Public comment sought on Prince Creek parking outside of Carbondale

Staff report
This image shows Pitkin County Open Space and Trail's preferred option for parking at the Prince Creek Trailhead outside of Carbondale. Public comment is being sought on two options. The deadline is Jan. 31.
Courtesy image |

The Pitkin County Open Space and Trails program aims to build a new trailhead parking lot along Prince Creek Road this spring before the cycling season cranks into full gear.

The agency added a single-track trail last fall to the Prince Creek trail network on U.S. Bureau of Land Management property called the Crown. The trail runs parallel to Prince Creek Road. It also acquired property to provide parking.

Parking became a mess at a wide spot along Prince Creek Road as the trail network’s popularity soared. On weekend days in the summer and fall, between 20 and 50 vehicles parked in a wide spot in the road at the entrance to Prince Creek subdivision, about 3 miles off Highway 133.

Open space’s addition of the single-track trail created a cluster of parking about a mile back on the road toward Carbondale.

The county purchased the Bull Pen property to solve the parking problem. The open space staff presented four options for parking to the open space and trails board of directors on Dec. 12. The board directed the staff to collect public opinion on two of the options.

“The preferred option is the East Bull Pen, which provides the most cost-effective parking solution, meets safety requirements for both vehicles and trail users, can be screened from neighbors to minimize impacts and preserves the west Bull Pen area for agriculture,” says the staff assessment

“The biggest drawback to the East Bull Pen location is that it may ultimately require two trail crossings of Prince Creek Road if/when the trail is extended farther toward Highway 133,” the staff memo said.

The North Bull Pen option allows for the trail to continue uninterrupted, without crossing the roadway. It also improves sight lines between the parking lot and road. However, it would require realignment of a section of Prince Creek Road and, therefore, the cost is substantial, the staff assessment said.

The county will accept comments on the options through Jan. 31. To review the options and fill out an online comment form, click on the Prince Creek link at