When you see a fenced in area on the left there is a pile of rocks with a stick in them on your left. What an incredibly moving sight to see. Sept. 30, 2020 - The annual ceremony of remembrance for those who died in the 1970 Wichita State University plane crash will be held at 9 a.m. Friday, Oct. 2, at Cessna Stadium. Despite the steepness, the footing is solid nearly all the way down and the slopes will eventually merge with the Dry Gulch hiking trail. This sent me back to the tragic day, 50 years ago, when Randy was killed. Consider this: from the fenced parking area to the summit of Bethel, it is roughly 2,000 vertical feet in 0.9 miles! According to Wikipedia, he was trying to take a scenic route but hadn't properly examined his maps to plan a safe route. It was something I have always wanted to do. Luckily on of them picked up a hiking stick and I used it a lot. the steep section is less than four tenths of a mile. That was amazing. Epic Fremont with Dry Gulch in the distance. We just took it slow and stopped for breaks. Over the years, I’ve visited quite a few plane wreck sites in Colorado. Never miss a story Choose the plan that's right for you. The hike is not difficult if you are used to hiking in the mountains. First up was finding the wreckage site. About midway up, there is a cairn that seems to point to a very faint trail. An excellent article on the crash from 5280 can be found here while Wikipedia’s page on the wreck is quite informative and has good links to detailed reports. At about 10 feet tall, they are secured into the mountain by some crazy strong cables. There’s a sandy pull off where you can park. it isnt necessary to take the tunnel, exit and approach from eastbound. There was a cairn To mark the trail so I followed it up, it’s almost a mile incline and then the trail goes down words to the left. Turn left. I was unsure if I was on the right trail because it would keep disappearing and then reappearing again. The four-engined DC-6 was a large, powerful aircraft that could accommodate the entire team. Great trail to a somber site. As a former Shocker, this was a hike I’ve wanted to do for a long time. Was very challenging for my brother and I but very rewarding as we are both from Wichita. The accident report reveals that the crash occurred when a non-certified pilot "departed on a cross-country flight to relocate his airplane for maintenance." The day we went 2 members of the team that were on the other plane were visiting the site. take your first sharp right onto a dirt road and follow to a closed gate. 12,671. © James Dziezynski & Mountainous Words Writing 1997 - 2014, article on the crash from 5280 can be found here, overview on the area for Elevation Outdoors, Mount Edwards – Goatfinger Couloir Scouting Trip, Goatfinger Couloir – Mount Edwards – Trip Report, Watrous Gulch 4 Pack: Four 13ers in a Day, Rocky Mountain National Park – Insider’s Guide, Pandemic Journal – Day 1 – Our Very Own Plague. At 1:14 PM, the plane collided with Mount Trelease. lots of fallen trees on the way to the wreckage. The hike through the trees gets very steep; so though it is a short hike, I wouldn’t call this easy. There are no trails to Mount Bethel’s summit; the majority of the hike up will be above treeline. One of the planes proceeded to Utah via southern Wyoming, avoiding Colorado’s high mountain wall. The sight of the wreck is a somber place so please be respectful. I found it to be a great hike to acknowledge a piece of history without hope of ever repeating it. Wichita State constructed a memorial for those who died from the crash called Memorial ‘70. Quite a steep trail in certain sections You have never been forgotten! A hand-painted memorial marker within the debris. Quite an accomplishment giving that one of them has cancer and in very poor health. Pay attention to Verns review, spot on information there. Very interesting. Stay on this trail as it climbs through the woods. Reaching Mount Bethel and the Snow Fences At 0.4 miles, you’ll come to a flat spot where the road will cross Dry Gulch Creek. Memorial buttons, slowly starting to rust. On a personal note, while I find mountain wrecks fascinating, the humanity of the situation is never lost on me. Large debris field with large pieces of wreckage strewn about. He has frequently visited Colorado to hike back to the crash site. Each year on Oct. 2 at 9 a.m., a wreath is placed at this memorial. I opted to leash up my pups at this point so that they wouldn’t be off-leash near I-70. Just looking at the wreckage, it's a miracle that there were any survivors of this crash. I hiked Grays Peak the day before and I met an older woman with a beautiful white German shepherd. Grizzly Peak and Cupid Peak via Mount Sniktau Trail and Loveland Pass, Torreys and Grays Peaks via Loveland Pass. Be warned, it goes up about 600 vertical feet in a short distance. Yesterday we did! It was a bit overwhelming to be there, but I am blessed for having made the effort. Finding it was a surreal moment, realizing the magnitude of the tragedy that happened there. From the gate, head northeast up the road. I’m so grateful for this life. there will be