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 litter the last half-mile of the hike. Tamarisk are an invasive species that many states in the Southwest struggle to control. Worth Noting: Pictographs, pictographs, and yes, more pictographs!!! Moreover, there is amazing camping located at Castle Rocks (refer to the […]
Trailhead: Bluestem Prairie Trailhead off of Bradley Road Activities: Hiking, birding Closest City / Town: Colorado Springs, Colorado Driving Directions: Drive south on I-25 out of Colorado Springs. Take a left (east) onto Academy Boulevard. Drive 1.5 miles to the Bradley Road exit, and hang a left on Bradley. Drive 4.5 miles down Bradley Road. Bradley Road will eventually turn into Goldfield Drive. You will begin to see the Big Johnson Reservoir on your left-hand side. Just beyond the Reservoir, look for a sign and parking for the trailhead on the left. Note: Bluestem Prairie is just south of Colorado Springs Airport. Hiking Distance: 2.5 miles (roundtrip) Description: Please note that dogs are not allowed in Bluestem Prairie Open Space. The hike through Bluestem Prairie is very gentle. There is little to no elevation gain. Essentially, the trail wraps three-fourths of the way around the reservoir, and then comes to a dead end. Although not difficult to navigate, the trail does disappear on the north side of Big Johnson Reservoir as vegetation has reclaimed some of its former territory. Bluestem Prairie is a perfect place for a mid-winter trek. The open space is rarely used, and you will most likely be […]
Trailhead: Treasure Falls Activities: Hiking, Snowshoeing Closest City / Town: Pagosa Springs, Colorado Driving Directions: From Pagosa Springs, drive east (towards Wolf Creek Pass) on Highway 160 for about 15 miles. There is a large parking area located at the trailhead. If you’re approaching from the east, descend from Wolf Creek Pass; the trailhead is located at the last switchback on Highway 160. Note: The trailhead is well-signed; you really can’t miss it from 160. Hiking Distance: Approximately 1.0 mile (roundtrip) Description: This hike is a piece of cake and is recommended for people of all ages. That said, be cautious in the spring and after rains because the trail can become rather slick. Note that Treasure Falls can be seen from Highway 160. However, it is definitely worth the short hike up to the actual base of the 100-foot tall falls. Worth Noting: Treasure Falls gets its name from rumors that a chest full of gold was hidden in the area when a group of French explorers was being tracked over 100 years ago.
Trailhead: Pawnee ButtesTrailhead Activities: Hiking, Camping Closest City / Town: Keota, Colorado Driving Directions: The Pawnee Buttes Trail is located north east of Greeley on CR 685. There are numerous signs to Pawnee Buttes, but we recommend you always carry a map with you. From Colorado State Highway 14, turn north on CR 390. Go 13.7 miles on CR 390 to CR 112. Take a right (head east) on CR 112. Go 6.4 miles on CR 112 to CR 107. Turn right on CR 107. Travel 1.9 miles on CR 107 to CR 685. Go left on CR 685 for 1.2 miles to the Pawnee Buttes Trailhead. (You can camp anywhere along CR 685. You will find more camping information below.) Hiking Distance: Approximately 4 miles (roundtrip) Description: The Pawnee Buttes are located in the northeast corner of Weld County, Colorado, approximately 13 miles south of the Wyoming border. A predominant geologic feature within the Pawnee National Grassland, the Buttes rise 300 feet above the prairie. A 1.5 mile trail leads hikers to the first Butte. It is another .5 miles to the second butte. The second Butte is on private land but may be accessed unless otherwise posted. If there is a gate, […]
Pawnee Buttes National Grassland