Alpine Loop Scenic Byway & August is Lake City’s History Month 2019

LAKE CITY NEWS   |   AUGUST 2019
The Alpine Loop Scenic Backcountry Byway is OPEN! See Colorado’s backcountry like never before on the Alpine Loop Scenic Backcountry Byway, NOW OPEN and as majestic as ever!The Alpine Loop Backcountry Byway, a network of four-wheel-drive roads that connect Lake City, Ouray, and Silverton, traverses passes up to 12,800 feet while showcasing old mines, ghost towns, natural wonders, beautiful wildflowers, and abundant wildlife.If you’ve never driven the Alpine Loop Scenic Backcountry Byway, what are you waiting for? Now that the snow is cleared away and the landscape is bursting with life, it’s the best time ever to see Colorado’s backcountry like never before.Get started today by picking up a map at the Lake City Visitor Center, located at 800 Gunnison Ave, or visiting LakeCity.com.
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August is History Month in Lake City
This August, celebrate Lake City’s long and varied history by participating in one—or all—of the events scheduled throughout the month. From musical performances and tours to shoot outs and a Victorian tea, there’s something for everyone. For details, please visit our events calendar.
EVENTS CALENDAR
Schedule of Events
August 1st  
Colorado Day with a String Academy Performance and Pub Crawl

August 2nd  
Pioneer Jubilee Women’s Club Chuckwagon Supper, Western Dance, and Silent Auction
August 3rd   
Volcanoes of Lake City and Stick Horse Show
August 10th
Lake City Old West Shooters Shoot-out

August 20th
Back in Thyme Victoria Tea

August 23rd
Mito de Soto, Spanish American guitarist

August 24th
Lake City Old West Shooters Shoot Out

August 31st
Tour of the Rose Lime Kilm site

August 31st
Lake City Old West Shooters Shoot-out

Tours

Ghost Tours
Ghost tours will be hosted by the Hinsdale County Historical Society on certain Friday nights throughout August. Meet at 8 pm at the Museum. Bring flashlights and a jacket.

Cemetery Tours
Cemetery Tours will be held Tuesday mornings in August at 10:30 am. Meet at the Museum.

Ute Ulay Self-Guided Tour
Self-guided Ute Ulay interpretive brochures offer an insight into historical life.

Before you venture into Lake City’s famous backcountry, we encourage you to check theHinsdale County Website for backcountry road conditions.

Alpine Loop Scenic Backcountry Byway OPEN July 16, 2019

LAKE CITY NEWS   |   ALPINE LOOP SCENIC BACKCOUNTRY BYWAY
The Alpine Loop Scenic Backcountry Byway is OPEN!
See Colorado’s backcountry like never before on the Alpine Loop Scenic Backcountry Byway,NOW OPEN and as majestic as ever!

The Alpine Loop Backcountry Byway, a network of four-wheel-drive roads that connect Lake City, Ouray, and Silverton, traverses passes up to 12,800 feet while showcasing old mines, ghost towns, natural wonders, beautiful wildflowers, and abundant wildlife.

Along the way, check out the following points of interests in order from Cinnamon Pass to Engineer Pass:

SHERMAN OVERLOOK
Get a bird’s eye view of the once-bustling city that serviced the profitable Black Wonder Mine.

BURROWS PARK
In a space of a few miles, see the historic buildings of at least six towns that once existed here during the height of mining in the San Juans.

AMERICAN BASIN
American Basin, one of the most photographed places in Colorado, is home to a spectacular show of wildflowers.

ANIMAS FORKS
This old mining town has a number of well-preserved buildings and serves as a junction for several four-wheel-drive roads.

What are you waiting for? 
If you’ve never driven the Alpine Loop Scenic Backcountry Byway, what are you waiting for? Now that the snow is cleared away and the landscape is bursting with life, it’s the best time ever to see Colorado’s backcountry like never before.

Get started today by picking up a map at the Lake City Visitor Center, located at 800 Gunnison Ave or visiting LakeCity.com.

Before you venture into Lake City’s famous backcountry, we encourage you to check the Hinsdale County Website for backcountry road conditions.

