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South Colony Road

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South Colony Road

Postby Alan Ellis » Fri Mar 26, 2010 7:21 pm

There is now a permanent closure of South Colony road at 2.6 miles past the lower TH/parking lot (approximately one-half mile past the Rainbow Trail marker). At the closure is a new gate and parking for about 30 vehicles. They also have new designated campsites along the road and are in the process of constructing designated campsites in the basin. The ranger also told me today that eventually, there will be a permit/fee system to access the South Colony area, but that is several years away.
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Re: South Colony Road

Postby RyanS » Sat Mar 27, 2010 12:50 am

Alan Ellis wrote:The ranger also told me today that eventually, there will be a permit/fee system to access the South Colony area, but that is several years away.


Sounds like we could have another YouTube video from Aaron Johnson in our future ;)
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Postby Alan Ellis » Sat Mar 27, 2010 1:12 pm

Correction: I think any fees will only apply to campsites, not access. But he said they were only in the "talking about it" stage at this point.
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Postby Clark_Griswold » Sat Mar 27, 2010 5:18 pm

I remember there being some issues with dispersed campsites when I was there in July of 2008, but I think a lot of that will decrease when people have to backpack in to camp once the road is closed. I saw mostly people driving up in big trucks and bringing all kinds of odd things with them. If you have to carry that a couple of miles who is going to want to bring it? It would be ashamed to see a back country area turn into a fee area.
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Postby Alan Ellis » Sat Mar 27, 2010 6:36 pm

Fees or not, this project has been a long time coming. South Colony basin is one of the most spectacular areas in Colorado, but the impact over the years has been significant. With these new controls, it will hopefully help return it to a relatively prestine state.
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Postby Alan Ellis » Tue Mar 30, 2010 1:40 am

One of the employees at the Forest Service office in Westcliffe sent me these pics today of the some of the new construction at the new South Colony Trailhead. Taken by the USFS in late fall 2009.


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New interpretive signs near the new TH.



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New footbridge over the creek crossing about a half mile above the Rainbow TH. Also shown is the new TH register for the new South Colony TH.
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Postby Doublecabin » Tue Mar 30, 2010 2:28 am

As much as I loved the cornucopia of barley pop rock crawlin' up there did for us a few times over the years this is indeed a very good thing. I'm against fees for backcountry camping and parking too. I never have had my Inter Agency Pass questioned for parking though.

Having seen what happened to the Gros Ventre in Wyoming I wondered if Wilderness designation would bring the Sangres unfortunate notoriety. Although Willow and many East side trails can get crowded there's still a lot of solitude in such a wonderful, narrow, rugged, and spectacular Range.

Thanks Alan.
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Postby Kane » Tue Mar 30, 2010 2:30 am

Im fine with it. Been up there enough to understand why the closure. That place has taken a beating in the past 10 years.
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Postby Kiefer » Tue Mar 30, 2010 4:54 am

The improvements are def needed but I'm sure gonna miss the ruggedness of South Colony Road like in the old days.
Kudos to the FS.
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