Logging brings trail closures to Steamboat Ski Area

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— This is the final weekend of summer operations at Steamboat Ski Area, but the logging will continue.

Accordingly, those who had planned to ride the Creekside and Zig Zag mountain bike trails this fall without a gondola ride up the mountain will have to go elsewhere.

Those trails will be closed for the season starting Monday as the ski area enters Phases 5 and 6 of the Big Spark logging project aimed at removing beetle-killed lodgepole pine trees.

“It is imperative that the public understands the dangers associated with an operation of this scope and abide by all closures and keep clear of the impacted areas,” Doug Allen, vice president of mountain operations for Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp., said in a press release. “The resort will experience a significant increase in on-mountain activities as a result of logging, helicopter work, heavy construction, trail maintenance and winter preparations.”

Kent Foster, recreation manager for the U.S. Forest Service’s Hahns Peak/Bears Ears Ranger District, said the closure has been implemented because of the scope of the work. The closed area encompasses the Thunderhead Express chairlift to the Vagabond trail and from the top of the gondola down to BC Ski Way.

No biking, hiking, hunting or other access is permitted in the closed area. The closure goes into effect Monday and will continue until the work is completed.

The only access up or down the ski area will be via Yoo Hoo and Valley View for bikers and the Thunderhead trail for hikers. All upper-mountain trails will remain open as conditions permit. The new downhill trails are also closing after this weekend and will open again for one day for the Steamboat Bike Summit Downhill Race on Oct. 2.

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