The San Juan National Forest has temporarily closed four miles of the Calico Trail (Forest Trail No. 208) from its northernmost trailhead where the trail intersects Forest Road No. 471, to protect the trail and adjacent meadows from damage from persistent wet conditions from this year’s deep snowpack.
“This action is necessary to prevent continued damage to the trail and creation of new routes around the rutted trail in adjacent delicate meadows,” said Derek Padilla, San Juan National Forest Dolores District Ranger. “Unfortunately, a voluntary closure last year failed to stop some recreationists from using the trail in wet conditions, and both the trail and wetlands were severely damaged.”
This portion of the trail will be temporarily closed to all visitors, including pedestrian, horse, mountain bike and motorcycle use. During this time, the District will further assess the situation and design mitigation measures to repair the area and prevent future damage. The remaining portions of the Calico Trail, located approximately 15 miles northwest of Rico, will remain open and accessible from the East and West Fall Creek trails (San Juan National Forest Trails Nos. 640 and 648).
Winter recreation over snow, both motorized and non-motorized, will not be affected by the closure. Other exemptions include federal, state and local officers or members of organized fire and rescue operations in the performance of official duties; and Forest Service maintenance crews. Signs will be posted notifying visitors to the area of the closure. Violators risk fines up to $5,000 for an individual or $10,000 for an organization, and up to six months imprisonment.
For more information, please contact the Dolores Ranger District, 970-882-7296.