Here’s an email from a mountain biker.
“For the last few winters I’ve been biking on the trails around the Mineral Mine Road — just past where Shea Road turns into the Bill Williams Highway. This is a popular area with ATVs and motorcycles, although it is not part of the main off-road area. It is all a long way outside the Gibraltar Mountain Wilderness.
Recently, someone has been trying to block off many of the trails. They have been breaking up the trail and rolling rocks into the path. This creates a very serious hazard for mountain bikers — crashing into an unexpected rock could cause a major crash, leading to serious injury, or worse! Such actions are illegal; I have checked with the BLM offices in Lake Havasu City and Needles and they are not approving or supporting any trail closures in this area. This makes the trail destruction plain vandalism and perhaps reckless endangerment.
These trails are all on old, established routes: either horse trails or bighorn sheep tracks — much of the riding is on bare rock or stony ground. This area has been heavily trailed in the past and is not a pristine natural area like the distant Gibraltar mountain.
If this trail destruction is a sincere effort to improve the natural environment, we should get in contact and work together so that everyone is going in the same direction. Please contact me through this website.
Federal public lands here in Arizona and California are largely managed by the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM), which – as the reader Rusty says – is in support of the use of these lands for recreation, including the kinds of recreation that involve vehicles of various kinds (motorized and non-motorized).
Mountain biking, jeeps and trucks, dirt bikes and quads, ATVs and UTVs, hiking and horse riding are some of the ways people enjoy the desert, and we’re pretty fierce around here about defending them. After all, outdoor recreation – in the river and in the desert – is one central reason many of us are here!
There are special areas set aside as wilderness areas, as refuges and preserves, and we all need to take protection of the ecosystem seriously in general (even outside of these areas). But if Rusty is right, and some established trails in open desert areas are being blocked, then Parker Live agrees with him – that’s just vandalism. Even if motives and intentions are righteous, these actions are not and could cause accident or injury.
We’re open to hear from anybody who knows anything about trails being blocked – even anonymously. If we’ve missed something about why it’s being done (maybe there’s some really good reason?) please let me know and I’ll publish your response here. Just use the contact page by clicking HERE to get in touch.
And by the way, kudos to Rusty and the other mountain bikers; on- and off-road cycling has been on the rise in the Parker area in recent years and it’s a great activity.