Hike Bob: Partnership Ensures Popular Fourteen Stay Open | Hike bob
Just in time for the Fourteenth of Summer climbing season, a unique public/private/non-profit partnership has formed that will keep the popular “Decalibron Loop” open in Park County.
The loop, named after the four peaks it encompasses (DEmocrat, CAmeron, LIncoln and BRoss), was closed for a time during last year’s climbing season when private owners on three of the four summits expressed concerns about overuse and liability issues. Liability issues were eventually resolved, but overuse, as in much of Colorado, remains an issue.
The peaks, which surround Kite Lake near the town of Alma, are among the fourteen most accessible in the state and are popular with hikers who want to catch more than one peak in a single hike. According to the Colorado Mountain Club, there can be 300 to 400 hikers on the trail to the peaks on any given Saturday.
The town of Alma administers a Kite Lake trailhead access permit in conjunction with the US Forest Service. The proceeds were used to finance sanitation facilities, road maintenance and other costs. Under a new agreement with the Colorado Mountain Club (CMC), the “funds will also help cover trail maintenance, sign installation, visitor use tracking and quality monitoring. water,” according to a press release from CMC. CMC will also provide Trail Ambassadors at the trailhead to promote Leave No Trace principles, conduct hiker surveys, and install and monitor vehicle and trail counters, which will help the Forest Service plan for future capacity issues. .
Although “Decalibron” refers to the four private peaks surrounding Kite Lake, not all peaks are open for use. “It is important to note that the summit of Mount Bross remains closed to the public due to fractional private ownership,” says [CMC Conservation Coordinator Kendall] Dark blond. “We ask that climbers please respect the Mount Bross closure and stay on the permitted trail so we can maintain good relationships with private landowners and ensure the peaks remain open.”
Be wise. Do good things. Leave no traces.