Horse Gulch Blog

Watchdogging for the greater Durango area

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Trail Review: Spur Line Trail and “skills area pump track” at Three Springs Community Park

11 Jun 2018 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

A new beginner trail in the subdivision of Three Springs has some fast, hard-packed dirt through a mosaic of gamble oak brush, and berms to help you hold the corners. Spur Line Trail, on Southern Ute Growth Fund Land, was built by Trails 2000 crew leaders and volunteers. Hogan Koesis, Purgatory Resort’s Director of Mountain Biking, assisted with machine work on the trail. To get there from Durango, drive east to Wilson Gulch Road, where you will eventually see the trailhead near the northeast corner…



Scenes from the bmx/mtn bike race at the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic

28 May 2018 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  


Jeff Hammerly lives at the homeless camp on La Plata County land.

Harassment on Ella Vita Court by drunk man from County homeless camp, Jeff Hamerly

26 May 2018 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

While riding my mountain bike up Ella Vita Court towards the Overend Mountain Park, a stumbling drunk man who I’d never seen or met before started talking trash to me. I later learned from the people where he lives at the County homeless camp that his name is Jeff Hamerly. He had a hiking stick, was wearing a black shirt with the sleeves cut off and a black visor for a hat. At about 4:30 when I was riding past him on Ella Vita Court…



Trail work on Mike’s Trail today, and this Saturday is a trash cleanup day at Cap’s Trail

16 May 2018 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

Today Trails 2000 did some trail maintenance at the top of Mike’s Trail–mainly drainage work and deberming. It’s really hard to work with dry, dusty soil and rock that doesn’t want to pack down. What Mike’s Trail needs is some rain so that we can put some berms on a few corners. You know? This Saturday, May 19, Trails 2000 is organizing people at 9:00 a.m. below the meadow in Horse Gulch to do some trash cleanup beside Cap’s Trail in honor of Colorado Public…



City officials ask board members to restrict their 1st Amendment right to free speech

13 Apr 2018 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

At an orientation meeting on Thursday, City of Durango officials asked the appointed members of its 21 boards to restrict their speech outside of board meetings. Several examples of speech that City officials asked the board members in attendance to restrict could be interpreted as free speech that’s protected by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. The First Amendment of the U.S.  Constitution lays out the right: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;…



Scenes of Durango Devo Flyers learning to fly, freeride mountain bike culture

10 Apr 2018 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

When you ride jumps or features on your bike in such a way that allows you to express style, that’s freeride mountain bike culture. Durango Devo Flyers teaches youth how to play this sport of using their mountain bike as a toy, and I support that lifestyle. Bikes are not just for transportation. Take pride in the sport. Love it. This post is a rare glimpse into the sport that’s here to stay in Durango. href=”″>


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$5,000 approved for closure of trails & meadow restoration in Overend Mountain Park

25 Mar 2018 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

A $5,000-dollar meadow restoration project that would also close trails at the top of Ned’s Hill in Overend Mountain Park was approved by the Natural Lands Preservation Advisory Board this month. I was the only Board member to vote against it; I don’t vote for trail closures without more confidence-inspiring alternatives that are less impactful. Impacts from this project would come in the form of trees, brush, and grass that would have to be removed to reroute the trail around the meadow. A map of…



Celebrating Healthy Communities’ abstinence message resembles that of D.A.R.E. program

12 Mar 2018 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

A forum on teenage marijuana use in Durango following legalization in Colorado offered a panel with teen’s perspectives, a marijuana business owner’s explanation of how underage sales are prevented, and a message from a marijuana opponent encouraging abstinence. Coalition Coordinator Breeah Kinsella, of Celebrating Healthy Communities, gave the last speech of the panel. She claimed that marijuana is addictive and talked about the importance of providing teens with accurate information about marijuana. She told the audience to avoid repeating the same failed efforts of the…



Camp host encampment on county land above Manna Soup Kitchen

28 Jan 2018 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  


Hermosa Creek Trail decision map

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

26 Jan 2018 | Posted by Adam Howell. 2 Comments  

The 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. It 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…


Incident Command post at Sam's Trees parking lot.

