Friday, April 24, 2009

Soggy trails mean closure warnings

Many south valley trails open

Express Staff Writer

Hikers and bikers are urged to heed trail closure signs like this one posted in Adams Gulch. Photo by David N. Seelig

Rising temperatures early this week have dried out some trails for hiking and biking in the Wood River Valley, but the Ketchum Ranger District is posting warnings to stay off muddy sections so trails will be in good shape for summer.

"If mud sticks to your tires or shoes, turn back," said Rene Catherin of the Ketchum Ranger District, who posts a trails report every Tuesday.

"Applying this rule and having patience this spring will pay off in a rut-free road and trail system and will save thousands of dollars of maintenance costs," she stated.

The best bet for now in Adams Gulch north of Ketchum is Sunnyside Trail to Lane's Trail, as an "out and back." All connector trails from Sunnyside and Lane's Trail leading down to Adams Gulch Road are closed because they are still wet. Adams Gulch Road is closed one-quarter mile beyond the trailhead to all vehicles and bikes.

Harper's Trail and the Porkchop section are partially open as a short out and back. Shadyside and Wanderers Way are closed. A very short section of Citizens' and Adams Gulch Trail are partially opened, but users should watch for trail closure signs indicating where to turn back.

As for Lake Creek trailhead and Hulen Meadows, only the "bench road" is open, leading from Lake Creek trailhead and connecting to the south with the Upper Hulen Meadows parking spot, and connecting to the north with the exercise station area en route to Fox Creek.

All connecting trails leading off the bench road are still closed.

As for Greenhorn Trailhead, only a ½ mile section of the east leg of Cow Creek is open. The best bet is to go up Limekiln Road (turn north off Greenhorn Road about 300 yards before the pavement ends.

Many trails in the south valley are clear, including Carbonate Mountain, many Quigley Canyon trails, and a portion of the Lamb's Gulch loop. Colorado Gulch Road is still closed at the top.

Tony Evans:

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