Last September's flood destroyed dozens of trails, roads, riverbeds and recreation areas up and down the Front Range. Some of those areas are still closed for repairs, and some will never be the same again.
Thousands of hours of work has been put into repairing what could be repaired and replacing what could be replaced. Now that summer is upon us and the outdoors are calling, here's a north-to-south Front Range guide we hope will inform your decisions about where to go and what to do.
City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks updates: https://bouldercolorado.gov/osmp
Boulder flood updates: https://bouldercolorado.gov/flood
Boulder County cycling restrictions: http://tinyurl.com/bococycling
Boulder County trail closures: http://tinyurl.com/bocoparks
Colorado Parks & Wildlife: http://cpw.state.co.us/
The Arapaho & Roosevelt National Forests have too many trail and road closures to list here. But the agency has created and maintains an up-to-date list at fs.usda.gov/goto/arp/floodrecovery.
Rocky Mountain National Park's homepage is nps.gov/romo
The Flood of 2013 didn't have near the impact on Poudre Canyon that it had on points south, according to Reghan Cloudman, a spokeswoman for the Canyon Lakes District of the Forest Service.
The U.S. Forest Service operates a string of campgrounds along U.S. Highway 14 up the canyon from Fort Collins to Cameron Pass. Cloudman said all those campgrounds are open, although one or two sites within a particular campground might be closed due to damage.
"Right now (the Poudre) is running really high with all the snowmelt we've been seeing, and all the rain," Cloudman said. "But nothing's closed because of it. We're just urging extra caution."
Last weekend, two people died after going into the river.
Bellaire Lake Campground, off of Highway 14 near Red Feather Lakes, is closed because a windstorm knocked down more than 100 trees a little more than a week ago. Also affected were the Molly Lake Trailhead and dispersed campsites along Manhattan Road.
Big Thompson Canyon
Stretches of U.S. Highway 34 were washed away in the Flood of 2013. In fact, the flood altered the landscape of the canyon.
"The river has completely changed," said Mike Romero, who drives through the canyon every day. "It's amazing how different it is."
Ongoing repair work is taking priority over people being allowed to park and go fishing.
"There are signs everywhere that say 'no loitering, no picture-taking,'" said Romero, publisher of the Estes Park Trail-Gazette.
The wheelchair-accessible pier that was once a popular spot in the Big Thompson Canyon is gone, and many picnic areas along 34 and along County Road 43 to Glen Haven were wiped out by the flood. Several all-wheel-drive trails in the Drake/Dunraven/Glen Haven area remain closed; check the U.S. Forest Service's flood recovery page for the latest information.
Big Thompson State Wildlife Area
Located southwest of the intersection of U.S. Highway 34 and Interstate 25, this day use area for fishing and small game hunting remains closed, having been "devastated" by the flood, according to Colorado Parks & Wildlife spokeswoman Jennifer Churchill.
Rocky Mountain National Park
Old Fall River Road will be closed to vehicles throughout 2014, but hikers and cyclists are still allowed on the road, which has "trail" status, according to a park volunteer.
Anyone intending to use Old Fall River would need to be prepared to wade across the Roaring River .
Once construction begins on the road — and that is imminent, according to the volunteer — all access to Old Fall River will be blocked.
The Endovalley Road near Sheep Lakes is closed at the east Alluvial Fan parking area.
Several parts of the park's eastern half sustained trail damage, including the Bear Lake, Fall River, Lumpy Ridge, Twin Sisters, Northfork and Wild Basin areas. Backcountry hikers are warned to expect different conditions than they've seen in the past, including missing foot bridges, directional signs and even sections of trail, according to the park's website.
North and South St. Vrain canyons
Along U.S. Highway 36 between Lyons and Estes Park, the Lions Gulch Trail is closed to hikers. Along Colo. Highway 7 between Lyons and Estes Park, the day-use picnic areas are closed.
St. Vrain State Park
Northwest of the intersection of Colo. Highway 119 and Interstate 25, St. Vrain State Park suffered heavy damage during the flood, but much of it has been repaired, according to Churchill. An entrance station had to be rebuilt, and the park's bathhouse, which suffered damage, has been repaired. All 87 of the park's campsites have been reopened.
"The fishing's pretty good actually," Churchill said. "Our biologist has been out there, and most of the fish have stayed. ... We didn't lose nearly as many as you might think."
City of Longmont:
The city has banned all activity in and along the St. Vrain River and Left Hand Creek, including swimming, wading, tubing and fishing.
