Horse Gulch Blog

Watchdogging for the greater Durango area

15 Oct 2014

Durango Fire and Rescue to Parks and Rec Director: Repair Horse Gulch Road for trucks

Posted by Adam Howell


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A captain and the chief of Durango Fire and Rescue have asked the City’s Parks and Recreation Director to repair the access to Horse Gulch Road to ensure a timely and efficient response by rescue personnel in the event of a fire or medical emergency.

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Take a guess on where this photo was taken.

Chief Daniel Noonan and Captain Leo Lloyd of Durango Fire Protection District sent a letter to Durango’s Parks and Recreation Director Cathy Metz asking for the repairs, while outlining the historical recreational uses of the road.

They said that a majority of the rescues have been in proximity to the middle and southern end of Horse Gulch Road. Firefighters have also contained most of the fires in the Gulch to a single tree due to the historically faster access that they’ve have through Horse Gulch Road, they said.

Historically, La Plata County has owned Horse Gulch Road, as County Road 237, although in recent years the City of Durango has acquired most of the parcels in the gulch, and has even annexed the open space through which the road runs through.

Durango’s Natural Lands Preservation Advisory Board was debating the future of Horse Gulch Road at their meeting Monday.

Board Member Paul Wilbert said that there are already two access points for emergency responders, with one being off of Ewing Mesa Road, and the other being at the most westerly end of County Road 237 where it is gated off to vehicles.

“How much easier would it be to just put a trail in there,” asked Wilbert. “Maybe we need to look at those alternatives for emergency vehicles coming in those other two ways as a possibility.”

This blogger and Board Member Mark Smith said that the lower part of the road would never be sustainable as a road due to its existence in the bottom of a steep, narrow, rocky canyon that’s bound to flood again. As such, any road base added to the existing road would be likely to wash away after another heavy rainfall.

In response to requests to keep Horse Gulch Road as a trail only, Assistant Community Development Director Kevin Hall brought up the aforementioned letter.

Letter from DFRA to Parks and Recreation Director 9-25-14

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