2020 Steamboat Color Cruise

Mendocino

Event Coordinator
Joined
Sep 27, 2005
Messages
2,361
Location
North Side
I went out and took a look today, the gates are large, iron and seem relatively new. I've had multiple issues and run-ins with landowners (mostly positive) in this part of CO around access. When you spend that $6.2mil for privacy I suppose you get serious gates. Regardless i've scouted a new route and it pops us out a little bit further north and closer to the lake (marked in red on the map as a bypass). It does however skip Kremmling, so fuel up (y)
You may want to call the local Forest Service folks and ask them what is going on. If these roads are on the FS Motor Vehicle Use Map the land owner action needs to stop immediately! We have this issue in Utah too.
 

TancruiserJr

Rock Stacker
Joined
Sep 8, 2020
Messages
14
You may want to call the local Forest Service folks and ask them what is going on. If these roads are on the FS Motor Vehicle Use Map the land owner action needs to stop immediately! We have this issue in Utah too.
Good call. I have a pretty good relationship with the local field office but the issue at hand is in another county. Still worth an ask though! The way I rerouted us skips a lot of sage flats and keeps us in the colors so I think it's a good compromise.
 

AlpineAccess

Locked
Joined
Nov 19, 2019
Messages
257
Location
Loveland
Good call. I have a pretty good relationship with the local field office but the issue at hand is in another county. Still worth an ask though! The way I rerouted us skips a lot of sage flats and keeps us in the colors so I think it's a good compromise.

Agreed, this is what I was concerned about, not so much the reroute. We have been seeing more and more of this kind of stuff, especially from some big developers out of Texas (Utah is really familiar with this lately - unfortunately). Buy land with FS road access/easements paid for and maintained by the public for decades and block them with gates - not cattle grates.

Been really bad on local waterways lately. Have had to call numerous times about people putting up private property/no fishing signs on public water. It clearly works on most folks, but after fishing these areas for a long time and knowing we are in the right its infuriating. We have had success reporting it, or at least the signs go away within a week or so.
 

TancruiserJr

Rock Stacker
Joined
Sep 8, 2020
Messages
14
Agreed, this is what I was concerned about, not so much the reroute. We have been seeing more and more of this kind of stuff, especially from some big developers out of Texas (Utah is really familiar with this lately - unfortunately). Buy land with FS road access/easements paid for and maintained by the public for decades and block them with gates - not cattle grates.

Been really bad on local waterways lately. Have had to call numerous times about people putting up private property/no fishing signs on public water. It clearly works on most folks, but after fishing these areas for a long time and knowing we are in the right its infuriating. We have had success reporting it, or at least the signs go away within a week or so.

It's becoming the status quo up here as well. Combine that with herds of people flocking to mountain towns with very little respect for the natural resources and it's time to get more proactive!
 

AlpineAccess

Locked
Joined
Nov 19, 2019
Messages
257
Location
Loveland
Right on! Let me know if it helps to have someone else inquire with them about it as well.

One of the biggest issues it seems is when the public does not refer the issue to the USFS, County, or other jurisdiction immediately (often it needs to be lodged as a formal complaint). Over a period of years, the gate prevents the public from using the road and therefor from being maintained by the county/USFS/etc. The property owners will often maintain it, document their expenditures, and then when a suit is finally brought they make claim to the roadway as they have established ownership via the maintaining and use of it for a period of time. This is the same argument that was brought into the mix by developers in Utah, Wyoming, and Montana - as well as private property owners who are well funded and will stand up to a suit from the gov.

Who knows, maybe this is all nothing and it truly is a private roadway - but it sure doesn't look that way.

Here is an example from the ADV riders forum of a guy confused in Colorado by private roadway signs on what are really public roadways, and a response by a guy in Wyoming who handles these issues in WY (later posts in the thread he sounds more like an attorney than a land manager, and seems to be well informed).

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Yeah, but I can't tell what's a legit sign and what's not legit. How can you tell?"
"Unfortunately, there's no easy way to tell. In Wyoming, you can check the commissioners' records at the local courthouse to find out the surveyed route of all the county roads, and get copies of the easements (or orders) establishing the road. Even then, you can get into issues regarding whether the county road has been abandoned, and reverted to private.

The forest service roads are not so easy, because the forest service is so bad about either maintaining their roads, or keeping records regarding which ones are public and private. It is not uncommom for private inholders in the forest who block a road through their property, which was built and maintained by the public long before their property was private. The Forest Service (or the public) is left to file suit to enjoin the blockage, and they usually conclude it is not worth the money to bring suit.

