Teller County June 6th 2017:
One of the prime recreation hubs for Teller County residents and visitors outside Divide will remain closed indefinitely due to access problems.
According to the regional office of the U.S. Forest Service, work still has to be completed on Forest Service Road 383, making access to the popular Crags area next to impossible.
The Crags is a popular hiking area, which also offers the most direct route up Pikes Peak, via the Devil’s Playground. It also provides a dog-friendly spot for picnicking, hiking and doing a variety of outdoor activities, along with offering one of more panoramic views of the region.
Visitors are often directed to the Crags by local outdoor experts and chamber officials due to the mild terrain. Unfortunately, the Crags area also features a number of calls by stranded and lost hikers who underestimate the altitude and conditions.
Access to the Crags, located south of Divide, has always been a challenge with reports of stranded cars and trucks abounding. And in the last year, the road to the Crags has posed even more problems due to falling trees. The road has been hampered by hundreds of beetle-killed trees that must be removed.
According to a report in The (Colorado Springs) Gazette, no date has been provided for the road reopening, as Forest Service officials say that much maintenance work still has to occur..
The road was opened in late June last year after a previous closure to do work around the campground and trailhead. In January 2017, the road was shut again. The work that occurs now, dealing with more than 1,000 dead trees, is wider in scope than the contract of a year ago, according to a report in The Gazette. It could take about four years to do the entire tree removal project.
However, Forest Service officials had previously announced plans to reopen the road around Memorial Day this year. That date, though, is being pushed back.
When the road does reopen, no camping will be permitted on the Forest Service route. Camping, though, will be allowed to continue inside the Crag campground area, which offers 17 sites.