[Cdt-l] La Garita to Lujan Relocation

Doug Carlson doug-sue at centurylink.net
Sun Jun 30 14:26:16 CDT 2013

this new section should be marked heading nobo from Eddiesville TH?

-----Original Message-----
From: cdt-l-bounces at backcountry.net [mailto:cdt-l-bounces at backcountry.net]
On Behalf Of bcss at bresnan.net
Sent: Sunday, June 30, 2013 12:20 PM
To: 'Jim Wolf'; cdt-l at backcountry.net
Subject: Re: [Cdt-l] La Garita to Lujan Relocation

Jim and all,

Please think about this some more.  

I was on a crew from 6/1 through 6/14 that flagged and set grade for the new
route. Like you, I was mystified as to why the route dropped off of the
divide then climbed back up.  It turns out that this is to access a spring
and pond at the headwaters of Monchego Park. With this source added to the
mix, the longest distance along the new trail between water sources is 12.3
miles which is a very do-able distance. These are the water sources and
distances between:

Luders Creek  Strong piped spring at campground - the campground is 1.2
miles off trail Strong piped spring at the headwaters of Los Creek.  1.2
miles from trail via a jeep road.
A good flowing spring on the trail at 9.8 miles from Luders Creek.  This may
be seasonal - it might not be there in late season for SOBO hikers, but the
NOBO hikers were coming through while we were there so it should be good for
Aforementioned spring at Monchego Park. 12.3 Miles from Luders Creek.
Cochetopa Creek. 10.9 Miles from Monchego Park.

I would anticipate that almost all hikers would go to Luders Creek for
water. This would necessitate walking a bit over a mile down a side trail
(which we also did the layout for). Coming from Razor Creek, the hike to
Luders would be 14.7 miles.  That would be the longest distance without
water. Razor Creek can be dry in the late summer, so SOBO hikers may want to
get water at Baldy Lake which is three miles further.  

For the most part, the new alignment stays on, or close to the top of the
divide, with some truly spectacular views. It passes through stands
containing the largest Bristlecone Pines I have ever seen.  It is a
fantastic change from the existing road walk.    

I have placed a map on my website which shows the new route and all water
sources we found.  It is at:


best wishes,

Jerry Brown
(970) 403-3527    Cell: (970) 749-0496
mailto:bcss at bresnan.net

-----Original Message-----
From: cdt-l-bounces at backcountry.net [mailto:cdt-l-bounces at backcountry.net]
On Behalf Of Jim Wolf
Sent: Wednesday, June 26, 2013 9:51 PM
To: cdt-l at backcountry.net
Subject: [Cdt-l] La Garita to Lujan Relocation

The Forest Service has decided to proceed with the relocation of the CDT
segment in the Cochetopa Hills area of Colorado.

The new route will be a nonmotorized route following an alignment close to
the Continental Divide.

So far, so good.

But, we are very disappointed by the decision's approval of mountain bike
use on the new trail. We had suggested an alternative that would have
allowed bikes to continue to travel in the area -- mostly on the existing
roaded route, but with a few miles on the Divide. The CDT itself, however,
would be limited to foot and equestrian travel.

While we will not challenge the mountain bike decision, we have filed a
detailed appeal on the issue of water access. As designed, the segment is
about 31 miles long, without a single reliable water source. The comments
that CDTS had filed would call for a small realignment that would provide
easy access to Los Creek, which has been characterized (Guide to CDT, v.5:
Cochetopa Hills Segment 4:8.3) as a "dependable water source" -- a
characterization that has never been disputed in any hikers' comments. Los
Creek is about 20 miles north of water at Cochetopa Creek -- a bit far, but
something we regard as manageable.  We also object to one part of the
proposed alignment that would unnecessarily drop hundreds of feet off the
Divide for no good reason. 
The Forest Service did not address our concerns. Our appeal claims that the
decision was in violation of the National Trails System Act (calling for
"high-quality" hiking opporunities) , the National Environmental Policy Act
(requiring a hard look at reasonable alternatives), and the Administrative
Procedures Act (barring actions that are arbitrary and capricious).

Our appeal, including maps, has been posted in the What's New page of our
website. That page also includes a link to the Rio Grande NF web page for
this project.

Please take a look and let us have your thoughts.

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