From Darkness To Light

26 Jan 2018

Final Hermosa Creek Plan allows bikes all year on Hermosa, Big Lick, and Elbert Creek Trails

Posted by Adam Howell

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The Hermosa Creek Watershed Management Plan was released today, and the San Juan National Forest decided that it will allow mechanized use of Hermosa Creek Trail, Big Lick Trail, and Elbert Creek Trail year round.

IMG_1138It will also allow the West Cross Creek Trail and the Cutthroat Trail to be sanctioned into the system trails once they have been worked on to a point of satisfaction as determined by the District Ranger.

Work that needs to be done on these two trails includes input and clearance work from specialists, realignment of segments, installation of water control structures, and other tread work, the report says.

The Cutthroat Trail will eventually be open to motorized type Class 1 e-bike travel, said the report.

Another component of the plan will allow mechanized and e-bikes in the non-system trails up at Purgatory.

Gary Derck, the former CEO of Purgatory Resort, and current CEO/President of Mountainsprings LLC, successfully lobbied the Forest Service to allow the resort to manage the trails at Purgatory under a special use permit without seasonal closure requirements. This could allow Purgatory to avoid closing any of its trails seasonally in the event that weather conditions allow users to ride bikes or ebikes there year round.

The Hermosa Creek Watershed Management Plan came as a compromise that if certain trails in the watershed were closed seasonally, that popular trails in the watershed like Hermosa Creek Trail, Big Lick Trail and Elbert Creek Trail would be open year round.

To see documents that the San Juan National Forest posted regarding this project, click here.

Hermosa Creek Trail decision map

Map courtesy of the Final Hermosa Creek Watershed Management Plan.

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2 Responses to “Final Hermosa Creek Plan allows bikes all year on Hermosa, Big Lick, and Elbert Creek Trails”

  1. So, is Cutthroat Trail the same as what some refer to as Seth’s Trail? From Upper Hermosa corral, via single track, to backside of Purg?



  2. It sounds like the same trail, but I’ve never heard it called anything before the Forest Service started looking at it.

    Either way, it sounds like the Forest Service wants to do some modifications to it before they add it to the system trails and allow people to start riding it.


    Adam Howell

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