Dolores gets grant for Overlook Trail

$25,200 for youth work crews

The Overlook Trail that will connect Dolores with House Creek and the Boggy Draw trail system has received some donated labor.

On Dec. 12, Great Outdoors of Colorado awarded Dolores with $25,200 worth of sweat equity from the Southwest Youth Corps Association - Four Corners.

Youth crews will camp for four weeks and be responsible for helping to build Dolores' section of trail from near the cemetery to the canyon rim, about a quarter mile. From there, the San Juan National Forest will build the rest of the 6 miles to the House Creek Campground.

"We're set up to do our section this summer," said Dolores Mayor Val Truelsen. "It looks like there will be at least one switchback, and a lot of brush clearing."

The trail will pass through a 700-foot permanent easement acquired from a private landowner.

Chris Bouton, a recreation planner with the San Juan National Forest, said survey work is happening this winter, but trail construction on forest land is a ways off. An archaeology study needs to be done, and it will affect where the trail goes.

"There is a fairly high density of archaeology sites, so we want to lay the trail to avoid all of them," Bouton said. "It is not an easy place to put a trail, so it will take a little more work."

The trail will be completed in phases, he said, and will depend on available funding. Rugged terrain dropping into the House Creek Campground will be especially challenging.

From there, a trail will parallel the House Creek Road for a short distance, then connect to the Bean Canyon Trail and the larger Boggy Draw network.

The goal of the Southwest Youth Corps is to employ youths and young adults (ages 14-25) throughout the state on critical outdoor recreation and land conservation projects.