Though the elevation wasn’t too bad at 12,500 feet, the steepness of the last push to the summit is a real burner. Yesterday we did! About 0.8 miles in, the steep trail will flatten out just past a bit of a marshy area on your left. Downloaded the All Trails app and it took us right to the crash site. Would recommend doing this for seeing history and paying your respect to the victims. It takes about 45 minutes to hike to the scene of the deadly crash. (John Putt) On the 2nd of October 1970, a chartered airliner carrying the Wichita State University football team took a detour to give the young players a close-up view of the Rocky Mountains. Make sure to pull over far enough to the right so other cars can park and vehicles have access through the gate itself. As the crow flies, the debris field is less 0.2 miles from I-70. 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. 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. As a former Shocker, this was a hike I’ve wanted to do for a long time. They never arrived. Of the 40 people on board, 29 died at the scene. Please be careful if you have dogs, the highway is only 15 feet away with no fences. What an incredibly moving sight to see. It will be easy to follow until it levels off. 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. Turn left. quick hike. I’m sure I’ll be back there before too long! I have always wanted to make the journey to the location of the crash. When not spending time in the mountains, James volunteers at several animal rescue organizations and is a collector of classic video games. I came here almost 2 years ago on October 3. 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. Best advice is that the actual trail to the plane wreckage is before you cross the creek where the storage area is at. According to Wikipedia, he was trying to take a scenic route but hadn't properly examined his maps to plan a safe route. My husband’s cousin was engaged to one of the young men who perished. I educated my girls on the tragedy that befell these people, and we paused for a moment of silence in their honor. As the crow flies, the debris field is less 0.2 miles from I-70. There is a little parking area. Grizzly Peak and Cupid Peak via Mount Sniktau Trail and Loveland Pass, Torreys and Grays Peaks via Loveland Pass. I wrote up an overview on the area for Elevation Outdoors that gives a good idea of what’s out there. While Richard and I explored the ruins, it was sad to consider how young the men and women on the plane were. Wichita State will hold its annual memorial for the plane crash at 9 a.m. Oct. 2 at the Memorial ’70 landmark on campus. Once you get to where all the rocks are stacked at the top of the mountain hang a left and just follow the trail. None may be as fascinating or sobering as the wreckage of the 1970 Wichita State University crash. 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. shaved about 15-25 min off drive to trailhead. The pieces of wreckage show almost no wear from the elements after 50 years of being up on the mountain. Still accessible but take your time and again, poles will help! This trail is not EASY if you are going to the actual wreck. Over the years, I’ve visited quite a few plane wreck sites in Colorado. quick hike. I set off with Richard and my border collies, Fremont and Mystic, for a full day of exploring Dry Gulch. It was touching to see what many had left behind. Click for a larger size. On Oct. 2, 1970, Wichita State lineman Mal Kimmel boarded a plane with his teammates for their game against Utah State. Of the 40 on board, 31 died either in the crash or as a result of injuries sustained in it. Steep but short trail. That day, I cried. 31 out of the 40 people on board were killed. Nice hike to a sombering site. We wanted to honor those who perished, as well as those who survived. My sister and I are from Wichita and have been wanting to do the hike for a while. 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. On a personal note, while I find mountain wrecks fascinating, the humanity of the situation is never lost on me. 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. Beautiful along the way and lots of trees for shade. The four-engined DC-6 was a large, powerful aircraft that could accommodate the entire team. Wichita State Plane Wreck. took my brother from Kansas to pay our respects. The sight of the wreck is a somber place so please be respectful. I hiked Grays Peak the day before and I met an older woman with a beautiful white German shepherd. 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. I feel that they are all at peace. Living with the Wichita State Crash Glenn Kostal. “Yesterday, you wrote an article on the Wichita State plane crash that killed 31 people. Each year on Oct. 2 at 9 a.m., a wreath is placed at this memorial. It’s steep, very steep at the beginning. When you see a fenced in area on the left there is a pile of rocks with a stick in them on your left. the all trails map is accurate for the trail so if you check in on it, you should be fine. Epic Mystic. Before going under the I-70 bridges, turn sharply right onto a flat dirt road. We went straight up from the bend in the trail. well marked. There is so much wreckage still and memorials. Luckily on of them picked up a hiking stick and I used it a lot. Wichita State players remember their 'second season' 50 years later (8:03) Wichita State was devastated by a tragic plane crash 50 years ago. Vistors to the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge can hike to the site and still see debris left behind from the crash. Paul and Kelly’s cousin Martin was a team equipment manager who died in the crash. At this point, the trail seems to faintly go both left (downhill) and straight through some trees. 44 years after the October 2, 1970 crash, gnarled aluminum and crumpled metal gears are eerily unrusted. There’s a sandy pull off where you can park. That was amazing. 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. Two more who had survived the initial accident passed away later on due to the injuries sustained in the accident. This sent me back to the tragic day, 50 years ago, when Randy was killed. Follow this road a short distance to a metal gate; this is the parking for Dry Gulch. 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. © 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. It was something I have always wanted to do. 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." Looking west to the Citadel, Hagar Mountain and Pettingell Peak. Finding it was a surreal moment, realizing the magnitude of the tragedy that happened there. Very somber but interesting. Just looking at the wreckage, it's a miracle that there were any survivors of this crash. Upon closer inspection, the breadth of the carnage will become apparent. In 1968 a small plane carrying two passengers en route to Las Vegas crashed in the Wichita Mountains in southern Oklahoma. 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. Pay attention and watch for carns. 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. Remarkably she was the only one I saw on the trail and she had hiked Gray’s that day. This is the story of the crash, and what happened after. It really makes you wonder what the pilot was doing flying at such a low altitude given the geography of the area. It led to one of the more unlikely games in college football history. 