I just finished working on a lawsuit where this precise issue was involved, and the forest service won the suit, but they had allowed the road to remain blocked for over a decade. If they hadn't convinced the U.S. Attorney to bring suit to establish a trail along the old railroad bed passing through the same property, they would never have sued just to reopen the road.

There are several theories under which the forest service, the local county commission or the public can sue to enjoin a landowner from blocking a public road. (prescriptive easements, R.S. 2477, implied easement, simple lack of right) Sadly, the amount of historical research necessary to prevail in those suits means that few ever get brought, due to the cost. The private landowners know this, so they routinely just block the roads, and dare anyone to do anything about it.

The worst abuse I've seen in Wyoming is where a private landowner (with buddies on the county commission) will grant an easement for a county road, get the county to pay to build the road, then convince the commissioners to abandon the road later. The landowner, in the process, just got the taxpayers to build him a nice long driveway, thank you very much. I can point to a couple of these in my county."
 

AlpineAccess

Locked
Joined
Nov 19, 2019
Messages
257
Location
Loveland
Alright! FYI for everyone who might have wanted to connect through wyoming to steamboat:

230 and 130 in WY are closed to thru traffic going to the Colorado border due to the mullen fire. Including southbound from saratoga according to 511.

We got all the way to woods landing before troopers turned us around. Grew to 35k acres last night, explosive growth expected today, almost pitch dark on 130 as the sun was rising everywhere else. Smoke is combining with the plume from Cameron peak, a little apocalyptic looking.

We may still to make it out to you guys later today at red dirt reservoir, but good luck and enjoy the trip if we don't connect. Should have rolled out last night.
 

AlpineAccess

Locked
Joined
Nov 19, 2019
Messages
257
Location
Loveland
Correction - 130 is open through to riverside, but they announced mandatory evacuations for the areas between and likely closing the roadways if there is fire spread. Gusting to 50 today (really windy now) so may see this grow quickly.
 

Inukshuk

Rising Sun Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2005
Messages
5,053
Location
Denver, CO
:oops::cry: I get it. I have been rerouted 2x this summer by fires. Man oh man the area up there is loaded with beetle kill fuel!
When we fled the Cameron Peak fire area we went to the Medicine Bow range and had our last rest stop on Rob Roy Reservoir - now in the path of the Mullen fire.
 

AlpineAccess

Locked
Joined
Nov 19, 2019
Messages
257
Location
Loveland
Troopers are getting ready to close 287 north of fort collins, likely in next hour.

Cameron peak fire is running in red feather. Going to be a very bad day in northern colorado as well as southern wyoming.

We made the call that 130 wouldn't be worth the gamble getting through as WYDOT hadn't shown the blockage on 230 either. We were literally the vehicle that the troopers herring boned in front of and stopped all traffic, and didn't want to chance another several hours on the road to get stuck there. Turned south, got back to Loveland and we are now looking at a major accident on I-70 showing east and westbound delays.

Probably not going to make it out guys. Will have to connect another time.

We did see a green 80 with WY plates trying to get through (about 15 minutes behind us on 230) and thought to ourselves it might also be someone from this group. Guessing you guys ran up to I-80 to try to get across so hope it went well.
 
Last edited:

TancruiserJr

Rock Stacker
Joined
Sep 8, 2020
Messages
14
Troopers are getting ready to close 287 north of fort collins, likely in next hour.

Cameron peak fire is running in red feather. Going to be a very bad day in northern colorado as well as southern wyoming.

We made the call that 130 wouldn't be worth the gamble getting through as WYDOT hadn't shown the blockage on 230 either. We were literally the vehicle that the troopers herring boned in front of and stopped all traffic, and didn't want to chance another several hours on the road to get stuck there. Turned south, got back to Loveland and we are now looking at a major accident on I-70 showing east and westbound delays.

Probably not going to make it out guys. Will have to connect another time.

We did see a green 80 with WY plates trying to get through (about 15 minutes behind us on 230) and thought to ourselves it might also be someone from this group. Guessing you guys ran up to I-80 to try to get across so hope it went well.

Wow sounds apocalyptic! My wife has to get back to Fort Collins today and is debating north Walden to Rawlins via riverside and across i80 to Laramie, looks like the best option for a slow going 60.

