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Pike National Forest – Volunteer Vacations 2021

August 15 - August 21

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There are 2 trails in the same area which are located on the Forest Service’s AG Ranch which was the home of the Rocky Mt. Regional Specially Pack String from 1990 to 2018. The Brookside AG & the Ben Tyler trails lead into the Lost Creek Wilderness. There are 2 sections of the Brookside AG that are missing through the ranch which have been started but are not yet complete so this work would be trail construction. The existing sections of trail need maintenance. The spur trail of the Ben Tyler that leads to the current Ben Tyler needs maintenance. At some time in the future this will be the main trail due to the danger of parking along the highway at the current trail head. Most of the work is lighter in nature for trail work and most is in Ponderosa grasslands with Aspen mixed in. The work is lighter than many trail projects because there is not the heavy rock work, steep terrain, nor trees to remove. The elevation of the area of work and camping is 8,500 to 9,000 feet.

CURRENT COVID TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS/REQUIREMENTS FOR STATE (Link)

Venue

Pike National Forest
56052 US Hwy 285, Shawnee, Colorado 80475

Organizer

Hiking/Access

Day hiking up to 2 miles each work day

Project Rating

Moderate

Minimum Volunteer Age

18

Maximum Group Size

10

Area and Attractions

Shawnee is a historic district, 50 miles from Denver. In Bailey, CO 5 miles away there are 4 restaurants & a small brewery. South Park Basin is a 1,000 square mile grassland basin in the geographic center of the state at 9,000 to 10,000 feet in elevation. The basin was designated a National Heritage Area in 2008. The top of Kenosha Pass, 15 miles from the ranch overlooks some of the basin & the Mosquito Range. Guanella Pass road is a scenic route, 5 miles from the ranch. At the top you are above timber line with the trail head to Mount Bierstadt 14,060 ft. Mount Evens at 14,264 feet can be reached by driving if the road is open because of covid-19. Two historic mining towns, Fairplay & Georgetown are within 35 miles. Georgetown is at the end of the Guanella Pass road. Wildlife on the ranch includes; elk, mule deer, bear, moose, bobcat, lynx, lion, coyote, badgers & lots of birds. Bighorn are seen on the Guanella Pass road & pronghorn in the basin. The ranch is dived by US Hwy 285 & the camp site is on the south or upper side. The north or lower side has the North Fork of the South Platte running through it and the fishing is great, with trout 24 to 30+ inches.

Accommodations Description

Volunteers will be tent camping at the Forest Service's, AG Ranch, 50 miles from Denver. The camp will be 1/3 to 1 mile behind a gate. The public can hike on the ranch but ATV’s are not allowed. There are 2 sites to choose from, both are on the ranch & close to the Brookside/AG trail. One is closer to Ponderosa trees for shade & higher up, the other is more open. Outhouses & hand washing stations will be brought in. A fire ring will be on hand if the fire danger is low enough to have campfires. Showers can be used for a small fee at the Platte Canyon High School & there is also swimming. Volunteers should bring their own tent, sleeping bag/sleeping pad, cup/bowl/mug/eating utensils, and personal gear.

Travel

No aiport pickup provided for this trip. The closest airport is in Denver, CO. Meeting times will be sent to registrants when the trip is confirmed.
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