highway traffic noise for a bit as you ascend. The slope is relentlessly steep (poles were my best friend) but going through the foliage was quite fun. The next 1/4 mile is very steep and after having to go around to the right of the trail due to 5 or 6 dead falls blocking the trail you will see a small pine tree on the right with rocks all around it. Because it is a relatively short outing, it’s worth combining a visit to the wreck with a climb up Mount Bethel, the Citadel, Point 12,671 or any other of the rolling summits in the area of Dry Gulch. Vistors to the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge can hike to the site and still see debris left behind from the crash. The s… Wichita State Plane Wreck is a 1.7 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Silver Plume, Colorado that features a great forest setting and is rated as moderate. Living with the Wichita State Crash Glenn Kostal. Hopefully this guide will help those looking for it, as other sites online are a bit spotty with directions. It is a very steep climb to the next part. Paul and Kelly Harrison help plane crash survivor Rick Stephens hike up the steep Rocky Mountain grade to the site of the Wichita State University football team plane crash Stephens survived 50 years ago. To check it out (when coming westbound on I-70 from Denver), get ready to pull over when you see the large electronic sign just past mile marker 217. People were also awesome and left hiking sticks at the start of the trail. Trail is very steep after you head up from the road. while this is a short trail, I might rate it closer to hard than moderate for the angle, tree fall and places here the trail is washed out. James is a best-selling author and writer based out of Boulder, Colorado. Please be careful if you have dogs, the highway is only 15 feet away with no fences. Very steep at first, would recommend hiking poles as they helped us tremendously. It is a very sad site to know that 29 people died on site and 2 more later. a Denver news channel was with them to record the visit to air in October to coincide with the 50th anniversary. I did have my dog with me and he did fine too. Tip: exit 216 from westbound I-70. Paid respects. A memorial to a Wichita State University teammate killed in the plane crash Sept. 23, 2020, hangs from a piece of the 40-seat, Martin 404 twin-engine plane lying on the side of Mt. We weren’t able to stay at the crash site very long, Because the sun was setting, so I would like to come back another year and spend more time there. I know it is a short distance but bring hiking poles if you have them. After paying your respects, return the way you came back to the broad road into Dry Gulch. It was awesome. Above treeline, the slopes open up a few hundred feet below the epic snow fences. only had shorts and flip-flops, A decent climb with a sobering destination. The app was a huge help as far as keeping us on the right trail. It’s about a 3.2 mile round trip up and  down Bethel, depending on your off-route planning. Downloaded the All Trails app and it took us right to the crash site. I sat for a while and then it began to snow. Bicyclists riding to Colorado to remember victims of 1970 Wichita State football team plane crash KWCH Staff 10/4/2020. It’s pretty easy to find and note that you never actually go into Dry Gulch — the wreck area is on the south side of Mount Trelease, facing I-70. Very steep. But once you arrive to the plane remains, you may have a sense of calm and remembrance and peace, hopefully. There are some white stones and you can consult the photo. It is also very helpful to have the map downloaded. Two more who had survived the initial accident passed away later on due to the injuries sustained in the accident. If you can experience this trail I strongly suggest taking a moment, A moment of silence for peace for all those that perished there, 5/23/20. Beautiful along the way and lots of trees for shade. 29 of the 40 people on board were killed in the crash and two more perished after rescue, making for a total of nine survivors (including the co-pilot who was flying the plane at the time of the crash). A pair of Martin 4-0-4s(which had not flown since 1967) w… We’re in good health but definitely not athletic! The saddle between the Citadel and Pt. We would of missed it. They were bound for Logan, Utah, to play the Utah State University Aggies the following day. That day, I cried. This trail is not EASY if you are going to the actual wreck. Wichita State plane crash survivor takes on a mission of remembrance The first time Rick Stephens descended Mount Trelease, near Silver Plume, Colorado, he faded in and out of consciousness. I was in Middle School when the crash occurred. Than straight up. This is the informal trail to the wreck site. The charred wreckage of N464M lies on a Colorado mountainside some hours after the crash. Just before the fenced area, there is an area on the left side of the road (before the creek) that looks like an old parking area. The hike is on a gravel road for the first .4 of a mile. I’m amazed at how much of the wreckage is still intact. Overview map of the Dry