50 years ago, WSUâs football team was flying through the Dry Gulch when the plane crashed into the side of a mountain on Oct. 2, 1970. Fifty years ago today â Oct. 2, 1970 â 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 only had shorts and flip-flops, A decent climb with a sobering destination. While the plane didn't arrive where it was expected, it wasn't found until hikers stumbled onto the wreckage three months later. I assume this is a shortcut to wreck, though I would advise skipping it and staying on the main trail. 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. She Later married another player who was on the other plane. I’m amazed at how much of the wreckage is still intact. There are some white stones and you can consult the photo. It is a very steep climb to the next part. It led to one of the more unlikely games in college football history. Though the elevation wasn’t too bad at 12,500 feet, the steepness of the last push to the summit is a real burner. It is a short hike to the crash. Very steep and difficult but short. I’m so grateful for this life. The sâ¦ I hiked Grays Peak the day before and I met an older woman with a beautiful white German shepherd. The single track starts there. Memorial buttons, slowly starting to rust. I found it to be a great hike to acknowledge a piece of history without hope of ever repeating it. Distance to Mount Bethel / Snow Fences: 2.9 miles / 2,280 vertical feet. At 0.4 miles, you’ll come to a flat spot where the road will cross Dry Gulch Creek. That was amazing. I was in Middle School when the crash occurred. Yesterday we did! People were also awesome and left hiking sticks at the start of the trail. I know it is a short distance but bring hiking poles if you have them. The pieces of wreckage show almost no wear from the elements after 50 years of being up on the mountain. Enhancements have been made to Memorial â70, located near the 18th Street and Hillside entrance to the university. Paul and Kellyâs cousin Martin was a team equipment manager who died in the crash. Looking west to the Citadel, Hagar Mountain and Pettingell Peak. If you overshoot this turn off, just remember to aim left (south) downhill after the steep section of the trail levels off. 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. 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. well marked. 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 Richard and I explored the ruins, it was sad to consider how young the men and women on the plane were. Wichita State University memorial engraved with the names of the crash victims. There is a little parking area. You have never been forgotten! He said that he would die young and would be a plane crash. Wichita State players remember their 'second season' 50 years later (8:03) Wichita State was devastated by a tragic plane crash 50 years ago. 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. Very steep. it isnt necessary to take the tunnel, exit and approach from eastbound. Than straight up. This trail in Vermont will actually let you explore the wreckage of a real WWII plane crash. 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. Nice hike to a sombering site. It takes about 45 minutes to hike to the scene of the deadly crash. 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." To reach the parking area for Dry Gulch, take exit 216 off I-70 westbound(Loveland Pass / Loveland ski area). None may be as fascinating or sobering as the wreckage of the 1970 Wichita State University crash. Two more who had survived the initial accident passed away later on due to the injuries sustained in the accident. The end result is special and somber. From the start of this trail, you are less than half a mile from the crash site. trail starts off up a dirt road. A somber summit. 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. At 1:14 PM, the plane collided with Mount Trelease. His writings reflect his personal passions: adventure, science, exploration, philosophy, animal welfare and technology. What a tragedy. Many downed trees also. Both airplanes refueled at Denverâs Stapleton Airport. 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. Wichita State Plane Wreck. We’re in good health but definitely not athletic! It was something I have always wanted to do. a Denver news channel was with them to record the visit to air in October to coincide with the 50th anniversary. 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 â¦ The app was a life saver! Great trail to a somber site. Leash ‘em up! When you see a fenced in area on the left there is a pile of rocks with a stick in them on your left. As the crow flies, the debris field is less 0.2 miles from I-70. It was awesome. Glenn Kostal has three children and has been married for almost 35 years. The field of debris extends south (downhill) and off to the east. Please be careful if you have dogs, the highway is only 15 feet away with no fences. Trail is not in great shape but easy to follow. The hike along an unmarked (but easy to find) trail is about a mile and the area is still densely littered with twisted metal. Great trail that doesn’t take too long. He has frequently visited Colorado to hike back to the crash site. Of the 40 people on board, 29 died at the scene. âRandy and I played football at Clinton High School. I feel that they are all at peace. 