All sections of the Summit County recpath system are now open for the 2017 season. On Thursday morning, Summit County Road & Bridge swept and opened the Tenmile Canyon section, which typically remains closed later than other sections each spring.
"The full opening of the recpath is one of the most eagerly anticipated signs of spring in Summit County," Open Space & Trails resource specialist Jason Lederer said. "We're always excited to bring it out of hibernation so everyone can get out there and enjoy it again."
The Tenmile Canyon Recpath typically opens significantly later than other stretches of the pathway system, because it runs underneath 25 avalanche paths in the Tenmile Range. For the last two seasons, the Summit County Open Space & Trails Department has contracted with the Colorado Avalanche Information Center to assess spring avalanche risk. CAIC has reported significant reduction in snowpack in the largest avalanche paths above the recpath, with little threat of a snow avalanche reaching the pathway.
"Public safety is always our paramount concern when determining when to open each section of the Recpath," Summit County Open Space & Trails director Brian Lorch said. "We appreciate everyone's patience staying off the path in Tenmile Canyon while it was closed."
This is the first season that Summit County has assumed maintenance responsibilities for the Vail Pass section of the recpath between Copper Mountain and the top of Vail Pass. The Vail Pass section is now plowed and open, but it remains icy in several locations and has not yet been swept. Prior to 2017, CDOT maintained this section. Summit County took over its maintenance this year as an in-kind contribution toward the Highway 9 Iron Springs project.
Portions of the Dillon Dam recpath will be under construction from May through early June. However, crews will maintain a recpath detour at all times in order to ensure a continuous route around Dillon Reservoir. One-lane road closures on the Dam Road will occur to accommodate the detour.
Although the recpath system is fully open, there may still be wet, sandy and icy spots, and users may encounter workers and maintenance vehicles. Recpath users are urged to exercise caution and slow down when approaching work areas or vehicles.