View Full Version : Slaughterhouse in Jeopardy

06-05-2007, 12:25 PM
Just a heads-up:

A friend of mine belongs to the Colorado go4s 4x4 club. His club does a lot of maintenance work on the Slaughterhouse Gulch trail (near Bailey and Crow Hill). He said that the Forest Service is very close to closing this trail. :mad: He does not want any help yet (e.g., spamming on co4x4.org), but he may need some help soon.

06-05-2007, 12:45 PM
Wow, that really sucks. We may need to find another spot for the "Blow Off Work and Go Wheelin'" run.

Mark, would you let Phillip know that our club would be willing to help with time, resources and funds?

06-05-2007, 12:50 PM
Mark, would you let Phillip know that our club would be willing to help with time, resources and funds?

Amen to that. I think we need do what we can right away with club funds or man power to save this. Whether it's post and cable etc. It'd be a shame to loose this.

06-05-2007, 01:45 PM
I will forward your (our) support.

06-05-2007, 02:27 PM
I've been following some of the threads about the damage to the Slaughterhouse Gulch trails on Colorado4x4.org and it sounds like a mess. It's a drag that a handful of knuckleheads bent on tearing shyte up will get the trail closed for us all.

I'm going to start carrying my cam on every run and getting license plate shots of any vehicle I see doing damage.

06-05-2007, 04:44 PM
At this rate most trails are going to be closed before I even get to run them :(

Good idea on the camcorder or camera Martin :thumb:

Nick F.
06-05-2007, 09:13 PM
Don't want to hijack this thread, but one of my students talked to a ranger up in harris park the other day and he said they are planning to close that to shooting as well:mad:

06-06-2007, 09:41 AM
As the population in the Front Range explodes, these kinds of conflicts will increase. Shooting is a problem (and I am a shooter!!). Ignorant wheeling is a problem. I gave a guy on CO4x4 some grief about driving through mudholes (and posting the dang pix for all to see, including the ranger, who definitely DID see), and his comeback was that it was legal, it was the designated route, and going around them would be illegal, so I was out of my league and should just go away.

I suppose turning around never occurred to him as an alternative.:rolleyes:

Well, fine then. His legal route is about to become illegal. Guess that solves it.

Even on a legal route, if you are creating resource damage, STOP. :bill:

Three Wheel Ben
06-10-2007, 09:19 PM
Well I ran Slaughterhouse this morning, after searching for a good place to camp on the backside of Guanalla (Don't ask it was a long search), I ended up camping at Deer Creek, just up the road.

Anyway the trail had numerous mud holes and at least 3-4 cases of emptys all over. As much as I don't want this closed It would be quite a chore to take care of all of these.

Pics are worth a thousand words

Stump Hill

Opposite of Stump Hill




06-11-2007, 12:54 PM

06-11-2007, 02:58 PM
I went up there last night as well. It is a shame how people have disrespected such a beautiful trail. I would hate to see it get closed.

06-11-2007, 03:04 PM
Get the Colo4x4 guys involved. 99.9% of the abusers live on that forum

06-11-2007, 04:24 PM
Actually, the real problem children go to high school near there...
But yeah, there are a few who think anything goes as long as it is on the trail. At least they have progressed to ON the trail... :rolleyes:

06-13-2007, 08:11 AM
Phil Walton sent an email describing the situation with Slaughterhouse. Parts of it are below:
Fellow enthusists:
The Go4s apparenly won the "bad lottery" this year. Both Slaugherhouse Loop Trail and Twin Cone Trail are adopted by the Go4s, and both are in jeopardy this year. I spent about 2 hours this afternoon talking with the USFS about these two trails, what the state of things are, what they plan to do, and what we can do. I'll cover Slaughterhouse first and Twin Cone second. What I am hoping to get out of this is advice on what to do next. I will start some carefully written threads on co4x4.org. I can't avoid that with the upcoming repair trip planned on the 17th. I feel I am doing all I can possibly do at this time. Advice, help, support, ... ... ? is appreciated. Noise without backup isn't going to help me much...which appears to be most of what I can expect from co4x4.org.