The St. Vrain Greenway within the city limits is closed in the following places: the southeast corner of Golden Ponds; from Rogers Grove to Martin Street; from where the St. Vrain merges with Left Hand Creek east to Sandstone Ranch.
Left Hand Creek is closed at Kanemoto Park and from Main Street east to the spur that leads to the Longmont Recreation Center.
The city-owned Button Rock Dam and Ralph Price Reservoir are closed to hiking and fishing.
This popular ride for cyclists is open this summer, though many of the pull-off day-use areas along the sides of the road were washed out during the floods and have not been repaired.
Just north of Lefthand Canyon Drive, Geer Canyon Road to Heil Valley Ranch, which is closed because of extensive flood damage, will reopen on Saturday. Also reopening is the South Trailhead at the ranch, as well as the Wapiti Trail and Lichen Loop Trail.
Also closed is the Lefthand Canyon Off-Highway-Vehicle area, which is popular for motorized recreation, as is the Lefthand Canyon shooting area from the intersection of county roads 94 and 81 out to Colo. Highway 72.
The canyon is open to cyclists, although the Boulder Falls Trail, which is five miles up the canyon on the north side of Boulder Canyon Drive, is closed until further notice.
The canyon is open to cyclists, as is the Bald Mountain Scenic Area.
There currently are no cycling restrictions within Fourmile Canyon, though this area is still prone to flash flooding since vegetation has not fully returned since the Fourmile Fire of 2010.
Access to Betasso Preserve from Fourmile Canyon Drive is closed, but the other entrances to the preserve are still open. The Fourmile Link Trail from Fourmile Creek to Fourmile Canyon Drive is closed because the creek is unsafe to cross.
James Canyon Drive, a popular ride for cyclists heading to Jamestown, is still closed.
Andrew Barth, Boulder County transportation spokesman, said the county has completed temporary repairs along James Canyon Drive, but private reconstruction continues and there are no shoulders on that road.
"The roads are really narrow. They're a tough gravel surface right now in a lot of sections heading up to Jamestown," he said. "It's just dangerous once you get a lot of cyclists on that roadway right now."
The Ceran St. Vrain Trail and most of the Gillespie Gulch Road near Jamestown are closed. See the Arapaho & Roosevelt National Forests flood recovery page for more information.
The shooting areas along James Canyon Drive from U.S. Highway 36 to Colo. Highway 72 are closed.
Barth said that starting in early June, a one-mile stretch of Flagstaff Road between Gregory Canyon Road and Panorama Point will be closed to all traffic, including bikes, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Crews are installing a bridge over a section of roadway that washed out during the flood. Access to the road will remain open via Gross Dam Road off Coal Creek Canyon Drive. Work should be completed by November, Barth said.
On all canyon roads, Barth said the county is asking cyclists and motorists to exercise caution and to be patient as more repairs are completed.
"All of those canyon (roads) still have some very tough conditions in sections," Barth said. "We're asking everybody to be really vigilant, take extra precautions and slow down and be patient with us and other users. It's going to be tough for quite a while."
The creek was reopened in its entirety throughout the spring to tubers, kayakers and swimmers. But as spring runoff continues, the creek is subject to closure to flotation devices at the discretion of the Boulder County Sheriff's Office. Typically, tubes are banned on the creek if water is flowing at or above 700 cubic feet per second. Normal flow is 100 to 300 cubic feet per second. When tubing is banned, kayaks and whitewater rafts are permitted.
Boulder County parks and open space repairs, by the numbers
21.8 miles of trails repaired
2,550 hours spent repairing trails
20,000+ cubic yards and 5,600 tons of debris removed from creeks
Source: Boulder County Parks and Open Space
The Annie U. White and Pella Crossing trails, off Wagonwheel Gap and Hygiene roads, respectively, are closed indefinitely due to extensive flood damage. The county's Coal Creek Trail is closed in Louisville, but open in Lafayette.
Pella Crossing is also closed to anglers.
City of Boulder
Also closed is the city of Boulder's Evert Pierson Kids' Fishing Pond. Fishing at all other locations in the county and city is permitted this summer.
Within city of Boulder limits, the popular Upper Royal Arch Trail at Chautauqua is closed, though all other trails within Chautauqua are open for the summer.
Eldorado Canyon State Park
The park's day-use picnic area is off limits while flood repairs go on. There's no fishing at the park because that is typically accessed through the picnic area. The Rattlesnake Gulch trail is closed, although the other two trails through the park are open. The Supremacy Rock climbing route is closed, but all the others are open.
Daily Camera staff writer Sarah Kuta contributed to this report.
Contact Times-Call staff writer Tony Kindelspire at 303-684-5291 or firstname.lastname@example.org