It’s the first summer without public access to Sliding Rock in Alpine, and for the most part the street leading to the falls trail has been free of illegally parked cars and the trail has been quiet.
Late last year the Alpine City Council gave preliminary approval to an amendment for a subdivision called Three Falls Ranch, and part of the development plan was to permanently close the popular water spot, which is on private property within the development.
The rock formation has been private property for years, and a no-trespassing sign marked the entrance to the trail. But that didn’t stop people from going through the gate and up the trail — many hiking websites even instructed people to ignore the sign. And as more and more people wrote about it online, more and more people from out of the area showed up, causing problems for residents. Hikers were known to park next to the no-parking signs on Fort Canyon Road.
Richard Nelson, Alpine’s city manager, said on Wednesday that people have started illegally parking on the street again. On June 17, Lone Peak police noted several cars on the street were cited for illegal parking.
But even if people illegally park their cars and walk up to the entrance, chances are they’re not getting in.
Ryan Wheelwright, the Realtor for Three Falls, said there’s security at the site this year and the area is well-monitored.
Nelson said last year security was letting people go by, but this year “it’s turn around.”
In December when the council gave its preliminary approval, there was some discussion about the developer destroying the formation to keep people away. But that hasn’t happened.
Nelson said he hasn’t heard anything about blowing up the rock formation, and Wheelwright said the same.
“It’s Three Falls Ranch and Sliding Rock is one of the three falls,” Wheelwright said. “I assume they’re going to leave it.”
Hikers may have lost Sliding Rock, but the developer plans new public trails in the area and hundreds of acres of open space.