New, scenic trail to be built at Red Rock Canyon

       A new trail that will offer great views and exposed fossils is about to take shape at Red Rock Canyon Open Space.
       The scheduled workday to create the Codell Trail is Saturday, Sept. 18. About 80 volunteers are needed, according to Karlee Thompson, president of the Friends of Red Rock Canyon volunteer group.

An edited City Parks map shows the northeastern part of Red Rock Canyon Open Space with the planned Codell Trail (red dotted line), adjacent trails and the 31st Street trailhead.
City Parks map; edited for publication by the Westside Pioneer

Looking north along the Codell hogback, with the Hogback Valley on the left. Note: This photo was shot in 2004, when the Hogback Valley Trail was still just a social trail.
Westside Pioneer photo

       The Friends group is organizing the workday, with some support from City Parks. The starting time will be 7:30 a.m., with the staging area in the parking lot at Red Rock's 31st Street trailhead.
       Volunteers should register in advance, preferably online at redrockcanyonopenspace.org or by phone at Thompson's number: 597-9822. No experience is necessary. Tools will be provided. People need to bring their own food and water.
       The new segment, 1,000 to 1,200 feet in length, will mostly stay on top of Red Rock's eastermost hogback, serving as a kind of “scenic route” for the existing, north- south Hogback Valley Trail, which it will parallel. “It will have fossils, rock formations and views,” Thompson said, adding that interpretive signage will be installed sometime in the future. “You can overlook all of Red Rock Canyon from there or look down on Fairview Cemetery and the foundation of the Standard Mill [an early 1900s gold mill].”
       The name, “Codell,” is taken from a type of sandstone formation.
       The trail is in the Red Rock Canyon Open Space master plan.
       Both accesses for the new trail will be from the Hogback Valley Trail (so named because it follows the long, north-south valley between the Codell hogback and the one to the west). The Codell Trail's north end will join Hogback Valley just a few hundred feet south of the latter's T-intersection with the Lower Hogback Trail (which connects with the 31st Street trailhead).
       Chris Lieber, the technical advisor on the project, said most of the new construction will be needed in the area of the Codell's two access points, including “a couple of switchbacks” to get down from the hogback at the northern end. Otherwise, “from a trail design perspective, the route already exists,” he said. “There's a well- worn social trail on the ridge, and it's sustainable.”
       The main ridge work, Thompson added, will be to define the social trail better and widen it to at least two feet.

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