The Hanging Lake Trail in the White River National Forest is closed indefinitely due to severe damage caused by debris and mudslides. NEWS9 reports many of the trails seven bridges were completely washed out by mudslide debris flows. Forest officials report the repairs are not minor and crews will have to completely rebuild trails. Lack of road access will make the rebuild difficult. Officials are also bracing for the possibility of more mudslides.
“The debris flows we saw in July are probably not the last we will see, so there could be additional damage in the weeks and months ahead.” –White River National Forest Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams
Support the White River National Forest
The Grizzly Creek Fire, which started as a small brush fire on August 10, 2020, has changed the landscape of the White River National Forest and its surrounding communities. While the flames have been extinguished on the fire’s 32,421 acre scar, the post-fire effects are now being seen on a daily basis. The fire severely impacted parts of one of Colorado’s beloved natural sites, Glenwood Canyon.
The massive debris flows in Glenwood Canyon that stranded motorists and closed Interstate 70 for weeks have decimated the beloved Hanging Lake trail system. The debris flows, triggered by heavy rain in the Grizzly Creek burn scar on July 29th, deposited over 16 million pounds of rocks, mud, and debris on the roadway. The highway has since reopened for limited through traffic, and the White River National Forest is assessing the damage to the recreation areas in the vicinity of the slides.
Most of the trail to Hanging Lake, a rare travertine formation that is a favorite destination of locals and visitors alike, was destroyed by the debris flows, along with several bridges. The White River National Forest needs your help to restore this special place. Restoration of the recreational areas impacted by the debris flows is critical to the local communities that steward these lands, as well as the small businesses and industries that rely on tourism, recreation, and healthy landscapes.
DONATE NOW to help the National Forest Foundation and the White River National Forest restore Glenwood Canyon and the Hanging Lake trail system. Together we will identify priority projects to address urgent, on-the-ground needs through investments from the White River National Forest Restoration Fund.
images from White River National Forest FB