The trail used to access two of the most iconic and beautiful alpine lakes in Colorado will remain closed until at least summer due to safety hazards following the Ice Fire in San Juan County.
Falling trees, rocks, and boulders weakened from the 596-acre backcountry blaze prompted the extended closure of the Ice Lakes Trail on Wednesday afternoon, according to a recent press release from the San Juan National Forest.
The closure order includes the lower Ice Lakes Trail and Lower Clear Lake Road, as well as South Mineral Road (NSFR 585) from the new gate located just past the Goldenhorn camp area to where it crosses Clear Creek past South Mineral Campground. While the South Mineral Campground is excluded from the closure order, access to the campground via South Mineral Road (NSFR 585) is strictly prohibited due to potential fire hazards.
Effective Oct 28, the Ice Fire area closure has been reduced. Public entry into the closure is prohibited for user safety, as fire-weakened trees and falling rocks continue to pose hazards. See the attached news release and order for more information. pic.twitter.com/BIKQlfuZpQ— SanJuanNF (@SanJuanNF) October 29, 2020
Hikers, mountain bikers, snowshoers, skiers, snowmobilers, any other outdoor recreationist found violating the closure order could face a class B misdemeanor, huge fines, and up to 6 months in jail. The fine can be up to $5,000 for individuals and $10,000 for businesses.
The closure order is currently in place until July 31, 2021, unless lifted earlier or further extended.
"Please practice fire safety precautions, and NEVER leave a campfire unattended," tweeted the San Juan National Forest. "If it's too hot to touch, it's too hot to leave."
Ice Lakes Trail is a popular trek to multiple turquoise alpine lakes nestled in the backcountry of the San Juan National Forest near the town of Silverton in southwest Colorado.