West loop of back-country trail enters final phase
With the commitment of up to $664,000 in mineral lease money, the Recreation/Transportation Special Service District has agreed to fund the final few portions of the scenic recreational trail on the county's west side.
The so-called West Loop is part of an ambitious trail network that planners hope will someday provide off-road travel from Scofield to Nine Mile Canyon.
The trailhead for the loop is at the County Fairgrounds. From there, riders will be able to cruise past Pinnacle Peak, across the rugged terrain of the Benches region, and through the wooded canyons in the west part of the county.
The trail then extends into the Gordon Creek Wildlife Management area and begins the eastward return through Consumers.
It takes a jog before the Wildcat Loadout to bypass the coal truck and train traffic. The trail then heads through the high country into Helper. It will follow a route designated by the city to move to the old railroad grade leading to Kenilworth.
At Kenilworth, riders will have a choice of following Wood Hill to Price, or passing by the Clay Banks and down the Price-Kenilworth backroad.
At Price, however, there is a gap in the loop. The Wood Hill Road terminates just north of Mont Harmon Junior High, while the Kenilworth Road ends near the city's trailhead near the north ballparks.
A route through town would have to take the off-road vehicles through residential areas and somehow across U.S. 6 and possibly SR 10 and across the Price River.
One comfort station for riders is already in place at Consumers. A second one in Water Canyon and a third at Kenilworth are yet to be constructed.