2 skiers caught in avalanche by Red Mountain Pass. R.I.P. Abel Palmer

22 Jan 2018 | Posted by Adam Howell. 2 Comments  

Right before starting my descent by Red Mountain Pass, I skinned past two skiers getting ready to descend from a spot where I had difficulty navigating from in the past. But I didn’t think that their run would end with one of them dead. So I just told them to have fun, and went to my drop point for Sam’s Trees, on skier’s right of the main draw. I would soon discover that those guys got caught in an avalanche in the other draw on…



Dozer work on Horse Gulch Road smooths out ruts

17 Jan 2018 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

A La Plata County dozer operator filled in ruts, regraded the tread, installed water bars, and widened Horse Gulch Road around the intersection below the Meadow Loop intersection, according to the County Engineer. La Plata County Engineer Jim Davis said that the work was done at the request of the City of Durango and Trails 2000. Reseeding was done following the regrading, said Leslie Jacoby, La Plata County’s Environmental Specialist. Reseeding disturbed soils with native grass seed is a common rehabilitation tactic among land managers…



Two new connector trails in Horse Gulch machine-built by Trails 2000

13 Jan 2018 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

Someone operating a mini excavator for Trails 2000 built two new connector trails that link Horse Gulch Road with Cuchillo Trail and the other to Meadow Loop. The photos below are in no rational order–for now. ” 



Scenes from a hut trip in the San Juans 01/06/2018

12 Jan 2018 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  



‘General public’ hiker confronted by Kristi Zink at Falls Creek Road off County Road 203

21 Dec 2017 | Posted by Adam Howell. 2 Comments  

Rhonda Brown was minding her own business one day where she parked along County Road 203 at the entrance to Falls Creek Road. She was leashing up her dog, getting ready to go on a hike up the public roadway that’s known to many locals as a trail. A local resident named Kristi Zink drives up, rolls down the window, and tells Brown that she cannot hike there, because it’s private property, said Brown. Brown, who’s been hiking the road for twenty years, said that…



Natural Lands Preservation Advisory Board approves two connector trails in Horse Gulch

4 Dec 2017 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

Two proposals from Trails 2000 to work on trails that connect Horse Gulch Road to Cuchillo Trail and the Meadow Loop Trail were approved by the Natural Lands Preservation Advisory Board this month. One would create a new connector trail from Horse Road to Cuchillo Trail, and would close the existing social trail connector to Cuchillo Trail. It would mostly be built with a mini excavator, according to Trails 2000’s Director, Mary Monroe Brown. The second approved project would consist of an aggressive maintenance and…



Court order gave prescriptive easement for public right-of-way on Falls Creek Road

20 Nov 2017 | Posted by Adam Howell. 6 Comments  

A married couple that owns a bike shop and a land-locked parcel by Falls Creek is defying a court-ordered prescriptive easement to open a public roadway on their property to the general public. Ed and Patti Zink currently own two Falls Creek parcels on the hill between Hidden Valley and Animas Valley by County Road 203 of around 41 acres. Many people know the Falls Creek Road as a trail. Because of its unimproved nature, it’s been a while since four-wheeled vehicles have driven on…



Racist epithets chiseled into beautiful arch near Aztec, New Mexico

18 Nov 2017 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

If you stumble upon someone chiseling in racist epithets to a stone arch, take a picture of them, and send it to Horse Gulch Blog. Then ask them to stop. There existence should not be that surprising, given the rampant mental illness that infects our society. Yet the symbols were still surprising to see. Either way, the arches are gorgeous and the process of finding them is kind of like an Easter egg hunt. Here’s a photo essay of what my friends and I call…


You can find Pedal The Peaks on the south side of College near the corner with Main Ave.

Pedal the Peaks bike shop to open a sister store and eventually, a shuttle service, in Silverton

3 Nov 2017 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

The current owners of Pedal the Peaks bike shop in Durango are opening a new shop in Silverton, where they will be moving most of their stuff from the Durango store. Cliff Pinto and Gary Bischoff are working to finish remodeling their new space up in Silverton, where they also hope to eventually get permitted to run bike shuttles in the high country, said Pinto. Pinto said that they plan to carry the same bike brands that they sold at their old store in Durango,…


Trail work on Telegraph Trail in Horse Gulch 10/3/2012.

City Board approves $25,000 POST tax funding for Trails 2000’s scope of services in 2018

29 Oct 2017 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

A $25,000 dollar payment to Trails 2000 from the Parks, Open Space and Trails fund for a broad scope of services was unanimously approved by the City’s Natural Lands Preservation Advisory Board this month. Starting in 2015, the City Council had been allocating money to Trails 2000 through through the Community Support Services branch of the General Fund. This year, the City Council requested that the Natural Lands Board “transfer” that same funding mechanism from the General Fund to the 1/4 cent 2005 Parks, Open…


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