Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Romero Canyon Gets Dozed

As soon as I got the press release that some of the Front Country Trails might be open, I got out there. I haven't been on any of the FCT'S in over a week and a half and was starting to go through withdrawals. I headed out to Romero to do the 5.5 mile loop run and I thought maybe I had heard wrong when I pulled up to the trail head. There were three large semis almost blocking the road and a half dozen other fire fighting vehicles nearby. The Cal Fire guy waved me through and I asked if the trail was open. He told me yes, they had just finished and apologized that they may have ruined the fire road by plowing it. I told him not even a problem and thanks for all the hard work. Anything that is going to make the fire fight a little easier I am all for even though it may slightly change the landscape.

Heading up the fire road it was really powdered. Much more powdered than the last time it got plowed and much wider this time too. In fact it was almost wide enough for two cars to pass each other in some places. It is definitely still a 4x4 road but much smoother than the last time they plowed during the Zaca Fire. As I headed up the canyon trail it looked the same. It was the same until one spot about 1/2 mile from the cross-roads where rocks and debris from above have covered the trail. I cleared a bit of the smaller stuff away but a boulder the size of a desk is still on the trail. Other than that, the trail is virtually the same up to the fire road.

On the way down the road I could hear the dozers at the very top near Camino Cielo working. From what I could tell nobody had even been up there yet on bike or foot. As I headed down I ran into a few other hikers and cyclists trying this new road out. It will be some time before it is back to a hard packed tread again. After getting home I spoke with local ranger Kerry Kellogg who told me for the first time since the 1970's he drove the Romero Road again today. I was happy to have this trail back especially after seeing photos of Tunnel and Rattlesnake Trails in the Indy and the damage they sustained. Both these trails are going to need extensive repairs in the near future to become usable again. Dave

Parking Area?

The New Trail Head Masticator

Romero Canyon Trail Debris

More Debris

The Newly Widened Cross-Roads

Romero Highway

Another Happy Trail User- Note This Area Had Large Rock Slide Damage Before Last Week


Anonymous said...

When were you there? I drove by it at about 4pm and there were still large signs saying "Trail Closed"

Anonymous said...

Also drove by San Ysidro (Hot Springs, Cold Spring) and all said closed.

dave said...

I saw that today also, I believe there was a mix up in the press release and the action carried out by local fire. I sent you an email that explained it hopefully a little better. Shoot me an email if you have any more questions.