South Heil Valley Ranch Reopens June 16
20 months after the Calwood Fire burned 4,400 acres of Heil Valley Ranch, the park will finally be fully open to the public. This includes the Schoolhouse Loop, Overland Loop, the new Skills Loop, the Wapiti access road and the Lichen Loop and Grindstone Quarry hiking/equestrian trails. Here’s what you need to know.
The Heil main parking lot will close daily at noon through Sept. 30 because of flash flood risk
The Corral trailhead, parking lot and all trails will be open sunrise to sunset. Parking is also allowed on Lefthand Canyon Drive.
You can check the National Weather Service’s risk of flash flooding and sign up for emergency alerts. Visitors are encouraged to sign up to receive reverse 911 emergency messages for potential flooding. Messages are generated by the Office of Emergency Management using Everbridge Alerts. To receive alerts for Heil Valley Ranch, use the address 1188 Geer Canyon Rd., Boulder CO 80302. Please note, messages can only be received if you have cellular service. The park has limited service depending on the exact area and service provider.
View the National Weather Service Burn Area Flash Flood Threat graphical data chart, which is updated daily:
Lower Wapiti trail closed for golden eagle nesting
The first singletrack section of the Wapiti will be closed with no estimated reopening date. The existing emergency access road will be the current detour. Unlike other areas with seasonal closures during nesting season, staff is closing the trail for an indeterminate amount of time. The new nest is 0.1 miles from the Wapiti trail and many of the birds’ perching trees are also hazard trees at risk of falling on the trail.
There is a new Skills Loop
The Skills Loop is nestled in the Schoolhouse Loop, right at the Corral Trailhead. It’s designed to give new riders a taste of the sorts obstacles found on the more advanced trails at Heil. Many features offer 2-3 lines progressing from easier to harder. BMA advocated for a skills loop trail during the 2016 Heil 2 public process, as well as the Overland Loop and Schoolhouse Loop. BMA Trails Program Director Mike Rutter designed and built most of the Skills Loop when he was still with Boulder County Parks & Open Space. This is a unique amenity in Boulder and we are super excited!