Trail Coordinator at GCadoptatrail@gmail.com or Meara McQuain at HTA 970-726-1013.