​Lovers Leap, CA

Date: 11/14/2006

By Paul Minault, Northern California Regional Coordinator

Climbers topping out at Northern California's Lovers Leap may find not the peaceful alpine summit they expected but a roaring dust cloud of off-road motorcycles under a proposal by the El Dorado National Forest.

A designated motorbike trail to the summit already exists, but it currently sees little motorcycle use. The Forest Service is engaged in a formal motorized route designation process, which will include the closure of some existing routes. This process will determine the fate of the Leap trail and other motorized trails.

If the Leap trail survives the designation process, then climbers can expect increased use of this trail due to the closure of other trails and increased motorized use of the forest in general.

More information on the Forest Service route designation process is available at www.fs.fed.us/r5/eldorado/projects/route/. The alignment of the trail shows in dark red on the Forest Service trail map at www.fs.fed.us/r5/eldorado/documents/route/maps/enf_se_pyramidpeak.pdf.

The Access Fund is preparing a letter to the Forest Service opposing continued motorized use of this trail and encourages climbers to contact the Forest Service in opposition to the trail.

Letters, emails and phone calls should be directed to:
Tony Scardina, OHV Route Designation Leader,
Eldorado National Forest, 100 Forni Rd.
Placerville, CA 95667
[email protected]

The Forest Service expects to issue a draft environmental document in December for the route designation process, and this will be another opportunity for climbers to submit comments on the proposal.