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Old Stage Road in El Paso County raises concern during COVID-19 pandemic

EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. (KRDO) -- You can add Old Stage Road, a winding, bumpy gravel road in the mountains above southwest Colorado Springs, to the list of local outdoor gathering places that have become more popular during the current pandemic.

But the situation has created problems, some people say -- such as increased trash, illegal campfires, heavier traffic, and target shooters who leave a mess and may be shooting illegally.

The steep road is located between the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo and The Broadmoor Hotel. It goes around part of the upper edge of Seven Falls and ultimately connects to Gold Camp Road.

Visitors use the road as a recreation area and a shortcut to Cripple Creek in Teller County.

The increased traffic is an issue because the road is narrow and difficult to drive on in some stretches.

It's unclear whether El Paso County, or the U.S. Forest Service -- the road is within the Pike-San Isabel National Forest -- is responsible for maintaining the road. Both entities were unavailable for comment Monday.

However, Lt. Chris Gonzalez, of the county sheriff's office, said addressing the issues is challenging because the road is part of a large district that is patrolled by only one deputy.

"The road is in such a remote area that it can take our deputy an hour to respond to a service call there," he said. "And by the time the deputy gets there, no one is there and nothing is happening. Weak cellphone signal in the area also hurts our response because someone reporting an incident needs time to drive to where there's a stronger signal."

Gonzalez said he has pulled drivers over several times in his unmarked patrol vehicle when those drivers passed him while driving recklessly.

The hope is that the incoming colder weather and a reduced threat from the pandemic will reduce activity and lessen complaints about the road.

But some believe that with more people now aware of the road and its appeal, it will never be the same.

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Scott Harrison

Scott is a reporter for KRDO. Learn more about Scott here.



  1. Place is an absolute disgrace. Close the road to non-residences until it’s clean. I’m sure some new Space Force recruits or AFA cadets could use the hard work.

  2. There are literally drifts of gun shells that a front end loader would need to clean up. Perhaps making shooting illegal up there would help. Tends to attract redneck, gun toting litterbugs who don’t give a crap about anything but their guns and their guns.

    1. It was my understanding that shooting was only legal on the range up there, and that’s been a mess for years. But I think those responsible gun owners disregard the fact that it’s illegal elsewhere in the area of the road.

      1. As long as you have a safe backdrop and are within national forest most shooters are traditionally okay to engage in shooting.

      2. The “range” up there, that the Forest Service had approved, was found to actually be private property. (Ooops! You’d think the USFS would have checked that?) So they closed the range, and chose not to open a new one, so now, instead of all the shooting trash in one spot, people shoot all over and mess everything up!

  3. “However, Lt. Chris Gonzalez, of the county sheriff’s office, said addressing the issues is challenging because the road is part of a large district that is patrolled by only one deputy.”

    But EPSO did have this Lieutenant that was just sitting at the office readily available when KRDO arrived to begin asking questions. If there isn’t enough law enforcement actively working within the jurisdiction, the agency needs to do two things.

    #1 – Question why there is so much administrative personnel just sitting at the office, then come to the realization they either need to be placed on full retirement and get in 2-3 more deputies on that 1 admin’s salary, or have that admin actually taking calls for service.

    #2 – Then, once the top of the tree is thinned out back to a appropriate and manageable size, EPSO should reassess and see if more deputies are needed to be hired.

    The elected officials are either going to hold themselves and their administrator accountable or they will continue to allow apathy and complacency rule their actions. It is The People’s obligation to hold them accountable to what The People’s needs are and making sure the government is fulfilling those obligations.

  4. Well. Have a talk with Ft Carson. Most people who go up there and shoot and are rowdy are soldiers from Ft Carson. I would say a good 65% of them.

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