Sky Mountain Park trails closed this week for elk hunting |

Sky Mountain Park trails closed this week for elk hunting

Grazing Elk.
Aspen Times file

Cozyline, Airline, Skyline Ridge and Ditchline trails are closed to the public today through Sunday for the fourth rifle season.

The four Sky Mountain Park trails closed for “safety reasons,” according to a notice from Pitkin County Open Space and Trails, as an elk hunt takes place within a portion of the park.

Highline, Lowline, Viewline and the downhill-only Deadline Trail will remain open.

Each spring, five hunters are selected through a lottery system. The hunt spans 1,200 acres in the heart of the Sky Mountain Park area that stretches between Snowmass Village and Highway 82.

The management plan for Sky Mountain Park posed a provision for limited hunting to assist Colorado Parks and Wildlife in managing the elk herd. The hunt is limited to cow elk.

In an effort to protect wintering wildlife, the majority of Sky Mountain Park closes to public use for the winter beginning Dec. 1.

The winter closure extends through May 15; the park reopens May 16.

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