Crags now open to hikers

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Beautiful views abound at the Crags. - J. ADRIAN STANLEY
  • J. Adrian Stanley
  • Beautiful views abound at the Crags.

The Crags, closed indefinitely by the Pikes Peak Ranger District of the Pike-San Isabel National Forest for tree removal, is open again — at least to hikers.

Here is the full information. Check it out before you head up the the popular trail:

PIKES PEAK RANGER DISTRICT RE-OPENS CRAGS AREA FOR HIKING

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., June 12, 2017…The Pikes Peak Ranger District of the Pike-San Isabel National Forest has re-opened the Crags area and Forest Road 383 for hiking only. The popular Crags Campground in Teller County is expected to open within the next few weeks.

Due to the large number of hazard trees that pose a safety concern to the public, dispersed camping and parking along Forest Road 383 is prohibited. Camping will be allowed only in the developed Crags Campground and parking is allowed only at designated trailheads and within the campground. Visitors are urged to take extra precautions when recreating in the area this summer due to the large number of hazard trees in the vicinity.

The area had been closed for the past six months while a timber contractor removed some of the dead or dying spruce trees in a 12 acre area along a section of Forest Road 383 that had been affected by the spruce bark beetle. By working over the snow with heavy equipment, the contractor was able to reduce impacts to soils.

Additional forest health project and hazard tree removal work was recently accomplished by U.S. Forest Service crews in the Crags Campground and at the three trailheads along Forest Road 383, which provides access for the Crags, Devil’s Playground and the Ring the Peak Trails.

Visitors will continue to notice significant changes over the next few years as more spruce trees succumb to the natural beetle infestation. Additional forest health projects, including timber removal, will necessitate future closures for public safety in the Crags area beginning in the fall of 2017.

For more information, please contact the Pikes Peak Ranger District at (719) 636-1602. Information about alternate camping and recreation areas can also be found on: www.recreation.gov or, the Pike-San Isabel National Forest website at http://www.fs.usda.gov/psicc

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