Gulch area. Path to the wreck site as seen from Mount Bethel. that day I felt I was supposed to be there. By taking this path, you’ll approach the wreck in a few hundred feet from above. I have always wanted to make the journey to the location of the crash. Great trail that doesn’t take too long. It really makes you wonder what the pilot was doing flying at such a low altitude given the geography of the area. (8:03) This modest memorial is just off the highway past mile marker 217 on westbound I-70, next to the actual creek that runs through Dry Gulch. There are several memorial objects, including a tombstone with the Wichita State football helmet and a few faded flags with the names of the victims. Start off Exit 216 on I-70; shallow footpath in many places that was not easy to navigate. Strangely, after the intersection the trail becomes more visible in a short distance. shaved about 15-25 min off drive to trailhead. Though the elevation wasn’t too bad at 12,500 feet, the steepness of the last push to the summit is a real burner. The crash involved one fatality, the pilot. Note the parking for the trailhead and wreck are further down the road. I came here almost 2 years ago on October 3. The Martin 4-0-4 was carrying members of the Wichita State Football team, their assistants and a 3-person flight crew. You can see Loveland ski area from the site and hear I-70. The trail followed a dirt road for half a mile and then there is a very hidden left turn that goes straight up. A worthwhile hike, for sure. You Can Explore A Hidden WWII Plane Crash On This Mountain Hike In Vermont. WSU Plane crash On 2 October 1970, a twin-engine plane carrying Wichita State University football players, staff and supporters crashed near Loveland Pass enroute to a game in Utah. no snow today, dry trail. What a tragedy. I feel that they are all at peace. Trees and shrubs were gapped out nicely and outside of a few very short sections, the off-trail aspect was steep but easy to navigate. While the plane didn't arrive where it was expected, it wasn't found until hikers stumbled onto the wreckage three months later. You’ll know that area when you see it. Glenn Kostal has three children and has been married for almost 35 years. We did see a hiker while we were at the wreck and he came from this trail; it actually goes just below the wreck site. It takes about 45 minutes to hike to the scene of the deadly crash. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and nature trips. To reach the parking area for Dry Gulch, take exit 216 off I-70 westbound(Loveland Pass / Loveland ski area). It’s steep, very steep at the beginning. We were very rushed, climbing as quickly as we could! None may be as fascinating or sobering as the wreckage of the 1970 Wichita State University crash. I couldn’t believe how much wreckage is there, 50 years later. very! took my brother from Kansas to pay our respects. Most of the metal has been shattered into unrecognizable shapes, though we saw some hydraulics that could have been wheel supports, a cooling unit of some sort and a few painted sections from the shell of the plane. Wichita State players remember their 'second season' 50 years later (8:03) Wichita State was devastated by a tragic plane crash 50 years ago. Forty-four years ago, a plane carrying the Wichita State football team crashed in Colorado. So rather than head into the forest trail that slowly dissolves in the basin, we started up a few hundred feet west of the fenced in area. a Denver news channel was with them to record the visit to air in October to coincide with the 50th anniversary. I set off with Richard and my border collies, Fremont and Mystic, for a full day of exploring Dry Gulch. at the top by the fence you can either continue straight for a lovely hike through a meadow or be on the lookout on the left for a small clearing that goes straight up to get to the wreck. So stay on the steep, more-trodden trail. on the trail we met a group from Wichita, some of whom are survivors and others from the other plane that took a route over Wyoming. Wichita State will hold its annual memorial for the plane crash at 9 a.m. Oct. 2 at the Memorial ’70 landmark on campus. I didn’t know him, but I knew his family. Of the 40 on board, 31 died either in the crash or as a result of injuries sustained in it. Poles a most. They plan to hike up to the wreckage next week. It was easier to find that first day because my heart lead the way. None may be as fascinating or sobering as the wreckage of the 1970 Wichita State University crash. Fifty years ago today — Oct. 2, 1970 — I walked into the student newspaper office at Utah State University expecting to be given media credentials for the first college Greg Hansen: Remembering the Wichita State plane crash, 50 years later | Greg Hansen | tucson.com It was well worth it. The end result is special and somber. Loose rock and downed trees so poles or hiking stick is helpful. Plane crashes are a reality in the mountains and part of the history of our Rocky Mountains; how one chooses to appreciate this fact is up to the individual. The trail is an old access road that was used to reach the wreckage