IMPORTANT UPDATE: Access to Pinewood Springs via Highway 36 Prohibited


Lyons, Colorado – Gov. John Hickenlooper announced this afternoon that the State of Colorado has contracted with a Colo. National Guard engineering company to rebuild U.S. 36 between Lyons and Estes Park. Work on the highway has begun from both directions – from the Town of Lyons and the Town of Estes Park – with similar equipment and crews working towards each other.

In an effort to expedite construction, all traffic on U.S. 36 west of Lyons is prohibited, effectively immediately.

Beginning Monday, all access to Apple Valley Rd will be severely restricted between the hours of 7 a.m. – 6 p.m.

The closure applies to vehicular, cycling, and pedestrian traffic. The closures will specifically impact residents of Spring Gulch and Blue Mountain areas. Also, until this project is completed there will be no vehicular, cycling, or pedestrian access to Pinewood Springs.

At this time, there is no estimated timeline for completion of this project. We hope to be able to provide that information soon.

(via Boulder Office of Emergency Management – Press Release)


  1. Mica
    Sep 22, 2013

    Does this mean we can’t make it from Estes to Pinewood. Why wasn’t there any warning on this? I need more winter clothes and supplies.

  2. Dave Isenberg
    Sep 22, 2013

    Are you kidding me? The governor now prohibits us from accessing our homes at all? No warning, no time to prepare and no estimate as to when the prohibition will be lifted?

    I hope the people that decided to stay in Pinewood will be OK with no access to anywhere else. So much for planning on returning to my home this week to complete the process of winterizing my home, and getting a few more of my personal items from the house.

    And this after the Sheriff of Larimer County committed to us all that their top priority was to get us access to our homes.

  3. David Bingham
    Sep 23, 2013

    I don’t think they can seal off every access route. We may have to spend more time making new routes through the forest but they can’t stop us, not really.

    • admin
      Sep 23, 2013

      Someone on the Pinewood facebook page said National Guard is still letting people in from Estes to Pinewood w/ ID showing Pinewood address… but that may stop one the heavy equip. arrives and they start the road work. They left “your car will be towed” notes on all the windshields of cars parked past the Big Elk highway break yesterday. We are all hoping the road repairs west of Pinewood will go quickly and they will have some kind of temp. access from Estes.

  4. Dan Bruce
    Sep 23, 2013

    Thanks for the heads up, they were already working on the road yesterday when we came through. Do you know if we can get through before 7am, and after 6pm.

  5. Laura Burfield
    Sep 23, 2013

    Yes, if anyone knows if Pinewood is accessible before 7AM and after 6PM, please post here. My husband and I were planning to visit our home Thursday.

    • admin
      Sep 23, 2013

      I’ve asked the Boulder OEM to clarify…. will let you know what they report back from the Lyons side. I really think access may vary depending upon the road work they are doing and what National Guard lets people do at the checkpoints. The notice says no access to Pinewood at all during this time. Also, I’ve asked them to clarify the access to highway 7 via Sunshine Canyon. The website says “residents only” but I don’t know if that still includes Lyons residents.

  6. Dan Bruce
    Sep 23, 2013

    Can I contact the Handy Woman, or someone still in PWS to check on a dehumidifier running in my basement?

  7. Dave Isenberg
    Sep 23, 2013

    I’ve contacted the following offices this morning:
    Gov. Hickenlooper’s Office
    Governor’s Citizen Advocate Office
    Boulder County Commissioner’s office
    Boulder County OEM office media line
    Larimer County Sheriff Smith’s office

    I’ve only been able to speak to two people directly, none of the others have returned my calls. The person I spoke with at Gov. Hickenlooper’s office didn’t seem to know what I was talking about and questioned the validity of my statement that the Governor was prohibiting access to our homes. He asked me to confirm with Boulder county (since that was the most authoritative website I could speak about.)

