My Trail Reviews (12)
(within last 6 months)
The sand dunes are open and free of snow. Considerable snow is still present in the mountains to the east of the dunes, but the dunes are open. There were quite a few campers, ATVs, and side-by-sides in the area for the weekend. It seems that people are needing to get outdoors.
Had contact with the US Forest Service who advised that Kelly Flats was still closed because of snow and wet conditions. This next week is slated to be unusually warm. We'll see what that does for the trail conditions. Maybe next week.
The trail to Waypoint 5 is in the sun and free of snow for the most part. The rest of the trail is still heavily burdened with considerable snow. It will be a while before this one opens.
This is one of the first trails in the Northern Colorado Foothills to open for a spring time drive of camp outing. The trail was in great shape. Heavy rain the night before made the trail a little muddy and slick in a few spots. We ran across only one other vehicle on the trail. The weather was perfect for the trip. Because recreational shooting is not allowed on the SWA, camping is quiet and comfortable. This trail is not difficult for an experienced off-road driver, but it is a great opportunity for and inexperienced driver to test their muster and take in the beauty of this area.
When most other Colorado Trails are still closed, the Cherokee Park SWA is at least open. This is one of the earliest opening spring time trails in Northern Colorado. The road was rutted in a few places due to a recently melted spring snow storm. The benefit was that the trail was not dusty at all. The rocky spur at Waypoint 3 was the most enjoyable part of the trail. At the end of this spur, the old road was clearly visible down by the North Fork Poudre River. This section has been closed for some time now and doubtful if it will ever open again.
It is still early in the spring for trails along the the Pingree Park Road. Camaan Springs Road was in great shape and free of snow. There were a few areas water and mud on the trail, but easily passable without difficulty. The nearby Quigley Mountain to the south, still has snow visible. The camping season for this area has begun as we saw several camps established.
The USFS has closed Seven Mile for the remainder of the spring. This closure is normal and lasts through the snow melt runoff. The trail usually open again on June 15.
We ventured out to get an idea of how the snow pack was fairing with the recent rise in spring temperatures. The Northern Colorado Rockies have had 120% of normal snow fall this season and it could be a while until trails open. Crown Point Road is a route that remains impassible until late spring or early summer. We were able to get a few hundred yards past Waypoint 6 before the wet, heavy snow politely asked us to stop. The first few miles of the trail are extremely muddy with some packed snow and icy conditions. Everything is wet, muddy or snowy along Crown Point Road and it could be quite a few weeks before any camping is an option in the vicinity.
Took a drive to the trailhead today knowing it was closed for the season. I wanted to get an idea of how much snow this area gets during the winter. I suspect it will not open until July-ish.
On Sunday, 01-26-20, a couple set out for an afternoon adventure on Cherokee Park Road. Just past Waypoint 17, they got their Ford Pickup stuck in a snowdrift near the old homestead ranch. There is no cell coverage in this part of the back country. No one knew where they were and they could not call for help.
They spent the night in their truck, stuck in the northern Colorado Rockies. They were miles from the closest help. Eventually, one of the parties decided to walk for help while the other remained at the vehicle. But there would be another night spent in the wilderness before searchers found the vehicle. Unfortunately, the party who left on foot was not the one who summoned help and was now lost and in danger. Search and Rescue team found both parties by Tuesday. Frost bite, hypothermia, and exposure forced one of the parties to be hospitalized. Both survived the 2 night ordeal but left their vehicle abandoned on the trail.
On Wednesday, members of the Mountaineers, a local Fort Collins 4x4 group, responded to the area to recover the vehicle. Despite additional snow in the area, the team was able to reach, free, and escort the vehicle back home.
The trail remains impassable.
What a great day to finish Seven Mile. A couple feet of snow this season so far and it was snowing heavily today. We met up with a couple of other wheelers on the trail. The water crossings were not to difficult yet, but the ice was beginning to build on the edges. There was a snow drift at the Stump Hill fork (waypoint 8) where we had to offer a little tug on a stock 4-runner to free him from the snows grasp. Having a little lift and some larger tires is advisable with the snowy conditions right now.
The Swamp Creek area has received about 2’ of snow, so the snow wheeling is prime. This is the USFS Christmas tree cutting area and today was the first day for harvest. The Forest Service had some trail restrictions for the weekend but the area should be unrestricted next weekend. If you like snow wheeling, now is the time to go.