Hikers looking to complete the Continental Divide Trail this year may have just been dealt a significant blow, as a recent rockslide on a portion of the trail in the San Juan Mountains has been wiped out by a rockslide.
Esther Godson, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Forest Service, said a rockslide near South River Peak has covered about 30 feet of the trail, creating significant exposure and instability as the slide continues to shift.
The Forest Service, as a result, is “strongly advising trail users to avoid this section of trail.”
“The section of trail is completely impassable for (livestock) users and very dangerous for hikers,” she said in a statement.
The Continental Divide Trail is an ambitious 3,100-mile trek for thru-hikers that follows the U.S.’s continental divide across five states: Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico.
The closure near South River Peak is west of Wolf Creek Pass, just north of the Weminuche Wilderness.
Godson said Forest Service crews will not be able to fix the trail this year because of its location, the expected continued shifting and the potential growth of the rockslide.
“Signs will be posted at common access points and trailheads to this area,” she said.
Godson said there are a few National Forest System trails in the area that thru-hikers could use as alternate routes.
“However ... they are limited and would create wide detours,” she said.