North Cheyenne Canon Park roads close due to flooding

August 28, 2014 Updated: August 28, 2014 at 11:54 am
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The gate is down at North Cheyenne Canon Road outside the Starsmore Discovery Center, blocking vehicular access, and Gold Camp Road is closed between Helen Hunt Falls and the park, according to park staff member Rachel Tomaselli. (Helen Hunt Falls via Twitter, @tfocc)

Flood damage roiled access to North Cheyenne Cañon Park on Wednesday, though repairs are expected to be complete by this weekend.

Rain gouged deep ruts into Gold Camp Road above Helen Hunt Falls, prompting a closure just below the parking lot at the High Drive gate, said Kurt Schroeder of Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services.

The parking lot, which serves several trailheads, is off-limits to vehicles but is expected to reopen by Friday, he said.

"We can't take too many storms like that; otherwise, we're really going to start seeing some degradation of roads," said Schroeder, who blamed a storm that hung over the canyon Tuesday, saturating soils left with reduced vegetation after years of drought.

A National Weather Service employee in Pueblo said a gauge in the neighboring Bear Creek drainage recorded .42 inches of rain Tuesday.

City officials briefly closed North Cheyenne Canon Road on Wednesday morning to allow crews to reach Gold Camp. The park's main access road is open between the Starsmore Discover Center, 2120 N. Cheyenne Canyon Road, and Helen Hunt Falls, where crews will repair a collapsed shoulder.

According to the Friends of Cheyenne Canon, the Silver Cascade Trail, Upper Columbine Trail and Helen Hunt Falls Visitor center are closed.

The Starsmore Discovery Center, Mount Cutler Trail and Lower and Mid Columbine trails are open.

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