DNR releases preferred plans for Rib Mountain 

The quarry side of Rib Mountain.

The Department of Natural Resources released a set of preferred options to be included in its updated master plan for Rib Mountain State Park. 

The Department of Natural Resources decided in 2019 to redo its master plan for the park after a plan by Granite Peak to amend the park to add more ski runs stalled from opposition from citizens groups concerned about preserving the natural area. The revamp of the master plan is intended to allow for more or expanded uses of the park from its current state, while striking a balance with maintaining natural areas. 

Residents have until Thursday to submit further comments on the preferred uses for the park before DNR staff develop a draft master plan. Residents will also be able to comment on that draft plan. 

Preferred uses include: 

  • Trails for recreational biking and hiking, single-track mountain bike riding and winter fat biking
  • Adding more hiking trails and a parking area at Grouse Lane (which leads to the Turkey Vulture trails
  • Adding a multi-use trail for cross country skiing. 
  • Allowing bouldering in designated areas and allowing technical climbing (with ropes and gear)
  • Adding a small rustic camping area 
  • Constructing a nature area 
  • Improving the ampitheater area to allow for more uses 

Interestingly the DNR’s current preferred recommendations around downhill skiing suggest that it should hold off making a decision until an evaluation of how climate change will impact downhill skiing at Granite Peak. 

The plan also includes expanding the boundaries to include land that would help connect Rib Mountain State Park with Nine Mile Forest and Recreation Area, and other land that would allow for future expansion of the park. 

The DNR will take public comments until June 30. The DNR anticipates having a draft plan ready by Spring 2023, with the final version to follow public review of the plan. 

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