On this email I've copied folks who I believe are interested in the issues and can likely help. I have also copied my club members as they will be affected. They won't recieve your replies but at least they can see this email. I'm sure there are many others that can help. I'm not sure how best to bring them into the conversation before I get crushed with noise from the angry mobs at how the Go4s lost Slaughterhouse or Twin Cone. Gene and Val, it was clear you guys have some working relationship with Randy. That appeared to help some. Thanks. Shelly and Shawn, I don't think we've met, but welcome to my world.
In attendence:
Randy Hickenbottom (ranger, USFS)
Steve Priest (Recreation, Lands and Minerals, USFS)
Scott Dollus (Recreation, USFS)
Philip Walton (Go4s)


I worked with Scott Dollus last year to secure an OHV grant to assist us in maintenance for our adopted trail, the Slaugherhouse Loop Trail. We haven't officially signed anything as we were doing the adopt-a-trail before there was one. We have, in courtesy, done some maintenance on the Crow Gulch trail which is the access road to the loop. The grant covers Stump Hill (which is not part of the trail) and an area where some folks are "cutting corners" on Crow gulch. We are planning to put up post and cable for those areas. As this is the first grant for us, we chose not to take on the mud pits at this time. it is likely beyond what we can manage as a club.

The Go4s did an unplanned clean-up/repair earlier this year after reports of garbage on the trail. We put in a lot of effort to rebuild from scratch some major water bars on the loop. On the way out, we noticed a few areas where the main trail was becoming damaged due to the quantity of water standing on the roadbed. There was a lot of ...shall I say... "negative press" on colorado4x4.org about it, and I do believe this is what came to the attention of the USFS. I started organizing some colorado4x4.org folks to do a repair for those 2 areas for the 17th of June. I contacted the USFS to ensure that the repairs I proposed were acceptable to them. At that time I received the email that each of you has seen in which Steve Priest said they were going to close the trail completely.

The Go4s have been picking up garbage and repairing water bars for nearly 20 years on this trail. We have picture documentation for the last 3-4 years, and I'm sure the documentation will go further if I dig.

Current Status:
In my personal opinion, the mud pits on Crow Gulch are beyond what the Go4s or even the USFS can manage. I was unaware of the extent of the proliferation of "pioneer trails" beyond the mud pits...but it was made clear at the meeting that is will stop one way or another.

Randy indicated they plan to close the whole trail "real soon now". The closure in his mind is not meant to be permanent for the whole trail. He plans for it to be closed until the mud pits dry up. I'm not 100% sure they actually do dry up ever.

Randy also plans to put up a gate at the "exit of the loop" to close off the mud pits and beyond. It is unclear when this may happen or who is paying for it, or _____(insert question here). His intention is to see who really cares about that section of trail. I am not prepared to have my club commit to repairs in that area at this time. It is beyond what we alone can manage. Even with outside help, the remedy is unclear to me. We will have our hands full managing the grant that is not actually funded until next year.
<soapbox> A 3 year OHV grant process is too long for a club to manage. </soapbox>

One thing I talked about with them is that on the USGS map I have, it shows spurs off the loop which are now closed. The point I was making was that once an area is closed, it is very unlikely that it will open up. I don't want to be a part of the closure of even a part of a trail, and I made that clear. He can, and will, close AT LEAST the mud pits and beyond if someone doesn't take it up as a project.


Twin cone is closed and will remain closed for the near future. The access road (between the gates) is torn up and the residents don't want the public on the road. The residents are now living there permanently.

In my personal opinion, the beavers have dammed the area up to the point where there's water standing on the road. It will take an enormous effort to build a road the beavers won't use as part of their dam. A 4x4 can cross it without doing much additional damage, but the now-permanent-residents don't like the noise. Because they don't like the noise, they blame the 4x4 guys for tearing it up. The beavers made the mess, we're just getting the finger for it.

The USFS hasn't allocated sufficient funds to actuate the repairs. They have some allocated, but "not enough". The residents don't want to pay for the road. The county doesn't have the money to fix the road either. Everyone is saying they want it fixed, but don't want to pay for it. In the meantime, the OHV area is closed.

