Spiral Point Hike Trailhead: Lot 8 Parking Lot (Snowmass Mountain) Activities: Hiking, Biking Closest Towns: Snowmass & Aspen, Colorado Driving Directions to Trailhead: From Highway 82 (the highway that runs between Glenwood Springs and Aspen), head west on Brush Creek Road (the main road into Snowmass). Follow Brush Creek Toad for 2.7 miles, then take the first exit at the roundabout. Continue another 2.8 miles up Brush Creek Road beyond the roundabout. Turn right onto Carriage Way Road and go 0.1 miles. The Lot 8 Parking Lot will be on your right. The trail starts out of the north end of the parking lot. Hiking Distance: ~ 4.5 miles (roundtrip) Description: For the Spiral Point hike, head out on the Nature Trail, a wonderful and rolling trail, from the Lot 8 parking lot. Go 0.4 miles on the Nature Trail. Take a right and travel 0.33 miles on the South Rim Connector Trail. You’ll pass by an old dilapidated cabin along the way. It’s when you hit the Rim Trail South Trail that things get steep! Go another 1.3 miles up on the Rim Trail South Trail. Take a left at the top of the hill and go about another 0.2 […]
***Please note that The Colorado Hiker is no longer being updated. For current information on this trail and other Colorado tips, please visit Nomad Colorado. You can find specific information on this trail by visiting the Gem Lake Trail page on Nomad Colorado.*** Gem Lake Hike Trailhead: Lumpy Ridge Trailhead Activities: Hiking Closest City / Town: Estes Park, Colorado Driving Directions: From Estes Park, take the US Highway 34 bypass road (aka Wonderview Road). The Stanley Hotel will be on your right-hand side. Just beyond the Stanley Hotel, take a right onto MacGregor Avenue (CR 43). MacGregor Avenue quickly turns into Devils Gulch Road. Turn left at the signed entrance to Lumpy Ridge Road. The Lumpy Ridge Trailhead is located at the end of the road. This is a large trailhead with restroom facilities and amazing views of Lumpy Ridge. Hiking Distances: 3.2 miles (roundtrip) Description: Gem Lake is a very small and shallow lake (more of a pond really) located in a high, rocky saddle of Lumpy Ridge. Its dramatic beauty, paired with terrific views and the unusual granite landscape of Lumpy Ridge, make this a must-do hike in Rocky Mountain National Park. From the Gem Lake Trailhead, the trail immediately goes north for a short distance […]
Grizzly Creek Trail Trailhead: Grizzly Creek Rest Area (Glenwood Canyon) Activities: Hiking Closest Towns: Glenwood Springs, Colorado Driving Directions to Trailhead: From I-70 in Glenwood Canyon take Exit 121. The parking area for Grizzly Creek trail is on the north side of the Interstate. Look for a short road that will take you to the upper lot. The parking area can be busy in the summer due to river access and users. Hiking Distance: ~ 6.8 miles (roundtrip) Description: The Grizzly Creek Trail is an out and back hike that generally follows the meandering Grizzly Creek. The canyon is one of the largest side canyons in Glenwood Canyon. This is a great hike for families and young children because the grade is relatively gentle (at least for the first couple miles). Begin hiking from the small kiosk located adjacent to the upper/northern parking lot. You will quickly leave the hustle and bustle of I-70 behind you as you pass two picnic tables within the first half-mile of the hike. The picnic areas offer perfect resting spots to enjoy the tranquility of Grizzly Creek. At approximately 2 miles into the hike, you’ll hit the first steep portion of the trail. This can be a great […]
Doc Holliday Trail Trailhead: 12th Street and Bennett Avenue (downtown Glenwood Springs) Activities: Hiking Closest Towns: Glenwood Springs, Colorado Driving Directions to Trailhead: Head south (towards Aspen) from the Grand Avenue Bridge at the Colorado River. Take a left on 11th Go three blocks until you reach Bennett Avenue. Take a right on Bennett to 12th Street, and park in the neighborhood along the street. You’ll see obvious signs and the well-worn path from there. Hiking Distance: ~ 1 mile (roundtrip) Description: Although relatively short, the Doc Holliday Trail through the Linwood Cemetery is a perfect way to spend an hour or two. The best part is that the cemetery is right on the edge of town and within walking distance from most hotels, including the Hotel Denver where we stayed. The trail, while short, is all uphill to the cemetery on a dirt path. The trailhead on 12th and Bennett is well signed. Enter the small path and immediately begin climbing through scrub oak. About .1 mile into the hike, amazing views of Glenwood Springs and the Roaring Fork Valley begin to open up. There are numerous benches and resting points if you need to catch your breath or enjoy the scenery. […]
