China Wall Trail system clean up and trail closure marking.
First off for those who used the trail system and camped over the July 4th holiday good job on keeping the trails clean!! I think we collected about 1 large bag of trash and most of it was old stuff. The camp sites were pretty well cleaned up and the trails looked really good.
We made it to the creek and stopped for lunch before we started marking the section closures. We had about 12 rigs and we parked to sort of block the lower sections going up the now unauthorized sections. We were getting ready to set signs when a large group of rigs was leaving the creek area and headed up the hill. Then as one driver crossed a washout we heard the sound of metal giving way to the forces of physics. Several guys from from our club rushed over to help get him out of the bind and started trail fixing the control arm mount that had broken. There was a lot discussion on how to fix it, and our guys even donated several ratchet straps to hold the rear end in place to help him get out. We later learned their group was able to get off the trail safely.
What an awesome group of folks we off-roaders are… here we are out there marking the closed area, another group suffers some breakage, and 3 or 4 guys from our crew stop what they’re doing to help a fellow off-roader to get home.
We were able to install posts, signs, and trees to mark off areas that the Forest Service has deemed unauthorized. We don’t want to be the trail buzzkills, but we are working with the Forest Service to achieve their vision for the trail, which includes keeping 95% of the trail open to four wheel drive use. This partnership is in part keeping the “wall” obstacle open, as well as some of our other favorite obstacles. We will see some areas closed but as long as people Stay the Trail and respect closures, the Forest Service won’t have reason to close the entire trail system!
That’s what we ALL need to start doing to help save our trails from closure. We need to Work together to save our trails. Yes there were some fun trail obstacles that are being closed and some are sections that are fun. But it’s only a few 5 minute sections and there are HOURS of obstacles there. If we don’t respect the requests from the Forest Service to stay the trails many trail systems could be closed, including China Wall. We know it’s the 1% of the drivers out there that are threatening trail systems all across Colorado; they’re ignoring the closures and making new trails outside the authorized systems. Those drivers threaten the trails systems by damaging our reputation and causing harm to environment.
Ways to help? If you belong to an off-road club make sure your club is involved in Forest Service trail management. If you know other off-roaders who aren’t involved encourage and educate them to start getting involved. You can do it without being harsh or insensitive.
If you don’t feel the need for a group, then make sure you know the trails systems restrictions and do your part to keep the trails clean. We all need to respect and help maintain the trail systems we enjoy; if we don’t someone will remove access to those areas.
For more pictures from our work day go HERE