As it turns out, the USFS purchased a narrow corridor through the private property, just wide enough for the road. It is not an easement.

The residents don't want OHVs back there. IMO, if you don't want to hear planes, don't buy airport property. As this is USFS property, sandwiched with private property, and not "officially part of the trail"....it's difficult to know what to do. it also isn't an area that the Go4s have ever really repaired. It also is a very touchy political thing. Would an OHV grant work there? Likely. It MAY get good residential support if they get a better road. If not, it will likely be closed. Even if the residents stepped up, the OHV area will likely never open back up. If we did get an OHV grant, when would that happen? 2-3 years from now? Randy seemed perfectly happy leaving the trail closed until that time.

As this is also our adopted trail, I can tell you that the 4x4 folks on Twin cone are of the "good variety". The waterbars last, the garbage is FAR less, and the views at the top are awesome...but this trail is closed because the USFS, nor the residents, will maintain the access road. (2 bags of trash at twin cone versus 2 trucks full at slaughterhouse)

I'm sure I'm missing some finer points...but I think this covers most of the important facts. If both of our adopted trails are closed, this will not bode well for the go4s or our participation in endeavors to help the USFS. I personally am trying to protect the club from getting run over in this mess. I can tell you it's a challenge.

Philip Walton
Colorado Go4s Four Wheel Drive Club
Randy Hickenbottom is a different sort of ranger. Frankly, he is a good poker player IMHO and I believe uses this ability to strategic advantage - not OVER us, but as a means to leverage resources and gauge motivation.

It is time to step up, in other words. Randy is gauging our commitment. He cannot leave the trail as-is; he will get sued and for good reason.

Here is my response to Phil, CC: Gene King, Val Douglas, Shawn Pagan with COHVCO, and the Go4s, based on my knowledge of our club and my sense of you guys in this thread:
Please let me know how Rising Sun 4x4 Club can help on Slaughterhouse. We really enjoy post-n-cable projects and seem to be pretty good at it. We may have access to some heavy equipment too, and the club members seem to be itching for a project like the one we did for the BRD at Yankee Doodle Lake. We would really like to develop a working relationship with Randy and Scott as well, whom I know from riding motorcycles at Rampart and doing some trail projects there.

Ya never know what may become of the need at Twin Cone too - though that one seems like a narrow path, tread carefully. It would require a light touch and some real skill at win-win negotiations.

We got yer six, Phil. Let us know how.
-The Rising Sun 4x4 Club "SeaBees"

So if I done wrong you can fire me.:hill:
"SeaBees" (https://www.seabee.navy.mil/)

06-13-2007, 08:47 AM
Slaughterhouse Work Day, June 17!! (http://www.colorado4x4.org/vbb/showthread.php?t=98273)

I know that conflicts with the Father's Day run, but wanted to post it anyway.

06-13-2007, 09:45 AM
MOre info:
I have set up a new Yahoo e-mail group for discussions pertaining to
Slaughterhouse and Twin Cone. This group's purpose is to allow
anyone/everyone that wishes to help with the Twin Cone and
Slaughterhouse issues to have an online place to do so. As with all
other yahoo groups, all discussions are archived and tools for storing
pictures, files, etc. as well as calendar tools are available for our

The URL for the list is:


Please go to the above link to join the list.

Please extend this information to anyone in the Rising Suns that
wishes to join discussions pertaining to the trails.

At the moment I have the list locked down so that only members can
post and read the content. I do not feel we should open it up for
anyone to post - as then it could reach the fervor of other forums -
such as colorado4x4.org. I'd rather keep the go4s_adopt_a_trail_mgmt
list for just those that are serious in helping out and for positive
dicussion on how to address the issues. Rants and complaining and
trash talk is best left elsewhere.

I foresee this list including members of multiple Colorado OHV and 4x4
association clubs. As well, it could also include USFS members. Thus I
hope to keep all members of the list updated, and reminded, of who is
on the list, and the subject of the list. In short - if people use it
for personal rants or trash talk, I will mediate the list and remove
those members as appropriate.