No Name Trail Trailhead: Jess Weaver Trailhead (Glenwood Canyon) Activities: Hiking Closest Towns: Glenwood Springs, Colorado Driving Directions to Trailhead: From I-70 in Glenwood Canyon take Exit 119 (two miles east of Glenwood Springs). Head north away from the rest area for .5 miles on No Name Road. You will dead-end into the trailhead. Park in the designated lot just to the south of the last house in the canyon. Hiking Distance: ~ 6.2 miles (roundtrip) Description: The No Name Trail (aka Jess Weaver Trail) is really the highlight of the three major hikes you can do in Glenwood Canyon. It’s a little shorter and much steeper than the Grizzly Creek Trail. Begin the hike at a small parking lot on the north side of I-70. The first .4 miles of the hike follow the water diversion access road to a small diversion building. Water is diverted to Glenwood Springs as one of the town’s main water supply sources. It’s once you pass the diversion structure that the trail turns to single track and you leave most traces of humanity behind. The trail is oftentimes steep and follows No Name Creek the entire way up the canyon. Dense vegetation sometimes shields the creek […]
Ouzel Falls Trailhead: Wild Basin Trailhead Activities: hiking, camping Closest City / Town: Allenspark Driving Directions: The trailhead is located about 2 miles north of Allenspark on CO HWY 7 between the towns of Allenspark and Meeker Park (Peak to Peak Scenic Highway). Watch for signs for the Wild Basin Trailhead. Turn left onto County Rd 84 and go .4 miles. Head slight right on Road 15 and continue to the trailhead. Hiking Distance: 5.4 Miles (roundtrip) Description: The Ouzel Falls hike begins from the Wild Basin Trailhead, located approximately 2.2 miles from the park turn-off from HWY 7 on a narrow gravel road. The Ouzel Falls hike sets out from the remote Wild Basin Trailhead in the southeastern corner of Rocky Mountain National Park. This hike offers spectacular views of some of Rocky Mountain National Park’s highest ridges. There are a few waterfalls and cascades along the way. Lower Copeland Falls is the first you’ll encounter during this trek. Just above Lower Copeland Falls is Upper Copeland Falls. You can take a short side-trail to get a closer peak at the falls. A little past Copeland Falls the trail crosses over Sandbeach Creek. 1.3 miles from the trailhead you’ll […]
Trailhead: Visitor Center (Park Headquarters) Activities: Hiking, Camping Closest City / Town: Fruita, Colorado (Grand Junction) Driving Directions: Take Highway I-70 to Exit 19 (Fruita exit) and go south on Highway 340 to the west entrance, which is approximately three miles from Fruita. The Visitor Center is four miles up from the west entrance. Hiking Distances: 1.0 mile (roundtrip) Description: Colorado National Monument’s Canyon Rim Trail is a superb way to enjoy some of Colorado’s canyon country. The trail is perfect for young children and for those looking to take unforgettable, awe-inspiring photographs. From the Visitor Center, the trail takes off to the east. Follow the trail along the canyon rim for approximately .5 miles. From the end of the trail you have two options: 1) head back to the Visitor Center or 2) continue to the north, and hike the Window Rock Trail. We highly recommend pursuing the second option! Worth Noting: This trail, although relatively short, offers some of the best views in Colorado National Monument. Sentinel Spire, Pipe Organ, Independence Monument, and the Kissing Couple can all be viewed from the Canyon Rim Trail. Colorado National Monument rests on the northern edge of the Uncompahgre Uplift; it […]
1750 Rimrock Dr Fruita, CO 81521
***Please note that The Colorado Hiker is no longer being updated. For current information on this trail and other Colorado tips, please visit Nomad Colorado. You can find specific information on this trail by visiting the McDonald Creek Trail page on Nomad Colorado.*** Trailhead: McDonald Creek Trailhead Activities: Hiking, Camping Closest City / Town: Fruita, Colorado Driving Directions: Head out west from Grand Junction on I-70 for about 30 miles to the Rabbit Valley exit (Exit #2). Take a left (south) at the stop sign; cross over the freeway and a cattle guard. Stay on the main road going straight (southwest) for about 2.5 miles. The turn into the canyon is marked by Castle Rocks. When you reach this rock, you’ll turn left (east) onto another two-track road which follows the stream bed for about 0.3 miles to a parking area. NOTE: No motorized vehicles or bikes are permitted beyond this point!!! CAUTION: A high-clearance vehicle is recommended to get to the trailhead!!! Hiking Distance: 3.0 miles (roundtrip) Description: The McDonald Creek Trail is a fun and relatively gentle hike in Colorado (McInnis) Canyons National Conservation Area. Because there really is no trail, hikers simply need to follow the winding path of the usually dry creek bed. Tamarisk […]
Trailhead: Visitor Center Parking Lot (South Rim) Activities: Hiking, Camping Closest City / Town: Montrose, Colorado Driving Directions: Hiking Distance: 2.0 miles (roundtrip) Description: The Oak Flat Loop Trail is a great trail for just about any hiker. It is relatively short, easy to follow, and offers superb glimpses into the heart of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. However, you should be cautions while traversing the trail along a limited number of steep pitches. Please note that pets are not allowed on this trail. The trail commences on the west side of the visitor’s center. Initially, the trail descends to a signed junction. Hang a left and continue along the Oak Flat Loop (taking a right will actually lead you down to the bottom of the canyon). Next, the trail begins to head uphill as it courses its way to the west. Finally, the trail will loop back around to the east. Be sure to revel in the marvelous views on the return route. Worth Noting: The Views!!! The Painted Wall of the Black Canyon is the highest cliff in Colorado; from the river up to the rim it stands 2250 feet. The Black Canyon is 53 miles long, […]
Trailhead: Mount Sanitas Trailhead (Boulder) Activities: Hiking, Bouldering Closest City / Town: Boulder, Colorado Driving Directions: Get onto Broadway and then head west on Mapleton. The Mount Sanitas Trailhead is located just west of Boulder Valley Hospital on the north (right) side of Mapleton. Hiking Distance: 3.3 miles (loop) Description: This is an enjoyable trail located near the heart of the City of Boulder. Begin your hike by heading up the Mount Sanitas Trail towards the ridgeline to the north. Eventually, the trail will wrap around on the East Ridge Trail, head towards the east, and descend back south via the Mount Sanitas Valley Trail. This is a great hike to do during a weekday. The trail swells on the weekends and evenings; we recommend avoiding a hike during those times. Worth Noting: The bouldering along the trail is exceptional. There are numerous areas to jump on the beautiful sandstone. Suggested Materials: The following books all contain relevant information on this trail… Bob Horan, Best of Boulder Bouldering, pp. 7-14. Steve Johnson & David Weinstein, Best Loop Hikes Colorado, pp. 63-64.
Trailhead: Gregory Canyon Trailhead (Note: you can add some additional mileage to your hike by starting at the Chautauqua Trailhead) Activities: Hiking Closest City / Town: Boulder, Colorado Driving Directions: Take the Baseline exit off of Highway 36. Head west on Baseline (go past Broadway and continue up the hill). Continue on Baseline beyond the Chautauqua Trailhead (which is located on the left). Just before Baseline begins to head up Flagstaff Mountain you will see a road on your left-hand side; follow that westward-trending road to the Gregory Canyon Trailhead. Hiking Distance: 6.2 miles (loop) Description: This is a great hike that winds approximately 2,500′ strait uphill. Take the Gregory Canyon Trail until you run into an abandoned cabin. Continue up the north ridge until you reach the summit. The views from up top are breathtaking. To the west, you’ll be staring at James Peak Wilderness, Indian Peaks Wilderness, and Rocky Mountain National Park. To the east, but only on clear days, you will be able to peer nearly all the way out to the Kansas state line. Descend via the Greenman Trail. Next, take the Saddle Rock Trail. Finally, jump onto the Amphitheater Trail, and follow it back to the Gregory […]
Royal Arch Trailhead: Chautauqua Trailhead (Bluebell Mesa Trail) Activities: Hiking Closest City / Town: Boulder, Colorado Driving Directions: Take the Baseline exit off of Highway 36. Head west on Baseline (go past Broadway and continue up the hill). Continue on Baseline to the Chautauqua Trailhead (which is located on the left). You really can’t miss it!!! Hiking Distance: 3.0 miles (roundtrip) Description: This is a great jaunt anytime of the year. The hike commences at the ranger station in Chautauqua Park and follows the southward-trending Bluebell Road that is closed off to vehicle access. From there, it is just a matter of paying attention to Boulder City Open Space signs. You will gain approximately 1,100 feet of elevation along this switchbacking hike up to the Royal Arch. Worth Noting: Although you can make this hike year-round, ice on the trail during the winter can make the journey a little dicey. Bring some Yak Trax and you should be okay!