First phase of Grand Hogback Trails project at Rifle Arch nears completion | PostIndependent.com
YOUR AD HERE »

First phase of Grand Hogback Trails project at Rifle Arch nears completion

Hannah Hoetmer and Steven Conter from the Eagle area start the hike the Rifle Arch Trail for an afternoon of climbing on Monday.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

A new trail system at Rifle Arch is nearing the completion of 6.3 miles of trail, according to a Rifle department head.

Rifle City Planner Nathan Lindquist reported to the city council Feb. 3 that the first phase, which will likely cost $80,095, is scheduled for a spring completion. The second phase of the project includes the construction of a new parking lot, added signage and relocation of the existing hiking trail, among other improvements.

The second phase is estimated to cost $113,097.



In 2020, the city signed a contract with Gumption Trail Works to complete the first phase. Delays caused by Bureau of Land Management permitting issues, however, only allowed for 5.7 miles of trail to be completed before wintertime at $70,045, Lindquist said.

The remaining trail will be constructed at an additional cost of $10,050.



“We did a good job working through that and we got 5.7 of the 6.3 miles done,” Lindquist said of the delay. “So, we just extended the scope of it to finish the last bit in the spring as soon as we’re allowed to do so.”

Hannah Hoetmer and Steven Conter from the Eagle area start the hike the Rifle Arch Trail for an afternoon of climbing on Monday.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

Upon first-phase completion, the biking trail is slated to open April 15, weather permitting. Meanwhile, the hiking trails are still open year round, Lindquist said.

“I did have the opportunity of course as the project manager to go and quality control test the trials with my mountain bike,” Lindquist joked. “It was an important part of the process.”

The city intends to build an additional 5 to 6 miles of trails throughout the course of 2021.

“In all seriousness it’s going to be a big asset,” Lindquist said of Hogback’s completion. “I think it’s pretty exciting. I’m not a good mountain biker and they’re fun for me, so they’ll be fun for good mountain bikers even more so.”

The city has accrued a number of funding sources for the Grand Hogback Trails construction project.

The parking area off of HIghway 13 at the trailhead of the Rifle Arch Trail.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

Rifle’s Visitor Improvement Fund, and help from the Rifle Area Mountain Bike Organization and local volunteers, raised $94,002 for phase one of the Grand Hogback Trails construction project. Various sources, among others, included substantial allocations from the Garfield County Board of County Commissioners, the Roaring Fork Mountain Bike Association and the Greater Rifle Improvement Team, which generates revenue through the local lodging tax.

With $43,907 already secured by the Visitor Improvement Fund, Lindquist said the city will also implement further funding sources — including a pending $100,000 grant from Colorado Parks & Wildlife — for the completion of phase two.

City councilors also last week gave their blessing to now seek bids for construction of the new parking lot at Rifle Arch. The current parking, which straddles Colorado Highway 13, has continued to be a safety concern.

“From my perspective, I want to get the parking lot done,” Mayor Barbara Clifton said. “I think it’s a safety issue.”

rerku@citizentelegram.com


Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.