Located on Palmyra Peak and accessed from Lift 12, the gate is expected to be open to the public as early as the morning of Thursday, March 17.
“This decision restores reasonable public access to Alta Lakes Basin, Lena Basin, Bear Creek and also provides for future discussions and exploration of ski access issues with local government and interested publics before the next ski season,” said Norwood District Ranger Judy Schutza in a press release.
The new gate was arrived at in collaboration with the Telluride Mountain Club, with whom the USFS worked closely. The TMC will assist with public education and information about legal routes and access to terrain that doesn’t affect private land.
“They had some good ideas on how we could position the access point and not trespass,” said Schutza.
“We are very happy to work in partnership with the Forest Service,” and have been working with USFS presenting “a plan that includes a few more gates. They have committed to working with us on this and we’re happy to get something done this year,” said TMC President Tor Anderson.
Nevertheless, the price of access into the basin is no walk in the park.
“It’s a pretty long hike in,” Schutza admitted.
Still, “It will give backcountry skiers more options where they can contour around Bear Creek Basin and there’s a short uphill hike and they can avoid private property more easily.”
“We’re still asking that people respect private property,” she said.