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RMYC and Local Bike Trails 

Youth Corps crews contribute to the growing network of the town's trails.

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Like Steamboat’s growing network of biking and hiking trails? Among other local entities, thank the trail-building crews from Steamboat-based Rocky Mountain Youth Corps.  

 

As the Forest Service finishes its final environmental assessments for a new set of trails atop Rabbit Ears Pass, which would likely engage RMYC crews even more, the nonprofit group’s efforts are already being enjoyed by everyone from hikers to mountain bikers throughout Routt County.  

 

“Helping maintain and build our local systems of trails is a huge component of what we do, and it’s only grown since we started,” says RMYC program director Ryan Banks, adding that most of its local trailwork has been done through its Conservation Corps program, as well as some through its Youth Corps programs.  

 

And the City of Steamboat Springs has been behind RMYC’s efforts 100 percent, especially in putting proceeds from its 2A Lodging Tax to use—which is entering the end of a decade-long spending cycle allocating $5.1 million in lodging tax proceeds for 46 trail-related projects (known as the 2A Trail Program). The Yampa Valley Community Foundation’s Trail Maintenance Endowment Fund (TMEF) also generates up to $50,000 annually to pay for maintaining trails on public lands in Routt and Moffat counties, furthering RMYC’s involvement with local trails. 

 

“Rocky Mountain Youth Corps is a huge help to us at Parks and Recreation every season,” says the city’s Open Space and Trails Supervisor Jenny Carey. “The community youth crews help on a variety of maintenance projects throughout town and it’s always great to have youth out working on their local trails. They’re able to go show friends and family the projects that they’ve worked on and take tremendous pride in their work. Over the past 10 years RMYC has been involved in bridge replacement on Spring Creek, helping with the Morning Gloria build, and a wide variety of maintenance projects on Emerald Mountain and throughout town.”  

  

 Local trail-building group Routt County Riders is also grateful for the help.  

 

“RMYC crews have been integral to the process of local trail development here in the Yampa Valley over the past several decades,” says RCR Executive Director Laraine Martin. “It's awesome to see youth participating in the genesis of a growing trail system, and learning as they go. Every time I ride up Morning Gloria, I'm reminded of the time I visited an RMYC chainsaw crew up there years ago. They were tasked with removing widowmaker aspen from the trail's upper reaches near the ridgeline, with lots of complex hangups and problems to solve. It wasn’t the easiest project for their first few weeks as certified sawyers, but it sure did break them in a bit.”  

 

Martin adds that it’s also a huge benefit for the community to have a group like RMYC so close, able and willing to help. “Putting Youth Corps crews on local trail projects is a win/win for land managers and the community at large,” she says. “It brings dedicated and energetic labor to projects in need of completion, which are often tasked to land management agencies that are understaffed and incredibly busy. And it gives youth and young adults a chance to experience a career option that keeps them outdoors, active, and healthy.” 

 

RMYC Trail Snapshot 

The below trails were all built and/or maintained by RMYC crews, working in partnership with the City of Steamboat Springs and Routt County Riders.  

Emerald Mountain

Blair Witch: 2013 

Stairway to Heaven: 2013 

Morning Gloria : 2014 (new trail!) 

Prayer Flag: 2015 (re-route) 

Mile Run/Lower NPR: 2016 (re-route/new trail) 

 

Buff Pass  

Spring Creek: 2015 

Spring Roll: 2016 

Flash of Gold: 2016/17 

Grouse: 2017 

Soda Mountain: 2017/18 

Buffalo Billy: 2020/21 

Uranium Mine Trail (Fish Creek Falls Recreation Area) 

Wyoming Trail (#1101) 

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