Thursday, January 28, 2010

West Fork Of Cold Spring Trail Gets An Unexpected Makeover

West Fork of Cold Springs may have substandard trail conditions due to recent storms- hike, bike, and ride with care.

The series of storms last week dumped over 4 inches of rain also turned West Fork of Cold Spring into a flood channel. Having hiked, run, and biked this trail dozens of times over the years I felt like I knew the trail pretty well. Not any more! The trail has changed pretty significantly since the last series of storms hit. Much of the trail that paralleled the dry creek between the CS Water Tunnel and Tangerine Falls is now gone or in poor shape. The trail beyond the water tunnel is in pretty good shape except for several areas where washouts have occurred.

The large amount of water cleared and widened the canyon floor and deepened the once shallow dry creek bed. The water level along the walls of the canyon show flows as high as six+ feet and widened the creek to around 50 feet in places. Because of the unique shape of the canyon West Fork lies in, dozens of small tributaries flow directly into the creek creating mass water flow. Had the Jesusita Fire not burnt up all the brush on the hillsides, this storm might have left the canyon just as it always was. -D

The newly widened West Fork-
It is now easy to follow the wide creek bed far past the water tunnel
Some of the debris left on and around the trail
A unique wall above the water tunnel
USFS says this metal is actually track from mine carts used to dig the CS Water Tunnel.
Force of the recent storms were powerful enough to wrap the metal track around this tree
Storms have weakened the trail and caused several cracks to form
Some of the debris left on the trail
One of the larger washouts on West Fork
Look for a trail maintenance project soon to help repair the damage in West Fork of Cold Spring, contact us to find out how to get involved.

No comments: