Trailheads: Rolling Creek/Colorado Trail (east trailhead); Kenosha Pass (west trailhead) Activities: Hiking, Camping, Snowshoeing, Skiing Closest Towns: Bailey, Grant, and Jefferson, Colorado Driving Directions to Rolling Creek Trailhead (East): Head west on Highway 285 from Denver. Continue on Highway 285 until you reach Bailey. Once in Bailey, hang an immediate left onto County Road (CR) 68 (Wellington Lake Road). Continue on CR 68 through Insmont and Eastabrook (Note that CR 68 turns into Forest Road (FR) 560). One (1) mile after passing through Eastabrook you’ll hit a fork in the road. Go right at the fork, and continue towards Wellington Lake for another 3 miles. 7.8 miles from Bailey, park at a small parking area on the south side of the road (large enough for trailers) or go right (south) a short distance to the Colorado Trail/Rolling Creek trailhead. Driving Directions to Kenosha Pass Trailhead (West): Take Highway 285 to the summit of Kenosha Pass. There are multiple signs on the top of the Pass that delineate the Colorado Trail Trailhead. Hiking Distance: 29 miles (one way) Description: This hike is best done as a shuttle backpacking trip. You will inevitably deal with a decent amount of elevation gain. Nonetheless, the […]
South Lost Creek Loop Trailhead: Colorado Trail (Rolling Creek) Trailhead Activities: Hiking, Camping, Skiing, Snowshoeing Closest City / Town: Bailey, Colorado Driving Directions: From Denver, head west on Highway 285. Continue on Highway 285 until you reach Bailey. Once in Bailey, hang an immediate left onto County Road (CR) 68 (Wellington Lake Road). Continue on CR 68 through Insmont and Eastabrook (Note that CR 68 turns into Forest Road (FR) 560). One (1) mile after passing through Eastabrook you’ll hit a fork in the road. Go right at the fork, and continue towards Wellington Lake for another 3 miles. 7.8 miles from Bailey, park at a small parking area on the south side of the road (large enough for trailers) or go right (south) a short distance to the Colorado Trail/Rolling Creek trailhead. Hiking Distance: Approximately 22 miles (roundtrip) Description: What more could you possibly want out of a backpacking trip? The South Lost Creek Loop through the Lost Creek Wilderness offers utmost solitude, and is relatively gentle – with the exception of about 8 miles. Most of the hiking involves navigating along the sides of various creeks. Water is generally abundant throughout the trek. The trail begins at 8,360′ in […]
Trailhead: Deer Creek Trailhead Activities: Hiking, Camping (Trails 636 & 56) Closest City / Town: Bailey, Colorado Driving Directions: From Denver, head west on Highway 285; Continue 12 miles past Conifer on 285; Turn right (north) on Forest Road 100 (County Road 43). Go north 9 miles, which includes passing by the turn for Meridian Campground. Continue one mile past Deer Creek Campground to the Deer Creek Trailhead. Hiking Distance: Approximately 10 miles (roundtrip), ~3,000 feet elevation gain. Description: The Tanglewood Trail is located near Bailey just off Highway 285. At its lower elevations, it parallels Tanglewood Creek and winds through dense forest. The trailhead offers no amenities so plan accordingly. Right off the bat, you’ll quickly cross the stream three times. After approximately 2.5 miles, you’ll pop out of the trees and enter the Krummholz Zone. Continue up a steep, steep trail to gain the saddle to the north. You’d be remiss not to photograph the landscape behind you! From the saddle, it’s just under a mile (and 200 feet of elevation loss) to Roosevelt Lakes. The lakes are fairly shallow, and on a clear day you can savor the beautiful reflection of the 13,000-foot Mount Rosalie in the background. Really pay attention […]
Trailhead: Grizzly Gulch Trailhead (Near St. Elmo) Activities: Hiking, Camping, Skiing, Snowshoeing Closest City / Town: St. Elmo, Colorado Driving Directions: From Nathrop travel west on County Road 162 for about 16 miles to the Grizzly Gulch parking area. The gravel parking lot is located on the left side of the road right before the old renovated mining town of St. Elmo. This is the best area to park if you are going to make the hike up to Grizzly Lake. Although the road is vehicle accessible, it is extremely difficult to drive. There is a major vehicle obstacle located approximately .5 miles up the road. Hiking Distance: 5.6 Miles (roundtrip) Description: This is one of those hikes where hikers simply have to ignore vehicles all the way up and down the trail. Once you park at the Grizzly Gulch parking area, you will reach a junction with County Road (CR) 295. Take a left onto this road and continue on it for .2 miles. In .2 miles you will hit Forest Road (FR) 296. FR 296 will take you all of the way up to Grizzly Lake. The views of Grizzly Lake, the mining cabins leading up to the Lake, […]
Trailhead: North Tenmile Creek Trailhead (Frisco Main Street) Activities: Hiking, Camping, Skiing, Snowshoeing, Fishing Closest City / Town: Frisco, Colorado Driving Directions: Jump on I-70 and head towards Frisco. Get off on the Main Street exit (Exit 201) for Frisco. Instead of taking a left, which leads directly into Frisco, hang a right and park in the dirt parking lot. This is the parking lot for the North Tenmile Creek Trail. Hiking Distance: The hike is 7.0 miles (roundtrip) to the Gore Range Trail junction. Description: North Tenmile Creek is a fun adventure into the southern tip of the Gore Range. The Gore Range is one of Colorado’s most rugged mountain ranges. Initially, the trail follows a closed jeep path up the valley. After approximately two miles of hiking, you will enter the single-track country of Eagles Nest Wilderness Area. After another 1.5 miles of traveling, you will run into a junction with the Gore Range Trail. If you decide to head south, you will go to Copper Mountain. If you decide to head north, you can follow the Gore Range Trail for up to 50 miles. Worth Noting: This is an excellent winter trail as well. Mushrooms adorn the sides […]
We’re excited to announce a new partnership between The Colorado Hiker and Nomad Colorado. Over the upcoming months, all of the content on this website will be transferred to Nomad Colorado. The content of this page has already been transferred and can be found on the Deer Creek Trail page on Nomad Colorado. Happy trails!
Trailhead: Geneva Creek Activities: Hiking, Skiing, Snowshoeing, Camping Closest City / Town: Grant, Colorado Driving Directions: From Denver, drive southwest on US 285 approximately 40 miles to Grant. Turn right (north) onto Park County 62 (towards Guanella Pass), and drive 5.5 miles to the trailhead. The trailhead is on the west (left) side of the road and is located just south of Burning Bear Campground. Note: there is a large parking area at the trailhead. Hiking Distance: 5.5 miles (one way); 11.0 miles (roundtrip) Description: The first mile of the Burning Bear Trail is relatively flat. You then leave the meadow area and begin climbing through a stand of lodgepole pine. Approximately 2.5 miles from the trailhead you will come to remnants of an old log cabin on the left (see “Rustic Cabin” photo on the right). The trail then becomes steep and switchbacks to the ridge summit at 3.7 miles. A six-foot tree stump that has 2 metal diamond-shaped markers (cross country ski markers) designates the high point of the trail. From this saddle, the trail begins to descend in a southwesterly direction. Fifteen minutes down the ridge you will cross Lamping Creek as it drains west. From this point, […]
Trailhead: Echo Lake Lodge Activities: Hiking, Camping, Skiing, Snowshoeing Closest City / Town: Idaho Springs, Colorado Driving Directions: From I-70, head west towards Idaho Springs. Get off on Highway 103 (exit 240) and head south. Go south for approximately 12 miles. Park near the Echo Lake Lodge Hiking Distances: 9.0 miles (roundtrip) Description: The Chicago Lakes Trail is a great hiking opportunity and location in the Mount Evans Wilderness Area. The trailhead is located at 10,600′; the final destination is at 11,800′. From the trailhead, pick up one of the numerous social trails heading southwest. You’ll essentially skirt the southern boundary of Echo Lake. After leaving the southwest edge of Echo Lake, the trial drops precipitously for about a mile until it hits Chicago Creek. The Creek is dammed shortly up the trail, creating Idaho Springs Reservoir. The trail is relatively flat as it bypasses the dam. Once you get to the southern edge of the dam, the trail climbs the remaining three miles to Chicago Lakes. On your way, you’ll go through a 400-acre burn area that caught fire in 1978. The first of the two Chicago lakes is right at treeline. The second lake is above treeline. It’s 4.5 miles […]
Trailhead: Hell’s Hole Activities: Hiking, Camping, Skiing, Snowshoeing Closest City / Town: Idaho Springs, Colorado Driving Directions: From I-70, head west towards Idaho Springs. Get off on Highway 103; head south. Six and a half miles south of Idaho Springs on Highway 103, take the West Chicago Creek Road (located just before the first large switchback on 103) for three miles. The trailhead starts where the road ends. Walk through the Chicago Creek Picnic Area. Hiking Distances: 7.0 miles (roundtrip) Description: Hell’s Hole Trail is a great hiking opportunity and location in the Mount Evans Wilderness Area. The trailhead is located at 9,500′; the final destination is at 11,200′. From the trailhead, travel along West Chicago Creek for approximately one mile. The trail quickly gains elevation as it skirts through a large grove of aspen trees – and, yes, this is absolutely beautiful in the fall. The second and third miles are rocky but less steep. The trail’s terminus is at Hell’s Hole. Hell’s Hole is an expansive cirque. Don’t forget to bring and enjoy lunch in the expansive meadow that rests at the base of Gray Wolf Mountain. Worth Noting: Snowshoeing this trail in the winter provides a greater sense […]
Trailhead: North Supply Trailhead Activities: Hiking, Backpacking, Camping, Fishing Closest City / Town: Grand Lake and Granby, CO (Estes Park is relatively close if Trail Ridge Road is open) Driving Directions: On Highway 34, between Granby and Grand Lake, turn west onto County Road 4 between mile markers 9 and 10. Take County Road 4 to a junction, and turn right onto FR 120 (a.k.a. Kauneeche Road). Follow FR 120 for 9.3 miles to the North Supply Trailhead. FR 120 is a good road that is passable by most 2wd vehicles with moderate clearance. However, a 4wd with high clearance is recommended. Hiking Distance: ~16.5 miles (roundtrip) Trip Report (July 23 – July 27, 2011): Day One – Car Camping at North Supply Trailhead: We drove to the North Supply Trailhead from Denver to hike the Bowen Lake Loop. I had serious reservations about the snow that we might encounter during the trip to the aptly named Never Summers. The 2010-11 winter left most of northern Colorado blanketed in over 200% of the average annual mountain snowpack. To top that off, the spring – and some might not even call it that – was particularly cold and damp. Car camping […]
We’re excited to announce a new partnership between The Colorado Hiker and Nomad Colorado. Over the upcoming months, all of the content on this website will be transferred to Nomad Colorado. The content of this page has already been transferred and can be found on the Lost Lake Trail page on Nomad Colorado. Happy trails!
Trailhead: Fourth of July Trailhead Activities: Hiking, Backpacking, Camping Closest City / Town: Nederland, Colorado Driving Directions: From Peak-to-Peak Highway (Highway 119/72), turn west on County Road 130, located just south of Nederland town center, and follow signs for Eldora and Eldora Ski Resort. At the fork in the road, keep right, through the town of Eldora. At the end of town, continue westward as the pavement ends. Go right at the fork in the road (left will take you to the Hessie Trailhead). Another 4 miles brings you to the 4th of July Trailhead. This portion of the road is rough but passable in a passenger car. The Fourth of July Trailhead sees extremely high use, especially on weekends, and parking is limited. Plan to arrive early and watch for signs along the road indicating legal parking spots if the trailhead parking lot is full. Hiking Distances: (all distances are one way) Fourth of July Mine: 2.0 miles Arapaho Pass: 3.2 miles Caribou Lake: Approximately 4 miles Description: The hike up to Arapaho Pass, which tops out at 11,906′, and then down to Caribou Lake is a relatively rigorous jaunt. However, the climb is steady and non-technical. You will encounter […]