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***Please note that The Colorado Hiker is no longer being updated.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. […]
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.
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!
***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 Mallory Cave Hike page on Nomad Colorado.*** Trailhead: NCAR Trailhead (National Center for Atmospheric Research) Activities: Hiking, Birding Closest City / Town: Boulder, Colorado Driving Directions: From US-36, take the Table Mesa Drive exit and head west (left at the first traffic light). Continue on Table Mesa Drive as it climbs up the side of the Rocky Mountain foothills. Table Mesa Drive will eventually dead end into the NCAR parking lot. Distance: 2.2 miles (roundtrip) Description: Like most of the hikes in the immediate Boulder area, hikers can make the trip up to Mallory Cave just about anytime during the year. The hike takes anywhere from 2 to 3 hours, and you’ll gain approximately 1,000′ in elevation. Start out from NCAR on the Walter Orr Roberts Interpretive Trail. The trail will eventually rollercoaster down towards the Mesa Trail. After approximately .5 miles, take a left onto the Mesa Trail. Next, take an immediate right (west) onto the Mallory Cave Trail, which is clearly marked by City […]
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: Pawnee Road Trailhead Activities: Hiking Closest City / Town: Manitou Springs, Colorado Driving Directions: From Colorado Springs, head west down Highway 24. Get off at the Manitou Avenue exit and head left (westerly direction). Continue on Manitou Avenue through the City of Manitou Springs. Approximately halfway through Manitou Springs, take a left (south) on Pawnee Avenue. Continue up Pawnee, which is a very steep paved road, until it turns into a gravel road. There is a small parking area on the right next to a large drainage. This is the trailhead parking lot. Hiking Distance: approximately 2.5 miles (roundtrip) Description: The trail begins by heading out west along the Paul Intemann Trail. Approximately 0.5 miles from the trailhead, you’ll see a sign for the Red Mountain spur trail. Take a left at the junction, and head up to the the top of Red Mountain. It is 0.75 miles, all uphill, to the top. The trail ends at a false summit. There is an old building foundation at the top. Word has it that the area was actually used as a gentleman’s club many years ago. One other note, the Intemann Trail Committee constructed the entire trail. Worth Noting: The views […]