Trails close for elk calving |

Trails close for elk calving

Several trails in the Two Creeks to West Buttermilk area will be closed this spring to protect elk calving habitat.
Town of Snowmass Village/Courtesy photo |

Several trails from West Buttermilk to Two Creeks in Snowmass are now closed to use for the protection of elk-calving habitat.

As of April 25, recreational users must stay off the Tom Blake Trail and Anaerobic Nightmare/Sequel through June 21. In addition, Government Trail No. 1980 is closed May 15 through June 21.

Snowmass Village Animal Services, Aspen Skiing Co., White River National Forest and Colorado Parks and Wildlife are partners in closing the trails to protect elk during the annual calving season. Stress and disturbance from humans can lead to abandonment of this critical habitat, or the abandonment of elk calves. Cow elk are recovering from the winter and they need to forage and nurse their young without being startled or disrupted, according to wildlife officials.

The public is asked to honor closure gates and signs. Wildlife-monitoring cameras have, in the past, captured hikers and cyclists using closed areas. Violators will be fined; penalties can range from $50 to $5,000, the Forest Service said.

Snowmass Village-area trails that are open during the spring include: Highline and Lowline, South Rim Trail, Ditch Trail, West Government Trail and the Sam’s Knob, Alpine Springs and Elk Camp work roads. Open after May 15 are North Rim Trail and Sky Mountain Park.

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