The restroom at the Molas Pass summit, at an elevation of 10,910 feet, may be demolished along with the one at Coal Bank Pass if the Forest Service cannot find other agencies to maintain the facilities.
The Forest Service is planning to permanently flush the public restrooms at Molas Pass and Coal Bank Pass, a move that could make it more uncomfortable for travelers along U.S. 550 when nature calls.
San Juan National Forest district ranger Matt Janowiak, in a Dec. 3 letter to county commissioners, said the agency “no longer has the resources to properly maintain the toilet facilities” at the popular turnouts.
He pointed out that the Forest Service faces the same situation at Henderson Lake and the Animas Overlook.
“We are looking into options for divesting these facilities to new ownership for future care and maintenance,” Janowiak said. “If I cannot find an appropriate new owner for these facilities, demolition is an option under consideration.”
Janowiak pointed out that the toilet facilities at Treasure Falls near Wolf Creek Pass were also demolished recently for similar reasons.
Janowiak is asking around to see if the county, Town of Silverton, Colorado Department of Transportation or others may be interested in assuming responsibility for the toilets.
San Juan County Administrator Willy Tookey said the county plans to contact Sen. Mark Udall, Sen. Michael Bennet and Rep. Scott Tipton on the matter “and see if we can get them stirred up a little bit.”
And he said the county is also requesting more information from the Forest Service, such as the cost of maintaining the facilities.