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Rzeppa
07-16-2013, 01:12 PM
Does anyone know if it is open? We were in Winter Park on Sunday and almost decided to try driving over Rollins Pass to Rollinsville, but last I heard the Boulder Ranger District had closed it, even though I read somewhere that there was some law passed that said it was supposed to remain open. I have been digging around on the web and find conflicting info - some places say you can drive it but that it is difficult, others say it is closed to motorized vehicular traffic.

FJBRADY
07-16-2013, 01:16 PM
It's been closed for years.

treerootCO
07-16-2013, 01:24 PM
I'll add my 2 cents and keep my reply as short as humanly possible.


Boulder Wagon Road is closed and has been for years
Multiple members of RS tried to keep it open
I 'feel' the Clear Creek and Boulder ranger districts used our volunteer efforts to close roads.
I am at a loss, I am tired, and no longer have the passion I once had to keep fighting land use battles.
To this day, I have attended most if not all clean up runs and will continue to help with this effort.
I will NOT help the forest service close off access to LEGAL routes.
I have a tremendous amount of respect for what the Forest Service does and even more respect for folks like Martin who represent both sides.

rover67
07-16-2013, 02:43 PM
yeah it's closed. The deal regarding it being supposed to remain open that you mention above is probably what folks have discussed about it being an access road to Gilpin and Grand County and if they want it open Boulder can't close it.... but they did and are keeping it closed.

It is a big pile of horse ****.

It is very frustrating.

There is a HUGE thread on the adv rider board about it that is good reading.

Uncle Ben
07-16-2013, 02:59 PM
Boulder Wagon Road has issues that are difficult to resolve to the point where it could be opened. Two of the main issues are the exposed natural gas line that parallels it for about 1/4 mile and the fact that it runs the border of the wilderness area. Those issues alone have been more than enough to keep Boulder out of hot water by not complying with the ruling that if the majority of jurisdictions want a road open the minority has to follow. It is bullpucky and typical of Boulder County Liberaltics.

Rzeppa
07-16-2013, 04:12 PM
Thanks for all the replies. It just wasn't clear from all the reading I had done online what the current status was. I remember some years ago when Bill Morgan was our Land Use Coordinator, he had mentioned working with (somebodies???) on getting it reopened.

This is a quote from Wikipedia:

The BWR is a four-wheel-drive road not suited to lower clearance two-wheel-drive vehicles. Although open prior to 2008 and in good condition, this road remains to this day a subject of much controversy between its users and some officials who want it closed. In 2002 the James Peak Wilderness and Protection Area Bill (aka Public Law 107-216) was signed into legislation by President George W. Bush and Congress. The Bill specifically created a narrow road corridor between the Indian Peaks and James Peaks Wilderness areas and states that if any of the affected counties (Grand, Gilpin or Boulder) request, the Secretary of the USDA will cooperate and assist with the repair of the Rollins Pass Road and until that time the attendant road (the BWR) will remain open to motorized use. Boulder County officials and the USFS-Boulder Ranger District have resisted the wording of the law and have closed the BWR. Both Grand and Gilpin Counties have made numerous written requests to the Secretary for the repair of Rollins Pass Road but to date there has been no repair of the road or the barricaded Needles Eye Tunnel. The reopening of the BWR, and/or repair of the Rollins Pass Road, and even the facts surrounding the 1990 accident in the tunnel, have become contentious and ongoing issues.

It sounds to me that BRD is in violation of a federal statute! :rant:

Has anyone here in this forum been up there and seen the nature of the closure first hand? I mean, if it is just a sign that says it is closed, but you could drive around it, what would happen? Or is it one of those deals where they've put some giant rocks in the path and you'd need a Wild Rice style rig to get passed?

rover67
07-16-2013, 04:17 PM
The BWR has a big metal gate across it near Jenny Creek along with stuff keeping folks from bypassing it on the steep slopes around it. On the West side it is less fortified. The Needle's Eye Tunnel is closed off with two stee/concrete walls and rocks that'd be suitable to protect some kind of military installation from attack.

You should get up there and check it out. The divide is beautiful up there and there is a ton of history. The twin testles are super neat..

