Don’t blindly follow your GPS: Sylvan Lake State Park staff offers winter route advice
EAGLE — Just because a GPS system recommends it, doesn’t mean it’s the right way to travel.
The staff at Sylvan Lake State Park near Eagle highlighted this fact with a recent case in point.
When motorists along Interstate 70 initiate a search for the shortest route to Ruedi Reservoir, their GPS may advise Crooked Creek Pass. During warm weather months, it’s a viable alternative. In the winter, not so much.
“GPS will tell people to come up this way, and that’s fine in the summertime, but in the winter, the Forest Service doesn’t plow the road above the lake,” said Sylvan Lake State Park Supervisor Michael Wall. “It’s very clear the road isn’t open when they get here, it just isn’t clear on GPS.”
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After making the trip through Eagle and out Brush Creek Road only to be confronted with a road that is not maintained above the lake, motorists turn around and often make their way to the Sylvan Lake State Park Visitor Center. That’s when they learn that no, they didn’t miss a turn, but rather that their GPS has given them some bad advice. During the winter, the only route to Ruedi is via Colorado Highway 82, south of Glenwood Springs.
Wall said a handful of misguided motorists convinced the Sylvan Lake State Park staff to turn to social media to share the message that Crooked Creek Pass isn’t open in the winter. The team took a bit of ribbing when they accidently misidentified Highway 82, but after their mistake was pointed out, they good-naturedly corrected their post and shared the correct info.
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It’s fitting that Eagle County is proceeding through its reopening phases of COVID-19 in an analogy to ski run difficulties — green to blue to black. Monday marks the transition from the green beginner phase to the blue intermediate phase.