site. You’ll want to follow the left path, which is unmarked. well marked. at the very moment the steep incline begins to taper a bit, carins and stone arrows have been placed to guide you to the crash. Pay attention and watch for carns. This trail in Vermont will actually let you explore the wreckage of a real WWII plane crash. Around 1 pm on a clear day, the pilots got trapped in the box canyon while moving in for a closer view and put the plane down on the side of Mount Trelease. The single track starts there. His writings reflect his personal passions: adventure, science, exploration, philosophy, animal welfare and technology. Very somber at the site. The hike along an unmarked (but easy to find) trail is about a mile and the area is still densely littered with twisted metal. There is so much wreckage still and memorials. Photo by Travis Heying via Paul Harrison As the crow flies, the debris field is less 0.2 miles from I-70. Directions The pups get ready to charge up Mount Bethel. She Later married another player who was on the other plane. Too snowy for late May... try again late June. Some other reviews on here detail really well the turning points to look for so if you aren’t comfortable with the map, just read a few of those. Of the 40 people on board, 29 died at the scene. quick hike. On Friday, October 2, 1970, a pair of Martin 404 twin-engine aircraft took off from Wichita, Kansas, carrying the Wichita State University (WSU) football team, coaches, and VIP supporters. Richard at the turn-off point for the steep trail to the wreck site. There will be a reception immediately following the remembrance on the Cessna Stadium concourse. Looking west to the Citadel, Hagar Mountain and Pettingell Peak. I’m not sure if I was supposed to meet her on that trail but when I Came on this little adventure on October 3 that year it was a beautiful 80° day. steep incline. As the crow flies, the debris field is less 0.2 miles from I-70. The little-known memorial stands as a tribute to the 31 people who lost their lives when a plane carrying the Wichita State football team crashed while traveling to a game at Utah State … Difficult to remain on the trail without the use of this app. I wrote up an overview on the area for Elevation Outdoors that gives a good idea of what’s out there. The field of debris extends south (downhill) and off to the east. Before going under the I-70 bridges, turn sharply right onto a flat dirt road. This is the most accessible and most dramatic of Colorado’s plane wrecks. Very steep and difficult but short. The hike along an unmarked (but easy to find) trail is about a mile and the area is still densely littered with twisted metal. I educated my girls on the tragedy that befell these people, and we paused for a moment of silence in their honor. From the start of this trail, you are less than half a mile from the crash site. Make sure to pull over far enough to the right so other cars can park and vehicles have access through the gate itself. It was a sign Leash ‘em up! Follow this road a short distance to a metal gate; this is the parking for Dry Gulch. It is a short hike to the crash. Wichita State Plane Wreck is a 1.7 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Silver Plume, Colorado that features a great forest setting and is rated as moderate. I stopped to talk to her dog and pet him. When I got to the crash site it was a very humbling experience. The wreckage of the plane has never been removed.The survivors and many family members and friends of the victims hike to the crash site annually on October 2 to remember the 1970 Wichita State football team. Very satisfying day, very thought provoking. About 0.8 miles in, the steep trail will flatten out just past a bit of a marshy area on your left. Many downed trees also. Wichita State University memorial engraved with the names of the crash victims. Trail is not in great shape but easy to follow. 44 years after the October 2, 1970 crash, gnarled aluminum and crumpled metal gears are eerily unrusted. While it’s perfectly acceptable to head into Dry Gulch a bit farther and head up the saddle between Point 12,671 and Bethel, our crew had a blast simply grinding up the south ridge and slopes. My sister and I are from Wichita and have been wanting to do the hike for a while. The pieces of wreckage show almost no wear from the elements after 50 years of being up on the mountain. Morgan Anderson. After the agreements were made, the DC-6 was damaged and was unavailable for use. The app was a life saver! Great experience. The memories of the 31 people who died in a plane crash on Oct. 2, 1970 — including 14 members of the football team, 14 staff and boosters, and three crew members — are honored every year at Wichita State’s Memorial ’70 observance, but survivors, friends and family choose to remember their loved ones by hiking up to the crash site located on a mountain west of Silver Plume, Colorado. When you see the old lova d ski area fenced area of crap. I’m sure I’ll be back there before too long! Poles were necessary for me. “Randy and I played football at Clinton High School. This is the story of the crash, and