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Wildfire Tragedy on Storm King Mountain - The South Canyon Fire Explained


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Storm King Mountain Memorial Trail...
Wildfire Tragedy on Storm King Mountain - The South Canyon Fire Explained

The Memorial Trailhead

The Storm King Mountain Memorial Trail is one of several memorials to those who lost their lives while battling the South Canyon fire. The trail started as the best approach to the tragic spot by grieving family members of the lost firefighters and a local community in shock. The Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Forest Service, and local volunteers have improved the trail.

The trail is designed to take hikers on a journey as if they were a firefighter climbing to a fire. The memorial trail was left steep and rough allowing visitors to experience something similar to what firefighters encounter. Signs along the trail provide useful information on what it feels like to be a wildland firefighter. Parts of the trail can be strenuous.

The main portion of the trail is about 1.5 miles long and leads to an observation point with a good view of the entire field where the fire took place. Beyond the observation point, a footpath leads to the sites where firefighters died. The footpath, marked only by rock cairns, is not maintained. Its rough condition is intended as a tribute to firefighters and the challenging conditions under which they work.

You can access to the Storm King Mountain Memorial Trailhead by automobile traveling west from Glenwood Springs down Interstate 70 for about 5 miles. Take the Canyon Creek Exit (#109), turn east on the frontage road. The road will end at the trailhead.

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