Hermosa Creek Watershed

Clear Creek Hermosa

A grass-roots collaborative community effort beginning in about 2008 has resulted in the Hermosa Creek Watershed Protection legislation being signed into law on December 19, 2014. The legislation divided the watershed into a Special Management Area (SMA) and a Hermosa Creek Wilderness area.

The legislation states: "The purpose of the Special Management Area is to conserve and protect for the benefit of present and future generations the watershed, geological, cultural, natural, scientific, recreational, wildlife, riparian, historical, educational, and scenic resources of the Special Management Area."

In response to the legislation, a Hermosa Creek Watershed Management Plan has been written and signed by the Forest Service in December 2017. The Management Plan describes long-term guidance for how the watershed will be managed.

Final Hermosa Creek Watershed Management Plan


The Hermosa Creek Watershed experienced the 54,000-acre "416 Fire" in 2018. As a result, there are burned area hazards  in the Hermosa Creek Watershed.  Entry into burned areas is at your own risk.


Some trails will be impassable, and hazards such as falling trees, unstable soils, and debris flows will exist. Users of bicycles and motorized vehicles are required to stay on designated trails in the Hermosa; new routes must not be created when trails are impassable.  Trail clearing and reconstruction has begun, but will not happen all at once.

A recreation and travel management plan was also adopted at the same time (Appendix C in the Management Plan). All motorized and mechanized (bicycle) use in the watershed now must remain on designated roads and trails, and during open seasons of use. The following maps show which roads and trails and seasons of use are allowed.

Please contact the Columbine Ranger District for current information about conditions. 970-884-2512.