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Red_Chili
08-06-2009, 07:43 AM
Dear Newsletter Subscriber,
--> Hackett & Longwater Gulches Open Short of River
Those of you who use my Colorado 2nd Edition book, take note. All three gulches, shown on pages 248-251, are now open. Hackett and Longwater just opened July 22, 2009, following the earlier opening of Metberry. We just got back from driving all three trails and here’s what we found:

Unlike Metberry, Hackett and Longwater do not go all the way to the river. The trails are blocked one-quarter mile high above the river. There is no way to get from one trail to the other so, for now, you must drive out the way you came in. The reason these trails are open at all is that Teller County has agreed to designate these routes as county roads. Negotiations are still underway with Park County to open the bottom of the trails so that you can cross the river and connect the two trails. (Your help is needed. See below.)

Both trails still offer the thrills of steep, twisting descents on deeply undulating terrain. They remain quite difficult and should not be driven by the faint-of-heart. “Longwater Rock” looks different, but is still the same tippy, steep descent that it always was. It has no bypass and you must drive it in both directions, up and down. “Hackett Rock,” however, is a mere shadow of its former self. To meet county road requirements, dirt has been filled in around the rock.

The first two miles of Hackett are untouched by the fire and this part of the route has barely changed. But, as you begin the steep descent to the river, the fire damage becomes apparent. However, I found the landscape eerily beautiful. Without tree branches, you can take in views of the entire valley, seeing things you never saw before. The fertile soil is bursting with wildflowers in every imaginable color. In places, aspen trees are 10-ft. tall, thick and healthy.

We measured the leng! th of all three trails. Hackett and Longwater each end at 3.9 miles. Metberry measures 4.5 miles. We completed all three trails in about 7 hours, stopping only to take pictures and eat lunch, during which we got a special treat. Within a hundred yards, a black bear darted across a hillside. We weren’t quick enough with our cameras to get a picture, but what a thrill. All the years I’ve been traveling in the backcountry, this is only the 3rd time I’ve seen a bear in its natural habitat. If you drive these trails, take along binoculars, as you can see great distances across the open terrain.

http://www.funtreks.com/images/newsletters/gulchesmap.gif (http://www.funtreks.com/images/newsletters/big_gulches.gif)

Your Help Is Needed

At the request of Jerry Panek of Predator 4-Wheel Drive, wh! o has worked many years on this project on behalf of four-wheelers everywhere who have missed these great trails, I’d like to ask you to please take a few minutes to send a letter to commissioners at Teller County thanking them for their efforts in getting these trails designated as county roads. We are often quick to complain about government actions and we sometimes forget that our government is made up of real people. In this case, real people in Teller County worked hard to get this done. Send letters to: Teller County Commissioners, P.O. Box 959, Cripple Creek, CO 80813.

And while you’re at it, now would be an opportune time to send a letter to Park County commissioners, who are presently weighing the pros and cons of designating as county roads the closed parts of the trails along the river. Send letters to: Park County Commissioners, P.O Box 1373, Fairplay, CO 80440.

Photos taken August 4, 2009:
http://www.funtreks.com/images/newsletters/small_before_hackett_rock.jpg (http://www.funtreks.com/images/newsletters/before_hackett_rock.jpg)
Climb before Hackett Rock.

http://www.funtreks.com/images/newsletters/small_hackett_rock.jpg (http://www.funtreks.com/images/newsletters/hackett_rock.jpg)
Hackett Rock.

http://www.funtreks.com/images/newsletters/small_end_hackett.jpg (http://www.funtreks.com/images/newsletters/end_hackett.jpg)
End of Hackett Gulch.

http://www.funtreks.com/images/newsletters/small_still_steep_and_twisty.jpg (http://www.funtreks.com/images/newsletters/still_steep_and_twisty.jpg)
Still steep and twisty.

http://www.funtreks.com/images/newsletters/small_longwater_rock.jpg (http://www.funtreks.com/images/newsletters/longwater_rock.jpg)
Longwater Rock.

http://www.funtreks.com/images/newsletters/small_metberry_flowers.jpg (http://www.funtreks.com/images/newsletters/metberry_flowers.jpg)
Flowers on Metberry.

nuclearlemon
08-06-2009, 09:39 AM
man bill, don't you read the land use threads...repost;)

Red_Chili
08-06-2009, 11:03 AM
Didn't expect Hackett and Longwater to be in the Rollins Pass thread...
14115

The connecting route has GOT to be WICKED cool! :lmao: 14116

nuclearlemon
08-06-2009, 12:27 PM
Didn't expect Hackett and Longwater to be in the Rollins Pass thread...
14115

The connecting route has GOT to be WICKED cool! :lmao: 14116

ok, since i did post it to the wrong thread, i'll let it slide this time. i meant to post it to the hacket/metberry/longwwater thread :doh:

Red_Chili
08-06-2009, 02:15 PM
:lmao:
Thanks for letting me off!!!
;-)

JadeRunner
08-10-2009, 08:01 AM
Did anyone run Hacket this weekend that could give us a report on the difficulty of the trail?

Man Jerk
08-10-2009, 08:29 AM
You can see my full report on the CLC section of Ih8mud.

Longwater. Very similar to Metberry. Doable in stock truck with decent rubber. Going up Longwater rock is challenging but no one in our group had a problem.

Hackett. Much more difficult, but I drove my 1st gen 4 runner with a rear locker and 31" AT's with absolutely no problem. Scenery is better. Lots of very steep downhills (uphills on the return trip). I do know that a stock 4 runner on 31's made it down to the bottom unassisted. I doubt he made it out unassisted but I don't know for sure.