Red Rocks 2023

Red Rock Canyon Open Space – 2023 trail enhancements

MedWheel has partnered with MTB with Stacy to manage ongoing maintenance and improvements at the skills area in Red Rocks. This facility was constructed in 2005 by MedWheel and has had several upgrades since then.

Red Rocks has seen several trail modifications in 2023, conducted by city contractors in accordance with the the master plan from 2013. You can download Park staff’s presentation about the work at the bottom of this page.

The planned work will occur in 6 areas across the park. MedWheel is grateful to Parks staff and to our partners at Friends of Red Rock Canyon OS, for the in-depth discussions we’ve had about the proposed changes, and the modifications to the plan that were made in order to accommodate users needs.

  1. Sand Canyon Trail, Bevers/Manitou area. Additional trail will be created to re-route users off section of the existing trail identified as erosive; these will be closed. A steep rock slab currently used by riders was originally planned to be removed from the system, but we were successful in negotiating for this feature to be incorporated into the new alignment.
  2. Chamberlain Trail – Codell area and hogback. The Chamberlain Trail concept is referenced in the 2014 Parks system master plan and will eventually connect the Air Force Academy to Cheyenne Mountain State Park. MedWheel constructed a section of Chamberlain below the Chutes, above Gold Camp reservoir, a few years ago, and additional segments continue to be added all the time. This aspect of the project will eliminate the doubletrack that runs up the valley west of Codell ridge, replacing it with a narrower trail more in keeping with the character of Chamberlain overall. This part of the project will also bring improvements to the lower part of Lower-Upper Codell, where the trail crosses over to Codell ridge. Overall we expect the changes to improve the experience on Codell.
  3. Overlook trail – this change will re-route the overlook trail OFF the landfill, moving it to the south across the valley and creating an opportunity for more interesting trail experiences in that location. Note that the scope of this work does not address the desire for a trail running N-S along the west side of the landfill.
  4. Palmer Trail, Parallel Trail, Waterfall Trail, section 16 DH. This is the most complicated part of the 2023 work. The Parallel trail will receive some minor enhancements and reroutes to reduce erosion. It’s rated black/difficult in the master plan, and there will be an attempt to expand the technical features on this trail wherever possible. The Palmer trail will receive re-routes to reduce erosion, keeping with the blue/intermediate rating of the trail. Significant effort has been made to retain the most interesting and compelling technical features on the trail – wherever possible these will be kept and alternate lines around the features will be provided for users who desire them. The bottom of the section 16 DH and the intersection with the Palmer trail will be reworked to enhance stability and improve sight lines for users travelling downhill. The Waterfall trail as shown in the master plan mostly doesn’t exist yet and will be constructed as part of this work. Please take a closer look at the proposal attached at the bottom of this page for more information about this. MedWheel can arrange an onsite walk through for members if there is sufficient interest.
  5. Round Up, Pond reclamation – the unlicensed pond at the bottom of the Round Up trail has been mostly filled. The connection to the bottom of Round Up will be moved off the double track, further east at a narrower tread width. A new drainage will be constructed where the double track road is today, improving water flow during heavy rains and reducing erosion from these events. The changes are minor in terms of trail experience, but will make a big improvement in the aesthetics of this area. Check out the new trail renderings in the city’s presentation at the bottom of this page.
  6. Mesa trail near main parking lot and skills area – reroute the steep doubletrack immediately west of the jump line to create a sustainable and enjoyable singletrack trail.

Contractors have been selected and work on these projects is slated to begin in 2023. At this time, the changes are in conformance with the master plan and additional public consultation isn’t planned. Overall we are pleased to have worked with staff and the Friends group to make modifications to the plans, and we believe these changes are a reasonable balance between the requirements of the master plan and consideration of users experiences. If you have feedback about the changes, or suggestions about how we should work with staff and partners on future projects, please let us know.

To learn more about current trail and advocacy projects, visit our Advocacy page.

Check out City of COS Parks staff presentation from Feb 1 2023 on this topic. The last page of the presentation contains status information about the closure due to rockfall on the section 16 trail – recently re-opened after a USFS geophysical analysis.