Trails closed for elk calving |

Trails closed for elk calving


Several trails between Buttermilk and the Two Creeks area at Snowmass are closed in the spring for elk calving, the U.S. Forest Service is reminding the public.

Users must stay off the Tom Blake Trail and Anaerobic Nightmare/Sequel now 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 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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