The 4-1-1 on Trail Closures

You may be wondering exactly why certain trails are open and certain trails are currently closed. Simply put: public safety. Due to the amount of rain Government Canyon State Natural Area (GCSNA) received over the last couple of months - 30+ inches of rain and 2 flash floods since September 1 - it is going to take time for staff and volunteers to clear and repair trails. The GCSNA staff have had several discussions about current trail openings and it comes down to two categories:

1) Open the trails on a “hike at your own risk” basis. There would be no guarantees you can find the trails, let alone navigate them. For example, we know that there are large trees down on Overlook Trail that completely block the trail as well as make it difficult to navigate around. Additional eyewitness reports indicate sections of Caroline’s Loop, Far Reaches, La Subida, Black Hill Loop, and Little Windmill are completely overgrown with tall grass, to the point of being unrecognizable as trails. Safety/rescue/any assistance would be “on your own” as the GCSNA staff can not guarantee ATV accessibility and would most certainly cannot guarantee help of ANY kind as certain sections of trails are simply not accessible by any means other than foot, or perhaps helicopter.

2) Open up ONLY those trails that have been somewhat cleared and provide relatively safe accessibility for both visitors and “rescue personnel” as best as possible.

As of November 3, the GCSNA staff are exercising Option 2. Please see the map below. It gives a thumbnail idea of the issues out there. It is nowhere near complete and does not represent everything out there that may need addressing. Please note that Wildcat has been addressed as far as large trees being down is concerned, but the entire trail is still in need of weed eating and trimming back for ATV access. The GCSNA staff have several workdays scheduled but it will take time, and good weather, to get the trails back open.