Friday, July 2, 2021

Trail Openings in Rocky Mountain National Park - Rocky Mountain National Park News Release

Due To Efforts Of Many

Additional Trails In Rocky Mountain National Park Reopen After East Troublesome Fire Impacts

Additional trails have reopened in Rocky Mountain National Park, as park staff continue to address impacts from the East Troublesome Fire. Crews have removed down trees and replaced and repaired bridges and trail stabilization materials. Many bridges and replacement material, like pressure treated logs, were prefabricated over the winter. These items were flown in this spring to expedite re-opening of areas and limit further damage to the trails. Pressure treated logs are being used to rebuild burned staircases, retaining walls and turnpikes.  

On the west side of the park, the North Inlet Trail has reopened.   

On the east side of the park, the Fern Lake Trail has reopened, however the Spruce Lake Trail remains closed. The Mill Creek Basin area has reopened including the Hollowell Park Trail to Bierstadt Lake, as well as the Mount Wuh/Steep Mountain junction from the Cub Lake Trail.       

These specific trails experienced significant impacts during the East Troublesome Fire. Park visitors should be aware of additional hazards when recreating in these burn areas including: 

  • Burned-out stump holes where the ground may be weak and unstable  
  • Unstable dead trees, especially in windy conditions   
  • Loose rocks, logs and rolling debris  
  • Flash flooding and significant debris flow possible in burn areas 
  • Dry, hot conditions with little forest canopy to provide shade   

Ninety-four people are working in the park on repairing burn area trails this summer.  Fifty are Rocky Mountain National Park trail crew members, and four are from the National Park Service Southeast Utah Group.  Assisting the National Park Service include forty additional crew members; one crew is from the Rocky Mountain Conservancy Fire Corp, one crew from the Larimer County Conservation Corp and one crew from the Rocky Mountain Youth Corp based in Steamboat Springs.  

For the most current status of trails, including maps, please visit 

On Wednesday, October 21, the East Troublesome Fire ran approximately 18 miles before it moved into the west side of Rocky Mountain National Park, and then spotted approximately 1.5 miles from the head of Tonahutu Creek on the west side of the Continental Divide to the head of Spruce Creek on the east side of the Continental Divide.  Rapid evacuations took place in Grand Lake on October 21. Evacuations for the majority of the Estes Valley were implemented on October 22, as weather predictions forecast major winds on the night of October 23 through October 24 pushing the fire further to the east.  Firefighting actions and favorable weather on October 24 and 25, helped halt the major movement of the East Troublesome and Cameron Peak Fires.  

Approximately 30,000 acres or 9 percent of Rocky Mountain National Park has been impacted by the East Troublesome and Cameron Peak Fires.   

Rocky Mountain National Park’s non-profit partner, The Rocky Mountain Conservancy, is accepting donations to support the park’s future restoration efforts from this season’s fires 


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