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. Very steep at first, would recommend hiking poles as they helped us tremendously. I didn’t know him, but I knew his family. One of the planes proceeded to Utah via southern Wyoming, avoiding Colorado’s high mountain wall. The plane hit the side of a mountain and 31 people were killed. Both airplanes refueled at Denver’s Stapleton Airport. The end result is special and somber. After the agreements were made, the DC-6 was damaged and was unavailable for use. I found it to be a great hike to acknowledge a piece of history without hope of ever repeating it. I’m amazed at how much of the wreckage is still intact. The hike is on a gravel road for the first .4 of a mile. After paying your respects, return the way you came back to the broad road into Dry Gulch. Note the parking for the trailhead and wreck are further down the road. The field of debris extends south (downhill) and off to the east. Memorial buttons, slowly starting to rust. 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. At 1:14 PM, the plane collided with Mount Trelease. A young man from our Hometown, Belle Plaine, was on the plane, and was one of the nine Survivors. I was unsure if I was on the right trail because it would keep disappearing and then reappearing again. I knew almost every one of those killed. I couldn’t believe how much wreckage is there, 50 years later. The hike through the trees gets very steep; so though it is a short hike, I wouldn’t call this easy. We used this app to guide us. Poles a most. Very steep. 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. 12,671. The trail was steep, as well described by others. 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. I opted to leash up my pups at this point so that they wouldn’t be off-leash near I-70. 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. Great experience. Very somber at the site. 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. very! But once you arrive to the plane remains, you may have a sense of calm and remembrance and peace, hopefully. After admiring the views for a while, we opted to head down a little bit west of the path we had ascended. It is a very steep climb to the next part. 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. We just took it slow and stopped for breaks. 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. I’m 63 and I thought my hiking days were over! Lost off bullshit trails off to the left. When you see the old lova d ski area fenced area of crap. He said that he would die young and would be a plane crash. 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 will be a reception immediately following the remembrance on the Cessna Stadium concourse. Above treeline, the slopes open up a few hundred feet below the epic snow fences. Stay on this trail as it climbs through the woods. Quite a steep trail in certain sections no snow today, dry trail. 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. Richard at the turn-off point for the steep trail to the wreck site. Turn left and follow that single track for about 1/4 mile to the crash site. It is a short hike to the crash. 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. 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. I did have my dog with me and he did fine too. His writings reflect his personal passions: adventure, science, exploration, philosophy, animal welfare and technology. Pay attention to Verns review, spot on information there. The Martin 4-0-4 was carrying members of the Wichita State Football team, their assistants and a 3-person flight crew. The app was a life saver! Strangely, after the intersection the trail becomes more visible in a short distance. People were also awesome and left hiking sticks at the start of the trail. It is also very helpful to have the map downloaded. Leash ‘em up! 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). the steep section is less than four tenths of a mile. Epic Fremont with Dry Gulch in the distance. Enhancements have been made to Memorial ’70, located near the 18th Street and Hillside entrance to the university. Bicyclists riding to Colorado to remember victims of 1970 Wichita State football team plane crash KWCH Staff 10/4/2020. She Later married another player who was on the other plane. It was easier to find that first day because my heart lead the way. Plenty of shade, but may want bug spray. 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. You can see Loveland ski area from the site and hear I-70. Despite the steepness, the footing is solid nearly all the way down and the slopes will eventually merge with the Dry Gulch hiking trail. well marked. 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. The slope is relentlessly steep (poles were my best friend) but going through the foliage was quite fun. When I got to the crash site it was a very humbling experience. 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. And she told me of this hidden gem Reaching the Wreck Site Consider this: from the fenced parking area to the summit of Bethel, it is roughly 2,000 vertical feet in 0.9 miles! A really interesting hike. I stopped to talk to her dog and pet him. Loose rock and downed trees so poles or hiking stick is helpful. Definitely needed a hiking stick. Wichita State University memorial engraved with the names of the crash victims. You Can Explore A Hidden WWII Plane Crash On This Mountain Hike In Vermont. The charred wreckage of N464M lies on a Colorado mountainside some hours after the crash. Seems a miracle that anyone survived, as it had to have been very difficult to get to the crash and rescue people. To reach the parking area for Dry Gulch, take exit 216 off I-70 westbound(Loveland Pass / Loveland ski area). Difficult to remain on the trail without the use of this app. Directions What a tragedy. 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. You have never been forgotten! 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. that day I felt I was supposed to be there. shallow footpath in many places that was not easy to navigate. I’m so grateful for this life. There are some white stones and you can consult the photo. 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. We would of missed it. 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. Absolutely a great piece of history to see as an aviation enthusiast. 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. But according to the NTSB, the accident could have easily been prevented if … 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. He has frequently visited Colorado to hike back to the crash site. It was a sign Trail is not in great shape but easy to follow. I sat for a while and then it began to snow. The wreck happened on October 2, 1970. It was a bit overwhelming to be there, but I am blessed for having made the effort. The hike is not difficult if you are used to hiking in the mountains. 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. The day we went 2 members of the team that were on the other plane were visiting the site. The 1970 Wichita State football plane crash was one of the worst in Colorado aviation history. It was well worth it. lots of fallen trees on the way to the wreckage. Path to the wreck site as seen from Mount Bethel. 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 … 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. 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. The off-trail work in treeline has plenty of open spaces. From the gate, head northeast up the road. 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