Two weeks after the devastating floods destroyed thousands of homes and miles of trails within Boulder County’s Open Space and Mountain Parks the OSMP has been diligently surveying the damage to prioritize which trails can be reopened and when.
Early estimates of the damage total more than $17.6 million.The rangers are doing their best to determine which trails can be opened. While trails built within the last 10 years up to new standards with sustainability and water run off in mind survived fairly well, older trails like those built by the early the Chautauquan women, which often times just followed game trials, didn’t survive as well.
“The landscape in some places is vastly different than before the flood. its going to take a long time to figure out how this effects the natural species, ” said Jennelle Freeston, Coordinator of Volunteer Services, City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks during a volunteer day at the South Boulder Creek.
Mudslides have taken down entire hillsides. Roads have buckled under the tremendous force of the water. Mertz shows us a 25-foot canyon where the water came rushing down from the Flatirons.
“Two weeks ago, this did not exist,” Mertz said. “This drainage was carved out in one night starting at about 10:30.”
Read more on Channel 9 News.
As trails begin to open, rangers and officials warn trail users to use caution as parts of trails are unstable, or washed away. Please use at your own risk.
Open Trail Systems
- Wonderland Lake Loop
- Mt. Sanitas area trails with the exception of the Sanitas Valley
- Red Rocks/Sunshine Canyon – Anemone Trail and Centennial Trailhead remain closed
- A portion of Chautauqua and Enchanted Mesa area trails
- North and South Fork Shanahan Trails
- Boulder Valley Ranch, Eagle, Lefthand, and Foothills Trailheads
- Teller Farm:The East Boulder Trail from Arapahoe to Valmont / East Boulder Trail – Gunbarrel Farm
- Cottontail Trail in East Boulder
South of Boulder
- Marshall Mesa, Greenbelt Plateau, Flatrions Vista
The list of newly opened trails can be found on the City of Boulder’s website: https://bouldercolorado.gov/pages/osmp-trails9-21 or follow them on twitter @boulderosmp. You can also get up to date trail information by following #BoCo_trails.
Boulder OSMP soon hopes to take small groups of visitors up into the closed areas so they can see first hand of the damage and get the word out about the damage.
So far there have been three opportunities for the community to contribute to help open trails. Small groups have started working on the Royal Arch Trail, Wonderland Lake loop and wetland and trail restoration at South Boulder Creek Trailhead just west of Highway 93.
View upcoming volunteer projects at https://bouldercolorado.gov/osmp/volunteer-program or get on the email list at OSMPVolunteer@bouldercolorado.gov