Saving Mount Shavano

MOUNT SHAVANO, Colo. — New information shows the 14,229-foot summit of Mount Shavano is on private property.  As it turns out, three old mining claims envelop the entire summit.  Now the Colorado Fourteeners Initiative is working to secure land rights.

mtshavano_with_comparison-mapLloyd Athearn is the executive director of the CFI, and recently rehiked the mountain and found the original survey posts from the 1902 mineral survey

“The upshot is that almost all of the summit block of Mount Shavano — including the summit itself — is located on private lands,” Athearn said. “By purchasing these old mining claims the CFI will be able to provide legal access to the hiking public that probably did not exist before.”

Athearn said all this came to light after its desire to reconstruct the upper portion of the Mount Shavano trail.

1902 Mineral Rights Survey Marker. Photo Lloyd Athearn CFI.

1902 Mineral Rights Survey Marker. Photo Lloyd Athearn CFI.

“CFI’s Sustainable Trails Inventory in 2011-2013 found that Shavano was the 14th worst of 16 inventoried, unplanned routes in need of trail reconstruction,” Athearn said.

The U.S. Forest Service said they could not move forward because of the mining rights.  Obtaining access became a top priority of the CFI according to Athearn.

Obtaining access requires buying the land from three owners.

“CFI has been raising the anticipated $40,500 needed to buy the parcels,” Athearn said.

Trail to the summit of Mount Shavano. Photo Lloyd Athearn CFI.

Trail to the summit of Mount Shavano. Photo Lloyd Athearn CFI.

Athearn said the entire amount has successfully been raised thanks to a combination of two private donors and the 14er enthusiast community.

“Once we have completed the trail reconstruction and restoration CFI plans to donate these lands to the Forest Service so that they become part of the publicly owned 14er trail system,” Athearn said.

Shavano Trail Reconstruction. Photo Lloyd Athearn CFI.

Shavano Trail Reconstruction. Photo Lloyd Athearn CFI.

Mount Shavano is located about 2 1/2 hours southwest of Denver in Chaffee County in the Sawatch Mountain Range.

Projects like this are ongoing and donations are accepted through the CFI.