31 out of the 40 people on board were killed. 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. They never arrived. Though the beauty of nature is definitely itâs own reward, sometimes itâs nice to embark on a hike that will take you somewhere really cool. Grizzly Peak and Cupid Peak via Mount Sniktau Trail and Loveland Pass, Torreys and Grays Peaks via Loveland Pass. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and nature trips. This is the story of the crash, and what happened after. Forty-four years ago, a plane carrying the Wichita State football team crashed in Colorado. Follow this road a short distance to a metal gate; this is the parking for Dry Gulch. Before going under the I-70 bridges, turn sharply right onto a flat dirt road. They plan to hike up to the wreckage next week. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and nature trips. quick hike. Of the 40 on board, 31 died either in the crash or as a result of injuries sustained in it. well marked. The charred wreckage of N464M lies on a Colorado mountainside some hours after the crash. Consider this: from the fenced parking area to the summit of Bethel, it is roughly 2,000 vertical feet in 0.9 miles! You can see Loveland ski area from the site and hear I-70. Luckily on of them picked up a hiking stick and I used it a lot. There is a large, fenced-in storage area to the right. 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. The crash involved one fatality, the pilot. Just looking at the wreckage, it's a miracle that there were any survivors of this crash. Was very challenging for my brother and I but very rewarding as we are both from Wichita. 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. In 1968 a small plane carrying two passengers en route to Las Vegas crashed in the Wichita Mountains in southern Oklahoma. 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. Definitely needed a hiking stick. Very somber place as 31 people lost their lives due to the crash. We just took it slow and stopped for breaks. Loose rock and downed trees so poles or hiking stick is helpful. At this point, the trail seems to faintly go both left (downhill) and straight through some trees. It’s about a 3.2 mile round trip up and down Bethel, depending on your off-route planning. The slope is relentlessly steep (poles were my best friend) but going through the foliage was quite fun. A hand-painted memorial marker within the debris. 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. Above treeline, the slopes open up a few hundred feet below the epic snow fences. Reaching the Wreck Site The pups get ready to charge up Mount Bethel. One of the planes proceeded to Utah via southern Wyoming, avoiding Coloradoâs high mountain wall. 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. It was a sign 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. 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. no snow today, dry trail. I set off with Richard and my border collies, Fremont and Mystic, for a full day of exploring Dry Gulch. We would of missed it. Great short hike to pay respects to the lives lost in a tragic accident. As the crow flies, the debris field is less 0.2 miles from I-70. the all trails map is accurate for the trail so if you check in on it, you should be fine. Quite an accomplishment giving that one of them has cancer and in very poor health. About 0.8 miles in, the steep trail will flatten out just past a bit of a marshy area on your left. shaved about 15-25 min off drive to trailhead. Worth the hike up. take your first sharp right onto a dirt road and follow to a closed gate. I didn’t know him, but I knew his family. Golden Eagle Aviation did not own the DC-6, but had an arrangement with the Jack Richards Aircraft Company to use it. 12,671. quick hike. Over the years, I’ve visited quite a few plane wreck sites in Colorado. We used this app to guide us. The 1970 Wichita State football plane crash was one of the worst in Colorado aviation history. Seems a miracle that anyone survived, as it had to have been very difficult to get to the crash and rescue people. Upon closer inspection, the breadth of the carnage will become apparent. None may be as fascinating or sobering as the wreckage of the 1970 Wichita State University crash. After the agreements were made, the DC-6 was damaged and was unavailable for use. My sister and I are from Wichita and have been wanting to do the hike for a while. I knew almost every one of those killed. It is also very helpful to have the map downloaded. At about 10 feet tall, they are secured into the mountain by some crazy strong cables. It will be easy to follow until it levels off. 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 educated my girls on the tragedy that befell these people, and we paused for a moment of silence in their honor. steep incline. There is so much wreckage still and memorials. The trail followed a dirt road for half a mile and then there is a very hidden left turn that goes straight up. It was touching to see what many had left behind. This is the informal trail to the wreck site. Path to the wreck site as seen from Mount Bethel. The sight of the wreck is a somber place so please be respectful. We wanted to honor those who perished, as well as those who survived. 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