According to a release this afternoon, the Catwalk National Recreation Trail received major flood damaged due to the recent intense rainstorms in the area. The entire Catwalk area has been closed indefinitely due to the inaccessibility of the area. Highway 174, which leads out to the Catwalk, is also impassable due to landslides, highway damage, and high water levels at the low water crossings. Water levels in Whitewater Canyon are still at dangerous levels, says the release.
A complete assessment of the Catwalk and picnic area will occur when it is safe for officials to do so. Though according to District Ranger Pat Morrison, “decisions about reopening the facility will wait until safe vehicle access has been restored and the entire trail has be evaluated as the full extent and severity of the damage to the Catwalk is unknown at this time.”
The known flood damage to the Catwalk at this time includes:
• Portions of the Civilian Conservation Corps rock stairs were damaged including the trail’s metal grillwork.
• A 30 foot section of the cement bridge that crosses Whitewater Creek has been washed away.
• Several landslides and rockslides have occurred along both the “universal trail” and the “old” trail
• Debris including trees, branches, boulders, rocks and sediment are present in the Whitewater Picnic Area, parking area, and access road.
Contact the Glenwood Ranger District at 539-2481 for more information.