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Recreational Trails Program Achievement Awards

Crestone Needle - Humboldt Peak Project, Colorado

The work completed with RTP funding has succeeded in mitigating a great deal of the hiking and climbing impacts on this alpine peak in Southern Colorado's Sangre de Cristo Wilderness.

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Crestone Needle - Humbolt Peak Project

Project sponsor: Rocky Mountain Field Institute

Award Category: Environment and Wildlife Compatibility

Congressional District: John Salazar (D-3-CO)

Senators: Wayne Allard (R) and Ken Salazar (D)

2008 Annual Achievement Award winner: for trail projects funded through the Recreational Trails Program of the Federal Highway Administration. Awarded by the Coalition for Recreational Trails.

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Placing erosion control fabric to aid with revegetation

Rocky Mountain Field Institute utilized a 2004 RTP award to restore and protect popular hiking and climbing routes in the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness Area in the San Isabel and Rio Grande National Forests, while providing access to the high country. This project addressed the most difficult sections of the routes with some of the areas over 14,000 feet high.

The peaks that were restored had suffered route degradation due to increased use, extremely steep terrain, severe weather, fragile vegetation, poor drainage, and difficulty of maintenance. All trail work in Wilderness Areas must be done by hand since any form of mechanized equipment is not allowed. Mitigation of the peaks included identification and construction of a single hiking and climbing trail, the closure of unwanted and unnecessary trails, and the restoration of damaged sites through slope stabilization and re-vegetation.

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The Wanoga Snopark staging and parking area

Due to the steepness of the terrain, and the damage to the tundra, much of the trail included natural rock steps with many water structures. Re-vegetation often included backfilling with native materials, hauled in by human power, and transplants of fragile tundra plants from other damaged areas.

Completion of this project required staff and volunteers to camp all summer above timberline and to work in adverse high-altitude conditions and often in severe weather.

For more information:

Mark Hesse
Rocky Mountain Field Institute,
1520 Alamo Avenue, Colorado Springs, CO 80907.
Phone: 719-471-7736

For more great trails, see:

See more 2008 Annual Achievement Award winners from the Coalition for Recreation Trails.

See State by State list of all Recreational Trails Program Awards with links to individual award web pages

AWARDS and recognition programs:

Related topics:

More resources:


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