County Line trail head needs break before paving
Cross-country skiers who love the new access at the County Line trail head will have to give the area a little break.
Construction crews last fall prepped the area for use, but the road base is not yet paved. Wintertime use combined with spring warming is rutting out the area.
Cross-country skiers are asked to park in the Skyway parking lot to enjoy spring skiing, according to officials with the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests.
“Visitor use has decreased significantly on the site, and we want to protect the parking area and road base until conditions improve,” said Loren Paulson of the Grand Valley Ranger District.
Future improvements for the County Line trail head include paving the parking lot and adding sidewalks.
There are rest-rooms and a changing room at the site.
The former County Line trail head, on a thin pull-out off Colorado Highway 65, was the site of a double fatality accident in January 2013.
Grand Junction couple Glen and Linda Eyre were killed when a vehicle careened into the parking lot after the driver attempted to maneuver around an oncoming vehicle.
Officials with the U.S. Forest Service had long prioritized revamping the popular but dangerous pull-out at the Delta- Mesa County line, but funds weren’t freed up until last fall.
There now are 84 parking spaces on the site, located well away from the roadway.
On weekends when heavy snow blankets Grand Mesa, the new parking area nearly fills with vehicles hauling eager skiers.