[Map: Grand County Active Transportation and Trails Division]

“Eagle Eye Trail is now complete and open to the public!” announced Maddie Logowitz, director of the Grand County Active Transportation and Trails Division. The 2.3 mile trail, described as “fast and swoopy,” officially opened on Nov. 13.

The new mountain biking trail, rated intermediate, begins at the Lower Porcupine Singletrack parking area, and winds through pinyon pine forest in the Sand Flats Recreation Area. It is the uppermost trail of what will be the “Raptor Route,” designed as an alternate ending to the popular Whole Enchilada mountain biking route. The lowest section, named Falcon Flow, was completed this past spring.

The complete Raptor Route, once finished, will offer a less technical and less remote finish to the famous Whole Enchilada route. The last section of the Whole Enchilada, the Porcupine Rim trail, is extremely technical at a point where riders are often exhausted and dehydrated. Search and Rescue personnel have responded to many incidents on the Porcupine Rim trail, which is in a remote area.

The final leg of the Raptor Trails will connect Eagle Eye and Falcon Flow.

The trail was completed in partnership with the Bureau of Land Management, which conducted required environmental surveys and guided the project through approval under the National Environmental Policy Act.

Volunteers contributed 370 hours of help constructing the trail. Logowitz said those hours equate to over nine weeks of full-time working hours.

While building the trail, Logowitz said she enjoyed the contrast between working in the trees and occasionally catching grand vistas. The crew would be working through the forest, then come upon open slickrock areas with sweeping views into the valley.

County Commissioner Evan Clapper recently rode the trail with his family, and echoed Logowitz’s appreciation of the scenery.

“There’s some beautiful views of Rhino Horn and Elvis’s Hammer and some of those ET towers up there,” Clapper told the County Commission at their Nov. 17 meeting. Clapper is the commission liaison to the Trail Mix Advisory Committee, which works closely with GCATT, and an active mountain biker.

“It’s a great addition to the county’s trail offerings so kudos to the folks involved,” said Clapper of the new Eagle Eye section. “Thanks to the whole team for planning, visioning, implementing, and getting it done.”