Cheyenne Canyon is still closed

Jay Polk , Weekend Meteorologist/Reporter, jay.polk@krdo.com
POSTED: 06:20 PM MST Nov 18, 2013 
Colorado Springs, COLO -

The city of Colorado Springs is asking hikers and bikers to stop using the trails in North Cheyenne Canyon.

This after another rescue.

Yesterday, the Fire Department had to rescue a man who ran through the gate at High Drive and wound up stuck.

This is the second time that someone has had to be rescued since the flooding. In late September a bicyclist had to be rescued after she got lost and injured near the Penrose-Rosemount Reservoir in Teller County.

This rescue call came in around 10 a.m.

"A victim found off of Captain Jack's Trail," said Lt. Tom Hahn of the Colorado Springs Fire Department.

Another person had to be rescued from North Cheyenne Canyon.  It's something that the firefighters at the three west-side stations are used to.  They have the equipment to do the job.

Hahn said, "throughout the year we have dozens of rescues."

But it's also something that they shouldn't have to do now.  The reason?  North Cheyenne Canyon is closed - and has been since September.

Kurt Schroeder works for Colorado Springs Parks and Recreation.  He tells why the park is still closed two months after the storm.

"In many instances, it's not a safe situation," he said.

The roads in the canyon are a mess.  That complicated Sunday's rescue.

"Only part of High Drive is navigable," said Lt. Hahn.

The trails aren't exactly in great shape, either.

Schroeder said, "the trail that someone is used to to hike or to ride, is potentially a very different trail right now."

Erosion has made the trees and rocks shift in many places, which makes it unfamiliar to even experienced hikers and riders.  Parks and Recreation realizes that the trails are appealing, but patience is being preached.

"We would certainly ask for people to respect our closures.  There's a lot of work going on," said Schroeder.

The city is hoping to reopen its portion of the canyon in early December.  But with the damage, is it too soon?

"The day that we reopen the park, we're going to feel very comfortable when we do it that we will not be putting people in a compromising situation," said Schroeder.

It may not be the same trail, but hikers and bikers are hoping that it will still be a great trail.