Uncle Ben
07-16-2013, 04:26 PM
Has anyone here in this forum been up there and seen the nature of the closure first hand? I mean, if it is just a sign that says it is closed, but you could drive around it, what would happen? Or is it one of those deals where they've put some giant rocks in the path and you'd need a Wild Rice style rig to get passed?

You will get a chance to see it first hand when you help out on the next work day on Jenny Creek.... There is still some fairly easy and not legal ways to do the wagon route without crossing any blockades..... If I caught you doing it and the ranger is not with me you might get injured!

Rzeppa
07-16-2013, 04:28 PM
Thanks Marco. I might just go up there and check it out anyway. I've never been past the lake, only been up there when we do our work on Jenny Creek Trail. Are the trestles on the Winter Park (West) side or on the Rollinsville (East) side?

There are some really cool trails up there just past the tunnel itself, it is the headwater of Boulder Creek and we've done some hiking and exploring up there. Watching a train come out of the tunnel is really cool too, they've got these gigantic ventilation fans that are about as big and powerful as jet engines!

Uncle Ben
07-16-2013, 04:35 PM
Thanks Marco. I might just go up there and check it out anyway. I've never been past the lake, only been up there when we do our work on Jenny Creek Trail. Are the trestles on the Winter Park (West) side or on the Rollinsville (East) side?

There are some really cool trails up there just past the tunnel itself, it is the headwater of Boulder Creek and we've done some hiking and exploring up there. Watching a train come out of the tunnel is really cool too, they've got these gigantic ventilation fans that are about as big and powerful as jet engines!

The big and long dilapidated trestle is on the RP side and visible from Yankee Doodle. There is a couple still standing very cool trestles at the top on the WP side accessible from WP.

rover67
07-16-2013, 04:41 PM
Twin Trestles

MountainGoat
07-16-2013, 05:31 PM
Twin Trestles

:cool: Wow. That brings back some memories of driving over Rollins Pass from Rollinsville to Winter Park in my brother's FJ40. Circa 1978. Those trestles were freakin scary! :eek:

Red_Chili
07-17-2013, 09:35 AM
That's "Devil's Slide". Got some books on the DNW&PRR / Denver & Salt Lake with pictures of it, and 200 ton Mallet locomotives pulling freight over it. On the WP side is a loop named Riflesight Notch, where the track goes over a bridge and out on a finger of rock, loops around, and comes back under itself in a tunnel beneath the bridge. That tunnel is long since collapsed.

http://www.trainboard.com/grapevine/picture.php?albumid=187&pictureid=1831

Locomotive 210 lost a side rod, which took out its air lines & brakes, and then left the rails about the end of the ridge at the looparound, going about 60, flying over another locomotive on its way down the mountainside. It then exploded. There are pieces of it still in the forest, though it's been picked over pretty well.

http://www.trainboard.com/grapevine/picture.php?albumid=187&pictureid=1829

As tidy as it would be to sum up the BWR controversy as Boulder County Liberals vs. law and conservatives, that would not be anywhere close to accurate.

It is closer to the truth to say, Friends of the Indian Peaks Wilderness et.al. incensed at obvious irresponsible damage visible on the BWR caused by motorized users who no only will not respect the closure, but do not respect the trail route. Right next to Wilderness. Couple that with the liability concerns about the natural gas line (imagine some kind of accident resulting in fire in the middle of the forest with THAT), and motorized users have successfully and collectively shot themselves in the foot on ever seeing it open.

All the issues are solvable, but at more cost than anyone wants to put into it. Then you turn motorized users loose on it, which is like herding cats.

A sellable scenario? Good luck with that. It is a terrible loss.

Too many people wanting to follow their own rules and their own sense of right and wrong. Motorcyclists have been at the top of the offender pile, and I know one person in particular who is at the very top.

rover67
07-17-2013, 09:49 AM
hey bill so your thread on ADV rider just died after the lawyer talks... is the above a summary of what resulted from that?

Red_Chili
07-17-2013, 10:01 AM
It's kinda where it sits. Not sure anything resulted from any lawyer consultation. I have no hope of resolution.

treerootCO
07-17-2013, 01:21 PM
Here is a picture of the road closure from the Rollins Pass side.