Hinsdale County UCG Flood Risk Update June 15, 2019

Hinsdale County and the Town of Lake City faced many challenges while responding to the threat of flooding resulting from abundant snowpack and unprecedented avalanche activity along the Henson Creek and Lake Fork river. Working together, and with the support of the State of Colorado, Bureau of Land Management, National Resource and Conservation Services, and other organizations, Hinsdale County and the Town of Lake City have accomplished a great deal in a short time. The following is a brief sample of their many accomplishments.

Heavy equipment was brought in to remove debris and haul it out of the area to reduce the risk of debris flows. The amount of debris and the corresponding threat has been dramatically reduced.

The Colorado Department of Natural Resources was tasked with evaluating dam safety. With local partners, they determined that the Ute-Ulay dam did not pose a significant risk. However, the Hidden Treasure dam had the potential to become blocked, hold water, and then fail, creating a substantial debris flow. It was recommended that the dam be removed. Contractors began deconstruction, but as the work progressed it was determined that the risk to the community could be mitigated while preserving a portion of the historic Hidden Treasure dam for future generations.

Colorado Department of Transportation evaluated bridges in the affected area. Heavy equipment has been and will continue to be used to remove debris and prevent them from collecting at bridges.

The Town and County devised a public warning system using automated cell phone and landline notifications, and door to door notification by governmental personnel. A warning siren with voice messaging capability has been installed in the Town of Lake City, and a second warning siren will soon be erected to supplement the system.

Over the course of the last six weeks preparedness plans have been developed from the community. Representatives from the Town, County, State and supporting agencies met on June 14, 2019, for a plan rehearsal. Participants ran through a mock exercise to test the alert and warning, evacuation, and re-entry plans. They then provided input. This information will be incorporated into the document.

Critical facilities in Lake City were identified, and the Army Corps of Engineers and others worked to develop plans to protect facilities necessary for the operation of the town, as well as buildings with historical significance. Based on the advice of engineers, an earthen berm was improved along the north bank of the Henson Creek. A second berm made from large sandbags weighing as much as 4 thousand pounds each was constructed south of the Henson Creek to divert flood waters away from homes and businesses. Large sandbags were also used to protect structures between the berms on the south side of Henson Creek. Moreover, approximately 25,000 individual sandbags were filled and distributed throughout the community to homes and businesses.

With these mitigations in place, the threat to Hinsdale County and Lake City is significantly reduced. The Unified Coordination Group sent to assist with the preparedness effort has stood down. Remaining mitigation work will be overseen by local recourses.

Although not anticipated, State of Colorado and emergency management partners stand ready to respond if Hinsdale County needs assistance in the future.

Above was taken from email sent on June 15, 2019 from the Public Information Officer, Michael Davis.

Emergency Flooding Information for Lake City

May 28, 2019
This is regarding the Emergency Status Updates for the possibility of Flooding in Lake City.
The best way to keep informed with the most accurate and up-to-date information are the following:
  1. Sign up for the CodeRed App on your phone.
  2. Can call the Public Information number at 970-648-4118.
  3. Check the www.facebook.com/hinsdalecountycolorado page for daily updates. (You do NOT have to have a facebook account.)
  4. Check the Hinsdale County Website at www.hinsdalecountycolorado.us
We currently have multiple local and state agencies assisting with preparations and they are doing an amazing job.
Please keep yourself informed with accurate information.

Hinsdale County Office of Emergency Management Update May 7, 2019

This morning, the Hinsdale County Board of Commissioners ratified a local disaster declaration due to post avalanche events impacting some of our waterways. Avalanche activity combined with annual runoff has caused debris blockage.

Yesterday, Governor Polis verbally authorized an executive order for a state of emergency that enables the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management and the Colorado State Emergency Operations Center to provide planning support and staffing for a multi-agency coordination group as Hinsdale County lessens the severity of post-avalanche impacts.

The Hinsdale County Road & Bridge crew has cleared one lane to Capitol City.  However, the narrow makeup of the canyon in the Klondike slide area the river, road and snowmelt has caused a buildup of debris.   Local, regional, and state representatives are visiting the site today to determine next steps to avoid the road washing out.   Currently, the gate above Snowden’s Meadow remains closed to vehicular traffic.

Join Hinsdale County and the Town of Lake City for a public briefing at 5 p.m. Wednesday, May 8th, at the Armory.    The audio of the briefing will be posted on-line and the event may occur on Facebook Live, if capabilities allow.