Philip Greer

07-05-2007, 11:57 AM
[go4s_adopt_a_trail_mgmt] Club meeting on Friday

Feel free to join us for our normal club meeting on Friday at
Off Road Limited on Colfax just East of I 225 on the South side by the bus terminal. 7:30PM

I am planning to make this meeting and I'm sure the trail repair work
will come up as a part of our business.

We might even find a frothy bev afterwards!


07-05-2007, 01:44 PM
Thanks, Matt! Give us a report!
(I have to start cutting things out of my life, while I still have one...)

07-10-2007, 02:57 PM
Next meeting with the US Forestry Service : August 10th
It will likely be at the South Platte Ranger District office in the afternoon (say 3 or 4PM)
Topics will be Crow Gulch and Twin Cone trails.

Here is who plans to attend:
Gene King
Glenn Graham(sp?)
Philip Walton
Steve Priest
Randy Hickenbottom

I hope to have good "engineering" answers for the problems we have by then so we can discuss tangible plans to keep the trail(s) open.

From: go4s_adopt_a_trail_mgmt@yahoogroups.com

08-06-2007, 03:04 PM
from the [go4s_adopt_a_trail_mgmt]: Slaughterhouse meeting

I'm meeting with Ranger Hickenbottom and Gene and Glenn (COHVCO) this Friday afternoon.

Scott Dollus is finalizing location and time now. Probably 3PM at the trail head. It should be an interesting afternoon. Let me know if you can make it. Or join us in progress, or whatever.

More info from Twin Cone is also forthcoming.

Philip Walton

08-14-2007, 11:14 AM
There will likely be an opportunity for the club to help with this:
I had a ride-along-meeting with the ranger, and 2 other reps from the USFS. Glenn Graham(sp?) who is on the Rampart Ridge board joined us for the day to help represent COHVCO sort of.
The USFS reps were:
Ranger Hickenbottom
Steve Priest
Scott Dollus

We rode down Crow Gulch to the end and discussed what we're currently doing and what we'd like to do. The ranger has a sympathetic ear, but I think we all agree that the mud pits as they are currently treated is unmanageable. I think without our attention, the whole trail would likely be closed at this point.

Here is the ranger's plan:
- Put in a gate past the exit of the Slaughterhouse loop, but before the mud pits.
- I'll start an OHV grant application...as the work is beyond our scope, we'll count on outside help and more "contractor work".
- Include recovery of the area past the mud pits.
- Mostly the past-mud-pits will need rock fill, waterbar recovery and hardening and some road re-route.All the fill will be contracted out. We can potentially do some of the labor and will need to mobilize some of the COHVCO folks... (and likely at least one other club)
- Post-and-cable the mud pits.
- If progress isn't made in the next 2 years, the ranger plans to close down that part of the trail permanently.

Twin cone: The USFS coughed up some cash and plans to add a ton of fill. If all goes well it shoudl re-open in Sept. We still get access for trail cleanup on the 25th.

08-21-2007, 12:54 PM
Ok, so the info someone had on our BOWAGWR was wrong- I thought we were saying the mud pits in question were down by that meadow we always stop at, before the little hill climb. But above it seems pretty clear that they're the original "mud pits," that we've all gone to in years past.

So you drive down that tippy hill where a tree almost smacks your roof on the left side, then when you get down to the road you can either turn right to go to the mud pits, or left to go back underneath stump hill.. so it's those mud pits that are slated to be shut down, not the ones caused by the spring way back at the meadow.

08-21-2007, 06:21 PM
I read it the same way. So the trail is not really in jeopardy, since those mud pits aren't even part of the trail.

I'm sure we can lend a hand when needed to do what's needed here.

08-22-2007, 08:03 AM
The spring in the meadow is what has come up as a serious concern by the rangers. Yeah, the trail is at risk.

08-22-2007, 04:58 PM
The hard thing about taking care of the trail will be keeping all of the kids out of the clean up area. When I went to high school alot of the kids would go back there to drink and whoop it up in thier 'four-wheel drives'. The locals go to the mud pits to mess around.

08-23-2007, 10:26 AM
yeah, no joke. Its a pretty big highschool party place. I wonder if they could gate it at night.