Eagle County Update - Horse Creek Access - Mountain Buzz

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Old 07-24-2013   #1
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 86
Eagle County Update - Horse Creek Access

Hello River Rats, as many of you know, Eagle County Open Space, with funding assistance from Great Outdoors Colorado, acquired the rights to construct a permanent 2-acre boat launch facility on the Colorado River Ranch, located approximately 12 miles upstream from Dotsero.

The site is located at the south end of the ranch and will be named "Horse Creek River Access" since it is just upstream from the Horse Creek confluence. Construction is set to begin this week and we hope to have it ready for public use by early September. In the meantime, the site will remain completely closed to the public.

We will build a ramp, install restrooms, and provide a new parking lot, but there will be no water. This is part IV in a comprehensive effort by Eagle County Open Space to preserve important landscapes and provide strategic public recreational access to the Colorado River. (State Bridge, Two Bridges, and Dotsero Landing were parts I, II, and III). There will be no fee to use the Horse Creek River Access.

Improvements to other properties, including Red Dirt Creek Open Space located four miles further upriver, and Duck Pond Open Space on the Eagle River between Gypsum and Dotsero are planned for 2014, but are dependent on funding, like everything. Happy boating! Call me if you have questions, my cell is listed below.

Toby Sprunk
Eagle County Open Space Director

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Old 07-24-2013   #2
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New Castle, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 1,254
Awesome! Where will this be in relation to Pinball and Rodeo rapids? I'm thinking below both? I haven't been through this section and will definitetly be looking at my options in the near future. Thanks for the updates!

Does Eagle County ever talk to Garfield County? I don't think we have seen a new or upgraded access in 20 years. Oh well, I'm close enough to spend my time (and money) in Eagle County as I intend to do tomorrow.
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Old 07-24-2013   #3
West Copper, Colorado
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very very cool, thanks for the update
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Old 07-25-2013   #4
Golden, Colorado
Join Date: Jan 2011
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NICE! Thanks Toby. Well played Eagle County.
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Old 07-25-2013   #5
Join Date: Feb 2007
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Horse Creek River Access is about 5 miles upstream from Cottonwood and 7 miles downstream from Pinball.
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Old 07-25-2013   #6
New Castle, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
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Sounds great. I agree with Gremlin, when is Garfield county going to see some benefit in expanding/improving access. A couple new ramps on the Colorado/Roaring Fork would make a big difference. Expansion of 2 Rivers would be really nice too. At least they FINALLY improved the road to the Carbondale boat ramp. Eagle County has foresight. Garfield County=clueless.
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Old 07-25-2013   #7
Join Date: Feb 2007
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Well, I can't speak for other counties, of course. Eagle County's ability to fund such projects is entirely because of the Open Space Program Fund, which represents a small portion of property tax. Pitkin has a similar fund, as do all of the Front Range Counties, Summit County, and numerous municipalities.

Garfield has attempted twice to pass such a measure and both times the voters turned it down.

I went out to Horse Creek River Access Site today and the heavy equipment is rolling in to start work! YAY!

Toby Sprunk
Eagle County Open Space Director
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Old 07-25-2013   #8
Denver, Colorado
Join Date: Mar 2011
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I really like the way 2 Bridges turned out, so keep up the good work!
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Old 07-25-2013   #9
Unincorporated Douglas County, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1896
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Nice, good work, now fix Gypsum Ponds. Seriously, I'm not sure what 'community' is, but I don't think it's a boat ramp. Sell it as an economic development project, because drift boating that lower section has potential, but needs work. Put in at the Fairgrounds, and then what? When it's muddy that BLM takeout is a disaster.
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Old 07-25-2013   #10
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 86
Gypsum Ponds State Wildlife Area is owned and managed by Colorado Parks & Wildlife, not Eagle County Open Space, so we have little say in how that property is managed, but I will share your comments with their staff at our next meeting.

I agree with the idea of improving access on the lower Eagle, and we have plans to develop a boat ramp on the Duck Pond Open Space, which is located between Gypsum and Dotsero. If all goes according to plan it will be built in 2014 to accommodate boating.

A newly developing partnership between Eagle County Open Space, Town of Eagle and Town of Gypsum aims to more fully address the issue of providing additional boating and fishing access along the river. The work completed on the Colorado River has been well received and we look to take a similar approach along the Eagle, funding dependent, of course.

Thanks for the comments!

Toby Sprunk
Eagle County Open Space Director
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