Spring mudflows continue at Glenwood Springs’ Red Mountain

Imagen de un dron que muestra una vista aérea del flujo de lodo de la Montaña Roja.
Glenwood Springs Police/Courtesy

Mudflows continue to take place at Glenwood Springs’ Red Mountain Trail, raising cause for concern at Thursday’s City Council meeting. 

Following a significant mudflow that took place on April 12, lasting two days and closing the road at Red Mountain/Jeanne Golay Trail, another event occurred last Tuesday, destroying 1,300 feet of road, Public Works Director Matthew Langhorst said during the meeting.

The trail, named after 1992 Olympian cyclist and Glenwood Springs resident Jeanne Golay, has seen an influx of mudflow in recent weeks due to melting snow.

Langhorst said the city and the Glenwood Springs Police Department are doing their best to mitigate and control both current and future mudflows.

“The police department has been helping us with drone photos to see what’s sliding and how fast it’s sliding along with how much acreage it is,” Langhorst said.

Still living in Glenwood Springs and an avid trail user, Golay said the instability of the mountain has caused mudflow this spring season.

“All of Red Mountain is fairly unstable as a geological feature,” Golay said. “From what I understand, the hillsides are all what they call alluvial fans so they tend to slide when there’s pretty significant moisture up above.”

Alluvial fans are deposits of gravel, sand and other pieces of sediment that often cause mudflows and debris-flows.

Due to the consistent mudflows that have been taking place at Red Mountain Trail, Langhorst said to look for certain signs on the mountain to ensure it is safe to hike. One sign Langhorst points out is to look at the shade of soil on the mountain. 

A slightly pink shade to the mountain means that those looking to hike should proceed with caution. Langhorst said a noticeable red shade to soil means a mudflow is more likely to happen and that hikers should turn back.

While the road to Glen Park Ranch and the city’s $2 million water tank and treatment plant were unharmed by the recent mudflows, precautions continue to take place to ensure safety during future events.

“This is not going to stop tomorrow because the hillside is starting to slide and it undermines the next layer,” Langhorst said. “We are going to see what we can do to try and remedy that in the future.”

While the trail and road continue to stay open, city officials recommend the public stays away as they continue to work on the road.

Post Independent reporter Taylor Cramer can be reached at 970-384-9108 or

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