We know that everyone is very anxious to get to the high country trails and enjoy the cool and scenic atmosphere we find in the exciting and challenging single-track trail riding experience in and around the Rico/West Dolores Colorado trail system.
Fortunately and unfortunately the area received higher than average snowfall this season and many of the trails above 10,500 ft. are still partially blocked by large snow drifts and un-cleared downfall. The reports from the Forest Service trail crews are that a few riders (of which we believe are not associated with SJTR, PAPA or Timberline Trail-riders) are attempting to break through blocked trails by creating new routes around large downfall trees and blocking snowdrifts. This is just not the kind of behavior that we want to support as it can potentially harm the resource and may even encourage further bad trail use behavior.
So, we are asking all of our members and other single-track motorized riders either in or out of our region to take very seriously any decision to plan rides on currently snow and downfall blocked high country trails for a few more weeks. Yes, it often works out that small drifts can be ridden over or through without much difficulty. However, not properly clearing trees and making new tracks around them is not the behavior any of us wants to see. Riders of high country trails in the summer need to be fully prepared to clear downed logs or go directly over them until they can be properly cut out. The best for everyone though is to properly saw them out when encountered. If all of us dedicate ourselves and share with others the need to follow these behaviors, our trails can be properly preserved.
Thanks to everyone (and other riders you may coach) for making these trail riding considerations for the high country trails this season. As it stands, there are many trails at lower elevations in the Dolores Ranger district that have been cleared and ready for your riding enjoyment. Please contact the Dolores Ranger District in Dolores, CO. for more information. Tom Rice is the recreation specialist there and a great guy to talk to. He can be contacted at 970-882-6843 or cell at 970-749-6432 and ., on changing trail conditions in areas you may want to go. It is our hope that you have a great summer trail riding experience in the Dolores Ranger District should you plan to go there.
The San Juan Trail Riders Board of Directors