One of Colorado’s mountains above 14,000 feet will be the site of an extensive, multi-year trail project beginning this summer, according to a recent announcement by the Colorado Fourteeners Initiative (CFI).
CFI has pledged $500,000 to the Great American Outdoors Act Funding. The public’s comments about the project will be helpful in the $200,000 Phase 1 application for The Colorado State Trails Program, the first of three planned phases. However, more funding is needed.
Lloyd Athearn, executive director of the non-profit organization that oversees the state’s biggest mountains, said that the initial phase of work on Mount Shavano would launch thanks to funding sources ranging around $425,000.
The project has been planned since 2016, when the Golden-based CFI purchased land on the mountain tops of Chaffee County. In a report card that evaluated the trails traversing the fourteeners, the forest service gave Shavano’s mountaineering trail an “F” for its erosive slope and the sections close to streams that were flooded during the spring.
A CFI video describes the latest trails that have been rerouted and rehabilitated along the corridor that spans approximately four miles and 4,600 feet in elevation.
Reroutes are being planned for both the upper and lower sections of the trails. The initial phase will see teams posted on both ends, removing trees and constructing timber steps while moving large stones to create other steps and wall retaining walls.
The project will last for six summers and will cost more than $1.5 million.
In 2020, CFI estimated between 10,000 and 7,000 hikers visited Shavano, more than several Sawatch Range neighbors, including Mounts Columbia (3,000-5,000) and Harvard (5,000-7,000). However, less than the wildly popular Mount Elbert (20,000-25,000).
This article originally appeared on The Denver Gazette.