14N39Posted: December 6, 2013
For some time, there has been a fight going on over 42 trails within the Eldorado National Forest (ENF). Right now, 24 of those trails have been opened. The remaining 18 trails need some kind of fix, from simply putting down gravel to rerouting a ½ mile of trail.
One of these trails is the Richardson Lake Trail, 14N39. The Richardson Lake Trail turns south off the Rubicon Trail just west of Miller Lake. It runs past the Sierra Club’s Ludlow Hut on the way to the summit of Sourdough Peak.
The trail does not offer much challenge to OHV users but provides an awesome view from the top. At the top, looking west, you look down on Desolation Wilderness, Loon Lake and the Rubicon Trail. The summit offers some of the best sunsets I’ve ever seen.
Although the ENF has been slow to work with the users to form and implement a plan to repair the four ‘meadow’ issues on the trail, they have closed the trail. The following signs now grace the Richardson Lake Trail just south of Miller Creek.
I am currently trying to work with the ENF to get a plan developed this winter, so we can hit the trail early next spring to repair and re-open the trail. Getting access to Richardson Lake should be straight forward. Use of the trail for the next mile or so is also doable. But user access to the summit might require a reroute and lots of NEPA, EIS and other studies.