Copper Mountain, CO, Planning to Replace Chairlift and Build 22 Miles of New Mountain Biking Trails

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Copper Mountain, Colorado. | Photo courtesy of Copper Mountain

Copper Mountain wants a makeover. The Colorado ski area is asking for public comment on two projects: a new chairlift and nearly two dozen miles of new mountain bike trails.

On Tuesday, the White River National Forest announced that it wanted to hear any comments or concerns from the public before starting the environmental review for the ski area’s proposals, Denver 7 News reports. The first project seeks to replace the aging mid-mountain Timberline Express Chairlift built in 1994 with a 4,825-foot high-speed, detachable six-person chairlift. According to the National Forest Service, this will improve skier circulation and access to intermediate terrain.

“As part of the chairlift replacement, a diesel generator would be installed at the top terminal of the lift, the existing underground powerline would be replaced, and a new 900 square-foot lift maintenance structure would be built,” the USFS wrote in a press release. “Some tree clearing and minor road improvements will be needed.”

Map of the planned new chair at Copper Mountain. | Photo courtesy of Copper Mountain

The USFS went on to add that the new lift’s bottom terminal would be moved roughly 75 feet higher up the hill and its top terminal about 50 feet west to avoid wetland impacts. The new lift would require about one acre of tree removal and would disturb 0.1 acres of land. If approved, the chair would provide an uphill capacity of 3,000 people per hour.

Copper’s second project intends to build 22.06 miles of new mountain biking trails, accessible from the American Eagle and Woodward Express Chairlifts. According to the USFS, the trails would consist of singletrack, flow, hybrid, or jump trails and would have varying difficulty ratings.

“Proposed trails would be built using sustainable trail construction techniques, employing hand crews and small machinery when necessary,” the USFS wrote. “They would be constructed and maintained using methods that minimize user conflict and maximize a natural surface texture, including bare soil and bedrock.”

A map of the proposed new bike trails at Copper Mountain. | Photo courtesy of Copper Mountain

Both projects are planned on the National Forest System land which Copper Mountain leases. News regarding the approval of these projects will emerge after the public comment period concludes.

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