    I spoke with someone at the Boulder County OEM media line who confirmed that to their knowledge, Pinewood Springs would be denied access, based on information they had from CDOT.

    I have not been able to confirm that CDOT has made a statement of this nature either on their website or to the media and nobody from CDOT has returned my calls.

    If I don’t hear from someone by 3:00 I’m going to start calling the media to ask them for assistance in finding out what the heck is going on.

    As I learn more I’ll post it.

  8. Bill Cross
    Sep 23, 2013

    My wife (Holly) was able to get in from the Estes Park side today. The National Guard was helpful and allowed her to drive down to the break and load up the truck. They were helping load stuff for people as well. She talked with the sheriff while she was there and he understands the need for access to Pinewood. He said they will try and maintain access down to the break. She also took the ATV around the break on the trail they are trying to improve (said it was rough, but made it). If they can improve this route, it is the way to go for now.

    • admin
      Sep 23, 2013

      This is great to hear Bill… I’m so glad the “boots on the ground” are empathizing with the immediate needs of the residents to access their homes.

  9. Dave Isenberg
    Sep 23, 2013

    I just got off the phone with the Governors office. They have informed me that there was a miscommunication between the National Guard and local law enforcement. The Governor’s office is now informing me that anyone showing proper credentials should be allowed in. I confirmed this with the CDOT liaison to the Governor’s office, who said essentially the same thing.

    The way I understand the situation, access to Pinewood Springs IS allowed but only for people with ID that show them to be residents. I also understand that this information may not have been properly communicated….so I guess it just depends on the people at the checkpoints when you get there.

    I’m still planning on getting up to our home to try to take care of things this week. Hopefully we won’t get arrested in the process….

    • admin
      Sep 23, 2013

      Thanks Dave…. several residents have confirmed that they have been able to access Pinewood by the Big Elk break in the road. Hopefully it will continue.

  10. Bruce Maldonado
    Sep 23, 2013

    YESTERDAY -We drove around through Blackhawk to Estes and back south on 36 to Elk Meadows and hiked in from there. Yes – they were placing tow notices on the cars. I was told they were brining in huge equipment and needed the whole road. One CDOT person (no name / Red Hard Hat) said that they were going to try to construct a rough road that residents would be able to use to reach Pinewood, and that the plan was to have it done in the next three days. Unfortunately information is changing by the hour and not getting put out by a government entity. The guys on the ground (CDOT, Army Corps of Engineers, National Guard, public utilities) are earnestly doing a great job and understand our needs and concerns. I would suggest we let them be and do their thing until this weekend. If you do contact a government official tell them the breakdown is the lack of a designated Public Information Officer or direction as to who or where to find them (the usual governmental administrative Delusions of Adequacy)… On another note, everyone I spoke to was in high spirits yesterday and as always very helpful to one another. Take care and thank you everyone for communicating with one another. -=Bruce=-

  11. Paul Sanders
    Sep 23, 2013

    We were visiting my daughter’s cabin in Pinewood when the big water came through. We evacuated on Monday, 9/16, leaving behind our camper van and a motorcycle. If I could get in and out with a 4X4 pickup, I could extract the motorcycle. The van has only 4″ ground clearance, so the road out has to be graded at the very least. The van stays longer.
    Question for the moment is: “How do I get into and back out of Pinewood with a 4X4 pickup?

    • Friso Schlottau
      Sep 24, 2013

      Unfortunately, at this point I think you don’t (get into PWS with a 4×4, that is). The evac route that was discussed at the firehouse meetings and on this site are for now closed. If you’re trying to get a motorcycle, you may be ale to go to the N end of 36, park , hike in half a mile, and ride the bike out on the trmporary gravel access. Not enough for a car, though.

  12. Friso Schlottau
    Sep 25, 2013

    Does anyone know if the break between Shelleys and Apple Valley Bridge can be navigated on foot outside of working hours (6am-7pm)? I plan to go up soon and my wife was hoping to get picked up that night at Shelleys, if possible.

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.