If you're wanting to get out for another weekend, let me know and i'm happy to show you around the local trails (y)
 

Hulk

Cruise Moab Chairman
Staff member
Cruise Moab Committee
Joined
Aug 22, 2005
Messages
13,631
Location
Centennial
Wow sounds apocalyptic! My wife has to get back to Fort Collins today and is debating north Walden to Rawlins via riverside and across i80 to Laramie, looks like the best option for a slow going 60.

Is Hwy 34 closed? If not, I would take 40 to 34 which will dump you out in Loveland.

Screen Shot 2020-09-28 at 9.07.59 AM.png
 

TancruiserJr

Rock Stacker
Joined
Sep 8, 2020
Messages
14
Is Hwy 34 closed? If not, I would take 40 to 34 which will dump you out in Loveland.
Yeah Trail Ridge Road through the park has been closed since the Cameron Peak file kicked up. Also requires a reservation now to get into the park o_O
 

AlpineAccess

Locked
Joined
Nov 19, 2019
Messages
257
Location
Loveland
Yeah man it was a serious bummer! We would love to get another short trip in before the snow flies.

230 going both northwest and north east from cowdrey were closed at the CO border.

Trail Ridge is open when I called RMNP on Friday - we were looking for an alternate to get through than chancing the fires up north! You must have a reservation, but it can be done day of if people miss their check-in it sounds like. Too up in the air for us so we tried WY. I pushed them about the reservation system as we use 34 to transit the park to Granby to visit friends often, and are not stopping in the park but they said no as they don't have a system to manage locals now.

Best way to get info (in our case the only way we found out what roads were closed) was with the 511 Wyoming app on our phones. I stopped into the fly shop off 230 in Laramie and they showed me the closures - super helpful.

We really considered running 130 through Medicine bow early Sat morning (it was open but none of the forest service roads were) and then take 230 South East into CO. We are glad we didn't, they shut both routes down literally as we would have made it to the check points.

I think the surest route is down to 70 and up, or go through Craig, up and over to 80 and then down through Laramie. Would keep a close eye on Laramie's road conditions - if the Mullen fire slows down you could probably make it through up 230.
 
Last edited:

TancruiserJr

Rock Stacker
Joined
Sep 8, 2020
Messages
14
Yeah man it was a serious bummer! We would love to get another short trip in before the snow flies.

230 going both northwest and north east from cowdrey were closed at the CO border.

Trail Ridge is open when I called RMNP on Friday - we were looking for an alternate to get through than chancing the fires up north! You must have a reservation, but it can be done day of if people miss their check-in it sounds like. Too up in the air for us so we tried WY. I pushed them about the reservation system as we use 34 to transit the park to Granby to visit friends often, and are not stopping in the park but they said no as they don't have a system to manage locals now.

Best way to get info (in our case the only way we found out what roads were closed) was with the 511 Wyoming app on our phones. I stopped into the fly shop off 230 in Laramie and they showed me the closures - super helpful.

We really considered running 130 through Medicine bow early Sat morning (it was open but none of the forest service roads were) and then take 230 South East into CO. We are glad we didn't, they shut both routes down literally as we would have made it to the check points.

I think the surest route is down to 70 and up, or go through Craig, up and over to 80 and then down through Laramie. Would keep a close eye on Laramie's road conditions - if the Mullen fire slows down you could probably make it through up 230.

Dang well we're bummed we missed you but at least you didn't get stuck midway through! Wife and I once had to outrun a wildfire in California that we were unaware of that changed direction overnight. Went to sleep to crystal clear skies and stars, woke up to 15 foot visibility and the sound of fire choppers overhead. Drove east as fast as we could on a road that looked like it went out and got to the end to find a group of firefighters with eyes wide as we emerged from the timber.

Anyhow she's heading up through Riverside to Rawlins and across. Nothing like tacking on a couple hours to the commute hah!
 

FunkyYota

Rising Sun Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2019
Messages
196
Location
Wheat Ridge
Hey Devon! Thanks for organizing this! We had a blast, even though we had to bail.

For what its worth, we found the missing cat! haha
 

TancruiserJr

Rock Stacker
Joined
Sep 8, 2020
Messages
14
Hey Devon! Thanks for organizing this! We had a blast, even though we had to bail.

For what its worth, we found the missing cat! haha
Hah! Glad the crisis was averted. Thanks for joining us!
 
Top