Rocky Mountain National Park Reopens the Green Mountain, Tonahutu Trails

by Amy Myers

Two years after the largest fire in the national park’s history, Rocky Mountain has finally reopened Green Mountain and Tonahutu Trails to the public.

Back in October 2020, the East Troublesome wildfire had claimed 21,000 acres of Rocky Mountain National Park. It also spread to over 100,000 acres in Grant County, Colorado. Since then, the area has had a chance to restore itself and fire risk levels have lowered. As a result, park officials feel comfortable allowing visitors to once again enjoy the beloved trails on the east side of the park.

“The Green Mountain Trail and Tonahutu Trail from Big Meadow to Flattop Mountain in Rocky Mountain National Park have reopened to hikers and backpackers,” the park announced on Instagram. “Both trails remain closed to stock users. The Onahu Trail is open to stock, but must be ridden as an out and back only.”

While this is a win for the park, officials also acknowledged that the western trails are still unavailable.

“On the west side of the park, the Sun Valley and River Trail and the Lower Tonahutu Trail (between Big Meadows and the KVC Turkey Spur Trail) remain closed to all users. There is no known time on when these trails will reopen,” Rocky Mountain National Park continued.

From Wildfires to Rockslides, Rocky Mountain National Park Closes Parts of Chaos Canyon

East Troublesome isn’t the only region of Rocky Mountain National Park that is healing from a recent natural disaster. Earlier this month, Upper Chaos Canyon saw a massive rockslide that began on the south slope of Hallett Peak. During the event, rocks, boulders and scree of all sizes slid down the cliffside and into the canyon. Naturally, this posed a huge hazard for hikers and climbers, especially with the subsequent rockfall activity. Upper Chaos Canyon is an especially popular spot for bouldering and typically sees a high amount of traffic.

Of course, after the rockslide, the national park had to close all areas to the west of Lake Haiyaha.

“The hiking trail to Lake Haiyaha, Lake Haiyaha itself, and hiking trails on the north side of Hallett Peak remain open. The bouldering area in lower Chaos Canyon, on the north and east shore of the Lake Haiyaha, remains open,” the park specified.

Currently, park officials aren’t yet sure when the area will reopen. The main concern is whether or not the ground is stable or if activity will cause a repeat event. In the meantime, “Rangers will be actively monitoring the area for compliance with this closure.”