Trail closures in effect in Holy Cross Ranger District
MINTURN — Every spring on the Holy Cross Ranger District of the White River National Forest, there are several trail closures that may alter hikers’ plans.
The closures are there for the protection of wildlife during the sensitive birthing period and to protect soils, vegetation, watershed and fisheries during the mud season. The Forest Service asks that you respect the following closures out of concern for our natural environment. These closures are for all recreation activities including foot, horse and bicycle travel.
This year’s closures include:
• The North Trail (No. 1896) in Vail, closed from April 15 to June 15;
• Son of Middle Creek Trail (No. 2136), closed from May 1 to June 15;
• Paulie’s Plunge (No. 2349) and Paulie’s Sister(No. 2350), accessed from Beaver Creek ski area, closed from May 1 to June 30;
• Eastern Hillside (No. 2347), near Eagle-Vail, closed from December 1 to July 1;
• Whiskey Creek (No. 2348), accessed from Meadow Mountain in Minturn, closed from December 1 to July 1;
• Back Bowls and Blue Sky Basin, including a large section of the Two Elk Trail (No. 2005), closed from May 6 to July 1.
The primary reasons for the trail closures are elk calving and migration. Spring is a sensitive time of year for pregnant and nursing females. The Colorado Division of Wildlife has determined that minimizing human disturbance with seasonal trail closures gives the animals time and space to nurse calves until they are strong enough to move with the herds.
Muddy trail conditions are another important reason for seasonal closures. Riding, hiking, running or horseback-riding on muddy trails can cause significant damage to trails that can be difficult and expensive to repair.