what happened after. Shattered remains of the Martin 4-0-4 have rested in the forest since October 2, 1970, when the pilot of the craft swept down into the box canyon along I-70 for a better view for the Wichita State football team on board. After admiring the views for a while, we opted to head down a little bit west of the path we had ascended. We were surprised how long they were (around 200 – 250 feet) and how steep the angle was. A somber summit. quick hike. At this large digital sign at mile marker 217, pull off to see the memorial site. There’s tons of other adventures waiting in Dry Gulch — Mount Trelease, Golden Bear Peak, Hagar Mountain, Pettingell Peak the Citadel and even the terrain of Loveland ski area can all be reached from this area. Distance to Mount Bethel / Snow Fences: 2.9 miles / 2,280 vertical feet. Definitely needed a hiking stick. Still accessible but take your time and again, poles will help! Remarkably she was the only one I saw on the trail and she had hiked Gray’s that day. the steep section is less than four tenths of a mile. “Yesterday, you wrote an article on the Wichita State plane crash that killed 31 people. Absolutely a great piece of history to see as an aviation enthusiast. It looks like an old 4×4 or ATV path and goes steeply uphill and as of 2014, it was unmarked. We went straight up from the bend in the trail. Easy to veer off if you’re not closely looking for the rocks marking the way, but the map on here and directions from others are accurate. Thank you Vern. 31 out of the 40 people on board were killed. The Wichita State plane crash is often forgotten and overshadowed because of a … The trail was steep, as well described by others. But according to the NTSB, the accident could have easily been prevented if … Lost off bullshit trails off to the left. Plenty of shade, but may want bug spray. About three months before the crash, Wichita State contracted Golden Eagle Aviation to supply a Douglas DC-6B, to fly the team to away games for the 1970 season. well marked. Note that before driving to the trailhead for Dry Gulch, you may want to make a quick visit to the memorial to the victims of the crash. Wow. Click for a larger size. Simply put. Upon closer inspection, the breadth of the carnage will become apparent. It will be easy to follow until it levels off. It was touching to see what many had left behind. Understanding the 1970 Wichita State football plane crash Two planes carrying Wichita State University football players, coaches, administrators and fans refueled on Oct. 2, 1970, in Denver. on the trail we met a group from Wichita, some of whom are survivors and others from the other plane that took a route over Wyoming. They never arrived. The off-trail work in treeline has plenty of open spaces. The 63-year-old Stephens plans to ride his bike 550 miles to honor the victims of the 1970 plane crash in Colorado that killed 31 Wichita State football … Seems a miracle that anyone survived, as it had to have been very difficult to get to the crash and rescue people. If you aim too far west and miss the trail, no worries — you can always just follow the creek east to get back to the open area near the fenced in storage. The wreck happened on October 2, 1970. Both airplanes refueled at Denver’s Stapleton Airport. the all trails map is accurate for the trail so if you check in on it, you should be fine. There is a little parking area. I assume this is a shortcut to wreck, though I would advise skipping it and staying on the main trail. A really interesting hike. The 1970 Wichita State football plane crash was one of the worst in Colorado aviation history. There is a large, fenced-in storage area to the right. And she told me of this hidden gem Nice hike to a sombering site. Worth the hike up. Though the beauty of nature is definitely it’s own reward, sometimes it’s nice to embark on a hike that will take you somewhere really cool. The plane hit the side of a mountain and 31 people were killed. When not spending time in the mountains, James volunteers at several animal rescue organizations and is a collector of classic video games. Would recommend doing this for seeing history and paying your respect to the victims. A young man from our Hometown, Belle Plaine, was on the plane, and was one of the nine Survivors. We wanted to honor those who perished, as well as those who survived. He said that he would die young and would be a plane crash. Turn left and follow that single track for about 1/4 mile to the crash site. 50 years ago, WSU’s football team was flying through the Dry Gulch when the plane crashed into the side of a mountain on Oct. 2, 1970. Best advice is that the actual trail to the plane wreckage is before you cross the creek where the storage area is at. My 16 and 11 year old daughters and I completed this hike and felt a sense of accomplishment as the beginning of it was very strenuous and severe. In 1968 a small plane carrying two passengers en route to Las Vegas crashed in the Wichita Mountains in southern Oklahoma. I knew almost every one of those killed. We used this app to guide us. 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