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Camp Hale-Continental Divide: America’s Newest National Monument

Camp Hale-Continental Divide: America’s Newest National Monument

Iconic Colorado Mountain Bike Trails Included in Monument

Posted: October 12, 2022
Two mountain bikers riding through aspens in Vail, Colorado
Photo courtesy of: Leslie Kehmeier

Colorado's historic Camp Hale and Tenmile Range were designated within a new national monument by President Biden on October 12, 2022. The two landscapes are now known as the Camp Hale-Continental Divide National Monument.

The new monument designation is good news for mountain bikers and the outdoor community, who will continue to enjoy access to beloved trails found within the Camp Hale-Continental Divide National Monument. These trails include portions of the Colorado Trail (segment 7 & 8), Dirty Copper Triangle, Crane Park to Camp Hale Loop, Miners Creek, Peaks Trail, Spruce Creek Trail, and Wheeler Trail, to name a few.

A strong connection to history and the outdoors

Camp Hale, a high-mountain camp along the Continental Divide in the Rocky Mountains, was a World War II military training ground for the 10th Mountain Division. Troops learned to ski, snowshoe, and climb at the camp, allowing them to perform important operations during WWII. After the war, soldiers returned to the region to help launch the state’s ski industry. Many ski areas in Colorado, including Breckenridge, Aspen, Vail, and Loveland, and other parts of the country, trace their origins to the 10th Mountain Division.

The Tenmile Range is a destination for world-class mountain biking and outdoor recreation, with access to Breckenridge, Leadville, and Vail. The area also includes more than 20 miles of the Colorado Trail, a favorite of local and visiting day riders and long distance bikepackers alike, and the Wheeler Trail, the quintessential backcountry stage of the world-renowned Breck Epic MTB stage race.

Protecting existing mountain bike access

IMBA, alongside numerous partners, has been working since 2010 to protect landscapes and ensure continued bike access around the Continental Divide and Camp Hale through the Colorado Outdoor Recreation and Economy (CORE) Act and its previous iterations. The CORE Act, sponsored by Senators Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper and Congressman Joe Neguse, contained designations and boundaries which were proposed, reviewed, and revised by IMBA and other partners to enhance and protect future opportunities for mountain bike trails.

There was broad support for the entirety of the CORE Act from IMBA Local partners and local mountain bike groups including Vail Valley Mountain Trails Alliance, San Miguel Mountain Bike Alliance, Silverton Singletrack Society, and Durango Trails; along with the Outdoor Alliance and other outdoor recreation groups, conservation organizations, and area businesses. A short film was produced in 2014 to tell the advocacy story at that time.

When the push for a Camp Hale-Continental Divide National Monument came along in 2022, IMBA reiterated its recommendations to the Biden administration to preserve all existing access to mountain bike trails in the area and protect specific trails that were previously identified to be protected through bike-friendly Recreation Management Areas; and rallied mountain bikers to advocate for the same. The administration is applying these recommendations to the new monument designation.

IMBA will continue to update this blog as details on the Camp Hale-Continental Divide National Monument develop.

President Biden designated the Camp Hale-Continental Divide as America's newest national monument. Veterans of the US Army’s 10th Mountain Division and Colorado elected officials attended the ceremony held at the former training ground.
"President Biden signing the national monument proclamation"
About the author

Jali's passion for cycling and the outdoors began in Philippines where she was born and raised. She shared her love for the outdoors by accompanying students on environmental research trips and facilitating youth camps on marine conservation. Her love for cycling was reignited when she moved to…

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