Restoration work has continued throughout the summer and continues this fall within the High Park Fire burn area. Because of the work accomplished, some areas within the burn area are reopening.
The burn area is open, with a few exceptions. Young Gulch and Kruetzer trails have both opened for day-use only. These trails are still subject to intense flash flooding. Avoid these trails if rain is in the forecast and if caught on the trail in rain, head to higher ground.
Some additional areas within the burn area are open to day-use only, due to flash flood concerns. Please see the map for details and respect all signs. A map of the new closure and restricted areas is available online at www.fs.usda.gov (PDF).
Although these areas have reopened, safety concerns remain. Trees – in burned and unburned areas – can fall without warning. Rolling and falling rocks can also become a hazard in these areas where the soil is less stable. Remember, your safety is your responsibility. Be sure to check weather in case of flash floods and to check the status of Colorado 14 before heading out.
For safety and rehabilitation reasons, closures are still in place at the following locations:
· Old Flowers Road: Work was expected to have begun in September to repair this road. Check the road closure page at www.fs.usda.gov/goto/arp/roads for the latest.
· West White Pine Road: Remains closed.
· Monument Gulch Road: Remains closed.
· Skin Gulch: This closed area is located west of Stove Prairie Road between the road and the Cache la Poudre Wilderness. It has experienced multiple flash floods impacting the road.
· Mt. McConnel Trail: The east portion of this trail remains closed due to heavy damage.
The impacts of flash floods within the burn area can be significant. During the Sept. 6 rain storm, the water level of the Poudre River at the Pineview rock gauge rose from approximately 0.5-foot to more than 4 feet. Mud and rock slides came with rising water. Use extreme caution in the Poudre Canyon when rain is in the area.