Saturday, September 20, 2014

'Hard' Closure Coming to Cave Creek Canyon

On Monday, the Forest Service plans to institute a 'hard' closure of Cave Creek Canyon, meaning no entry by any means, including foot, except to canyon residents. The closure will most likely last for months. Thus, tomorrow is the last day when people can enter the canyon on foot.

I've learned a few other details: the Herb Martyr Road above the research station is washed out at Crystal Wash.

Columbus Electric laid a ground wire up the canyon, so that the research station now has electricity, but no fiber optics cable for Internet.

The South Fork Road is okay to the bridge and cabins (though in need of cleanup), but above the cabins it is gone. South Fork reclaimed it. Interestingly, the picnic area and bathroom at the trailhead are intact.

The water system to the FS campgrounds is broken.

Below the canyon, John and Morgan's straw bale home was flooded inside, and up to the top of the first layer of bales. They may need a hand in cleaning up!

Farther away to the east, the Peloncillos were as hard hit as the Chiricahuas. The county road south of Animas into the Animas Valley and Diamond A (Gray) Ranch has been washed out in some places. At the southern end, along Geronimo Trail (accessed from 15th Street in Douglas), the old wooden bridge supporting the road has been completely swept away. This means that access to Guadalupe Canyon, the Slaughter Ranch, and Clanton Canyon has been severed.

One positive note: the Chiricahua Leopard Frogs in Reed's pond at Cave Creek Ranch have survived!

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