Vail Daily letter: Don’t mess with trail
October 10, 2016
Whoever is messing with Two Elk Trail downstream from the bottom of Chair 5, please stop. The trail has been cleared of vegetation, widened, groomed out and the rock gardens filled in. Hikers don't need a wider, groomed-out trail; it has been satisfactory for decades. I can only assume that it was done to "benefit" bikers using the trail. Two Elk is a wild trail that is technical by nature — one of the few left in the valley. Two Elk doesn't need to be vanilla-fied like the many groomed trails in the valley. The vegetation overgrows the trail; the rocks stick out and grab your pedals. The rock gardens eat your chainring and tweak your rotors and derailleur. One usually pops out in Minturn bruised and bleeding, but it's usually a ride to remember. Whoever is enhancing the trail might think they're helping, but maintaining a trail means you restore it to its original status. Yes, a few of the soft shoulders need tending to, but 95 percent of the maintenance changed the nature of the trail. Only about a quarter mile of the trail was messed with so far. Hopefully the rest doesn't get ruined in the future.