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May 12, 2022

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Vivienne Jannatpour, (303) 678-6277

Heil Valley Ranch South Side to Reopen Thursday, June 16, after Cal-Wood Fire Recovery

Main trailhead parking will close at noon daily through Sept. 30 due to flash flood risks.

Boulder County, Colo. - The Corral and Main trailheads and associated trails will reopen on Thursday, June 16, after extensive recovery efforts from the Cal-Wood Fire in October 2020.

Parks & Open Space staff hoped to open in time for Memorial Day weekend, but delivery of materials has been delayed. The majority of park infrastructure will be restored by the June 16 opening date, but some final projects will be completed after the park is open.

Fire damage requiring extensive repair and recovery included hazard tree removal, aerial mulching, erosion and debris mitigation, and replacing damaged visitor amenities and park infrastructure including bridges, fencing, parking stops, and signs. Please visit the Heil Valley Ranch Recovery webpage for more information.

Main trailhead to close at noon daily through Sept. 30
During heavy afternoon rains common in the summer, the severely burned landscape is likely to flood all small and large canyons and deposit debris and mud in downstream/downslope areas, including the Main Trailhead. The Main Trailhead parking lot will close at noon daily through Sept. 30 due to flash flood safety concerns.

The parking lot sits in a drainage area between two creeks and is prone to flash flooding as a result of the changed landscape caused by the Cal-Wood Fire. All vehicles still in the parking lot after noon will be ticketed. Trails, picnic tables, and the shelter will remain open until sunset, but visitors must park elsewhere.

Flood Emergency Alerts
Visitors are encouraged to sign up to receive reverse 911 emergency messages for potential flooding. Messages are generated by the Office of Emergency Management using Everbridge Alerts.

To receive alerts for Heil Valley Ranch, use the address 1188 Geer Canyon Rd., Boulder CO 80302. Please note, messages can only be received if you have cellular service. The park has limited service depending on the exact area and service provider.

Wapiti Trail Detour
A section of the Wapiti Trail will remain closed to protect golden eagles. A resident eagle pair built a nest in the Wapiti Trail area during the closure. They had a successful brood last year and are actively nesting again this year. Please follow the detour along the emergency access road.

The detour will be in place year-round for the next several years to allow for monitoring of nest activity. Boulder County works with Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to ensure protection of sensitive species. Staff follows federal guidance, such as the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, and the detour allows a half-mile buffer zone between the nest site and areas of human activity.

For more information and current trail status, please visit the Heil Valley Ranch webpage.

Heil Trail Map

Heil Valley Ranch will open on Thursday, June 16, at sunrise.