Horse Gulch Blog

Watchdogging for the greater Durango area

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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. No Comments  

Right before I dropped in to Sam’s Trees 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 these guys got caught in an avalanche in the…

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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…

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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. ” 

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

12 Jan 2018 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

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‘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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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,…

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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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Big Bend Bridge

My letter to Forest Service: Avoid violating ‘Share the Trails’ policy, and money wasting bike ban

22 Oct 2017 | Posted by Adam Howell. 2 Comments  

Dear Objection Reviewing Officer and Forest Supervisor Kara Chadwick, This letter includes my formal objection to the Draft Decision Notice for the Hermosa Creek Watershed Recreation and Travel Management Project. Specifically, I object to the decision to implement a seasonal closure to mechanized travel from November or December to May 1st of every year on various trails throughout the Hermosa Creek Watershed Management Area. For the most part, these lands have been sustainably managed in an environmentally-friendly fashion for decades while allowing for bikes to…

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Scenes from a weekend in Moab

15 Oct 2017 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

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Who knew that Aztec, New Mexico has immaculate arches? and this tree swing?

9 Oct 2017 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

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Photo essay of new signage on a non-congested Animas River Trail

5 Oct 2017 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

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Animas Mountain Map

This blogger’s comments on trails in the Travel Management Plan for Animas Mountain

29 Sep 2017 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

This following excerpts are from my personal comments on the Travel Management Plan for Animas Mountain. Please read them and feel free to use them as your own in the BLM’s public comment system. Horse Gulch Blog: land, trail and mountain bike access advocate This route #3207 is called The Loam Zone. Some berms or short reroutes on Loam Zone could help improve the flow of the trail for those that want to minimize their pedaling while descending. Please support the idea of adding turns…

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Comment by October 1 on trails in Travel Management Plan for Animas Mountain

24 Sep 2017 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

The BLM is asking the public to comment on trail routes on Animas Mountain that were recently inventoried. Some of the newer ones are social trails. Dome to the Loam, Loam Zone and The Merv are popular new trails on the west side of Animas Mountain, which the public should comment on. Routes 3207, 1804 and 1805, should be adopted with attempts made to keep Dome to the Loam and Loam Zone (3207) out of drainages. Some berms or short reroutes on Dome to The…

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Big Bend Bridge

Object by Oct.24 to proposed seasonal bike closure in Hermosa Watershed Area

15 Sep 2017 | Posted by Adam Howell. 2 Comments  

All trails in the Hermosa Creek Watershed Management Area would be closed to mechanized and motorized use from December through April if a new Decision Notice signed by the Forest Supervisor is finalized. An objection period to the seasonal closure is underway until Oct. 24th. Alternative 2 was chosen by the San Juan National Forest Supervisor Kara Chadwick. On the brighter side of this decision, bikes would be allowed on Big Lick Trail as well as West Cross Creek Trail (Stagecoach Trail) outside of the…

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Next time you’re in Horse Gulch coming off of Raider Ridge, ride Cap’s Trail instead of the road

2 Sep 2017 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

Cap’s Trail in Horse Gulch just got rebuilt and is ready to ride. Ride down it on a short lunch time ride from Horse Gulch Road. It’s probably about a mile long. For a longer ride coming off of Raider Ridge from Medicine Trail or Sugar Trail, connect to Cap’s, which parallels below Horse Gulch Road. From Horse Gulch Road, it’s about half a mile up from the bottom of Medicine Trail, where there’s a rock cairn marking the trail that goes down towards the…

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Derek on Cap's Trail

Help build a jump this Wednesday from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. at Cap’s Trail in Horse Gulch

14 Aug 2017 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

You are invited to help build a tabletop jump on Cap’s Trail in Horse Gulch this Wednesday. Tools and guidance will be provided by me, Emma and Derek of Trails 2000. All you need to do is hike or bike up to Cap’s Trail, which is just up the Horse Gulch Road from the signage below the Meadow Loop. Take a right into the grass and oak brush just 100 feet up the hill from the trail map. If you intend to hit the jump…

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Hogan Koesis Headshot

Press release from Purgatory Resort: Mountain Bike Director hired for trails, events, races

10 Aug 2017 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

The following is a press release from Purgatory Resort’s Media Contact Kim Oyler regarding the hiring of Hogan Koesis, who was previously employed at the Angel Fire Bike Park. Mountain Bike Director Hired for Purgatory Resort, Pajarito Mountain and other Mountain Capital Partners Resorts! Bike Trail Assessments, Improvements, New Events & Races Planned for Resorts! Durango, Colo. –  Officials with Mountain Capital Partners (MCP) announced the appointment of Hogan Koesis as its new Mountain Bike Director for its collection of resorts, including Purgatory Resort, Pajarito Mountain, Arizona Snowbowl, Sipapu Ski & Summer Resort, and Hesperus Ski…

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