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Temporary closure of McCullough Gulch Road and McCullough Gulch Trail will allow for cleanup and habitat restoration
Contact:White River National Forest Dillon Ranger DistrictKate Jerman: 970-945-3271Paul Semmer: 970-262-3448
DILLON – The McCullough Gulch Trail (No. 43), south of Breckenridge, will be closed to all users beginning Sept. 6 to allow for removal of an unauthorized bridge and debris in the drainage. The McCullough Gulch Road (County Road 851) and McCullough Gulch Trail will be closed at the intersection of Blue Lakes Road ( County Road 850).
The closure will be in effect from Sept. 6 to Oct. 1, Monday through Friday, for both motorized and non-motorized users. Hikers will be allowed on the road and trail on weekends. There will be no vehicle access on McCullough Gulch Road to the Wheeler Trailhead during the closure, but hikers and mountain bikers will be allowed on the road and trail on weekends, with access to the Wheeler Trail (No. 39). Access to Quandary Peak Trail will remain open during this time.
“In 2014, a bridge over McCullough Creek was constructed without authorization and damaged the streamside habitat,” Dillon District Ranger Bill Jackson said. “This effort will restore the damaged wetland area back to its natural state, which is important for habitat. We realize this may cause some inconvenience – thank you for your patience while we are working in the area.”
Forest Service and Colorado Department of Corrections crews will begin working in the area on Sept. 6 by mobilizing equipment and materials for the bridge removal and revegetation of the disturbed area. Due to the topography in the area, there are no viable options for a detour on McCullough Gulch Trail while construction is taking place.
The Forest Service regrets any inconvenience the road and trail closure may cause Forest visitors. The public is urged to exercise caution when traveling any road or trail on the White River National Forest and to respect all road closures where construction activities are taking place.
“These temporary road closures on our county roads ultimately affect both residents and visitors of Summit County,” Summit County Sheriff Jaime FitzSimons said. “The Summit County Sheriff’s Office supports this cleanup effort, and during the temporary closure, we will work in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service to ensure public safety.”
While McCullough Gulch Trail is closed, hikers and backpackers are encouraged to visit other trails in the area, including the nearby Spruce Creek/ Mohawk Lakes trail system just 5 miles north of McCullough Gulch. For more information about alternative backpacking and hiking opportunities, contact the Dillon Ranger District Office at 970-468-5400, or stop by during business hours Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“This is a great project that supports our collective efforts to improve recreational access and habitat protection in the McCullough Gulch area,” Summit County Open Space and Trails Director Brian Lorch said.