Rio Grande Trail near Aspen still closed after mudslide |

Rio Grande Trail near Aspen still closed after mudslide

Aspen Times Staff Report
Aspen, CO Colorado
Squish step

ASPEN – Bicyclists hoping to make the ride from Aspen to Woody Creek on the Rio Grande Trail were still being stopped Monday by the debris from Friday’s mudslide.

Though signs warned bicyclists the trail was closed about a mile downvalley from Stein Park, some pedaled to the barricade just to take a look.

“We’ve never seen a mudslide before,” said bicyclist Melissa Breslow of Miami, riding the trail with her fiance.

A 73-year-old man was hurt Saturday when he became stuck in the mud, was freed with help from others at the scene, but then fell down the steep hillside below the trail to the Roaring Fork River. Members of Mountain Rescue Aspen and others helped get the bicyclist to Stein Park. He complained of a hip injury and was transported to Aspen Valley Hospital.

Contractor Aspen Earth Moving was expected to begin clearing the site sometime Monday afternoon, according to John Armstrong, Pitkin County Open Space and Trails ranger. Armstrong said he expected the trail to be reopened by Wednesday afternoon at the latest. He did not have a cost estimate for the work.

The hillside poured mud onto the trail after heavy rains on Friday afternoon. After inspecting the mess Saturday morning, the contractor decided to let the mud dry out a bit before trying to clear the trail, Armstrong said.

Another popular area bike trail also remains partially closed, thanks to the swollen Colorado River. The bike path in Glenwood Canyon, between the Shoshone Power Plant on the west and Behr Ranch on the east, was closed Saturday because of high water, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation.

Various sections of the trail in the canyon, east of Glenwood Springs, have been closed off and on this spring as the river rises.

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