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treerootCO
07-17-2013, 01:44 PM
I saved this and haven't ever scanned it in. It made sense to scan it and post it to this thread. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

The Moffat Road - self-guided auto tour.
Revised and reprinted through the effors and cooperation of:
The Grand County historical Association
The Rollins Pass Restoration Association
Aprapaho and Roosevelt National Forests

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treerootCO
07-17-2013, 01:45 PM
more:

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powderpig
07-17-2013, 10:08 PM
Very Cool Mike, thanks for sharing this.
Even Udal has not taken the right course and keep his word on keeping this route open. One of my favorite rides was coming back from Steamboat springs over this pass and having Lighting bounce all around us(The Lalley's and my family), it was just fantastic views.

Rzeppa
07-18-2013, 10:27 AM
Wow - that scan is awesome, thanks Mike! That must be the brochure alluded to in this sign, below. That's my lovely wife Linda on the left and my granddaughter Athena on the right. For the record, Athena has decided that she loves bouncing around in a Land Cruiser!

Rzeppa
07-18-2013, 10:33 AM
So, while we were exploring up there yesterday, we discovered that our post and cable has been damaged and needs repair. I took some photos so that we can see what we need to bring and to plan our project. Below, you can see where the top cable has been torn out from the end post and the cable is lying partially buried in the mud.

Rzeppa
07-18-2013, 10:35 AM
Next, you can see where one of the posts has been completely removed, and dragged over to the side:

Rzeppa
07-18-2013, 10:38 AM
Finally, you can see recent tire tracks in the mud and garbage in the mud puddle. I couldn't reach the garbage to fish it out, would have needed some kind of long pole with a hook or chest waders.

Rzeppa
07-18-2013, 10:45 AM
When we came to this sign, there was a parking area, and never having been up there before, we figured here was where you were supposed to park and walk. We did but only for about a quarter mile, when we realized we could drive a lot further up.

Rzeppa
07-18-2013, 10:50 AM
Here are some pictures of the closure itself, which is in a rock cutting that would be nearly impossible to bypass. A buggy could easily drive over them, but a regular 4x4 has no chance. We walked most of the way to the tunnel, but an electrical storm came over the ridge and we turned back to get back to the Cruiser so as not to be zapped.

Rzeppa
07-18-2013, 10:51 AM
More pictures of the tunnel gatekeeper obstacle:

rover67
07-18-2013, 10:55 AM
holy **** it looks rough up there.

i'll be headed to boulder ranger district tonight maybe with Bruce and we'll chat about it.

treerootCO
07-18-2013, 10:58 AM
This is Needles Eye and the tunnel closure...

http://staythetrail.org/maps/viewtrail.php?trail_id=18

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Rzeppa
07-18-2013, 11:08 AM
holy **** it looks rough up there.

i'll be headed to boulder ranger district tonight maybe with Bruce and we'll chat about it.

There were two USFS botanists up there, who work out of the Fort Collins office. I spoke with Tom Bates and got his business card. They were up there to scout the area for endangered plants. They are doing a NEPA for a project Xcel is planning for their gas pipeline. Xcel needs to pig out the line, but their pigs can't negotiate some of the 90 fittings employed in the pipe, so those fittings will have to be replaced.

I had not yet seen the damage to the post and cable when I spoke with him, so it wasn't clear whether they or the BRD was aware of the damage either.

subzali
07-18-2013, 11:51 AM
Thanks for the report and pictures Jeff! And thank you Marco and Bruce for heading to the meeting tonight to hopefully come up with a solution with the BRD! Sounds like a work day is in order!

CardinalFJ60
07-22-2013, 05:49 PM
I was just up there on Saturday, and was about to post to this thread with the same pics. We were finishing up a backpacking trip (East Portal divide Loop) and hiked down the wagon road as well as down to Yankee doodle and around to the Forest Lakes for camp on Saturday night.

Posts and cables are torn up a bit as Jeffs pics show. the steep climb to the right of the winch point looks to be down completely.