UPDATE: Road to Crystal Mill, townsite reopens after debris cleared
UPDATE, Friday 2:20 p.m. — The road to the Crystal Mill and Townsite (Forest Road 314) is open again Friday afternoon following the debris flows earlier this week. “The debris has been cleared and the road is dry enough for us to reopen it,” White River National Forest Public Information Officer David Boyd said in a news release. The full Lead King Loop is now open for the weekend.
The U.S. Forest Service road accessing the popular Crystal Mill and the south end of the Lead King Loop east of Marble was temporarily closed earlier this week due to flooding impacts from monsoon storms on Monday.
The Aspen-Sopris District of the White River National Forest announced the closure of Forest Service Road 314 on Wednesday.
The closure affected the approximately 4-mile stretch from Daniel’s Hill (intersection with Forest Road 315) to the Crystal Mill where there were more than a dozen debris flows earlier this week, some as deep as 15 feet.
“We are hoping this will be a very short-term closure,” Aspen-Sopris District Ranger Kevin Warner said at the time of the closure, advising users to check the district’s website or call the office before attempting to travel the road.
Crews from the Gunnison County Public Works Department cleared most of the debris on Tuesday and Wednesday, but the road is still extremely muddy and susceptible to significant damage from vehicles, the release states.
Forest Service Road 315 accessing the northern part of the Lead King Loop also had some debris flows but remained open and is passable with high-clearance, four-wheel drive vehicles.
Avalanche Creek Road (Forest Road 310) was also impacted by flooding. It is currently passable with most vehicles, but drivers should use caution, the release states.
For the latest information about this closure, call the Aspen-Sopris Ranger District, 970 963-2266 or visit http://www.fs.usda.gov/whiteriver.
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