If you've thought about hiking the Crag Crest Trail loop on Grand Mesa this year, now is the time to do it. A portion of the trail will close on Wednesday, June 13.

Don't worry, the closure is lengthy but temporary. The closure includes the entire Lower Crag Crest Trail and the eastern portion of the Crag Crest National Scenic Trail. The U.S. Forest Service Grand Mesa Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests report the trails are being closed for the rest of 2018 to address public safety concerns.

Those concerns are related to timber being harvested next to and near the trail. The trees in that area are being cut because they are either dead or dying from an infestation of spruce beetles. Removing the trees will help reduce the beetle population and salvage the timber while it is still useable.

The timber harvest is also being done to reduce the risk of wildfire on both public and private property including Grand Mesa Resort Company which has several privately owned cabins in the area.

Even though part of Crag Crest Trail will close for the rest of the year, the Crag Crest Trailhead just off Highway 65 and a majority of the Crag Crest Scenic Trail will remain open.

Courtesy U.S. Forest Service

Visitors to Grand Mesa should be aware there will be additional traffic from trucks hauling timber along the south end of Highway 65, Trickel Park Road, Hay Park Road, and Old Grand Mesa Road for the next several months.