Follow Hinsdale County Facebook page or website for updates.

Sign up for Code Red Alerts on the Hinsdale County website.   If you need assistance signing up, please visit the Silver Thread Public Health District.

Klondike Slide and County Road 20

Lake City News – May 2019 – Night Skies

Because of its remote location, Lake City is well suited for great stargazing opportunities. On a clear night, one can marvel at the moon, planets, constellations, and other spectacular phenomena of our universe. Certainly, a good set of binoculars or telescope will enhance your “up close” viewing.

One of the best places in Lake City to view the stars is The Slumgullion Discovery Center, a sixty-acre parcel of land located 3 miles south of Lake City.

The Lake Fork Valley Conservancy (LFVC) staff and local volunteers are currently preparing an extensive application with the International Dark-Sky Association to have the proposed Slumgullion Discovery Center designated as a Dark Sky Park.  A Dark Sky Park is one of six designations identified by the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA). IDA is an award-winning organization that was established in 2002 to recognize and promote areas that provide excellent stewardship of the night sky.

Night-sky photography is also getting very popular, and the internet – particularly Instagram – is full of stunning images of star fields and the Milky Way. They may look like highly polished images taken by photographers with years of experience, but it’s actually advances in modern cameras that are the main reason for the genre’s sudden popularity.

If you have a camera with a good deal of manual control and a clear sky, taking pictures of the night sky is much easier than you might think. Check out our tips for photographing the night sky. 

Watching for meteors, one of the best astronomy activities in Lake City, is absolutely free and requires nothing more than patience, the naked eye, and mostly clear sky conditions. Although they last only seconds, meteors are always fun to watch as they streak across the sky. And, there are times a fireball (a very large meteor) may flash above. There will be an abundant variety of astronomical events in 2019. 

Above information copied from www.lakecity.com/activities page.

Hinsdale County Office of Emergency Management Update April 8, 2019

Monday April 8 – Hinsdale County Sheriff’s Office has lifted the closure order – at least to foot traffic – on County Road 20 beyond the ATV staging area. The Road & Bridge Department will continue to work to clear debris in this area.

Visitors travel at their own risk and are encouraged to remain aware of surroundings and hazards typical of a high-snow year.

San Juan Ranch Estates Fishing Update March 17, 2019 by Scott Williams

“Fishing at San Juan Ranch today was great.  Another and I caught a number of
fish including an absolutely gorgeous 22″ rainbow that he did a patient
job of landing and releasing safely.

That place fishes great and with water temperatures in the low 40’s, the
fish actually had some fight in them today.

Like last week, small, copper-colored nymphs worked quite well.  He used a
dry/dropper system and I a traditional strike indicator/nymph set-up.  We
both caught a number of fish.

The most difficult part was simply getting TO the river today due to the
prodigious snow amounts on the banks this year (as you can see from the
photos.)

Hope you’re all getting ready to get up here and get out on the river.”

Posted with permission by Scott Williams. Photo courtesy of Scott Williams.

Hinsdale County Office of Emergency Management Update April 3, 2019

It may not feel like it yet, but spring thaw is here… With thaw comes run off and the potential for flooding. If you are a property owner in an area prone to high water or flooding, consider call about flood insurance TODAY! Is your property flood insurance in force and up to date? Flood insurance must be in place at least one month prior to an event, so call TODAY.

What is covered by your flood insurance?
Have you taken steps to prepare your property for flooding?
Are there items that could be moved to higher points on your property on in your home in case of a flood?
Have you and your family identified where you would go and what you would take should you need to evacuate?
PREPARE EARLY! DON’T WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE!

Hinsdale County Office of Emergency Management Update April 4, 2019

At the April 3 BOCC meeting, Resolution #5 was approved by Commissioners Borchers, Thompson and Whinnery to terminate the local Avalanche Disaster Emergency Declaration, effective April 3.

Undersheriff Chris Kambish lifted the closure order on the Waterdog Trail.

By order of the Sheriff’s Office, County Road 20 remains closed beyond the ATV Staging Area.

By order of the Sheriff’s Office, County Road 30 remains closed beyond Wager Gulch.

Recovery efforts are underway to address impacts from recent emergencies.

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