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 […]
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 […]
Elk Creek Falls Trailhead: Group Picnic Area near main park entrance Activities: Hiking, Mountain Biking, Snowshoeing, Rock Climbing Closest City / Town: Conifer, Colorado Driving Directions: Take U.S. Highway 285 south out of Denver. Hang a right at Shaffers Crossing, about 6 miles west of Conifer Head north on Elk Creek Road for 1.5 miles. Take a right at the entrance to Staunton State Park. Park at the group picnic area, which is located about 1/8 of a mile beyond the main parking area at the park entrance. Hiking Distance: 11.2 miles (roundtrip) Description: The Elk Creek Falls Loop in Staunton State Park is one of our favorites no matter what time of year it is. However, be prepared for some light snow travel during most winter months (this might include bringing snowshoes if it has snowed a lot). The trails in Staunton State Park are well signed, so you shouldn’t have a problem navigating. The hike described here is a loop, but there are a few trail variations you can pursue. From the trailhead, head out on the Staunton Ranch Trail for 3.0 miles. This is an undulating trail that also provides some of the main climbing access in the park. At mile […]
Trailhead: Half Moon Pass Trailhead Activities: Hiking, Camping Closest City / Town: Red Cliff, Colorado Driving Directions: Take I-70 to Exit 171. Head south on Highway 24 for 4 miles (passing through Minturn). Take a right on Tigiwon Road (FDR 707). Continue on Tigiwon Road for 8 miles until you dead end into the Half Moon Pass Trailhead. Hiking Distance: 10 miles (roundtrip) Description: If you are making a run at Mount of the Holy Cross, it is worthwhile to camp out at East Cross Creek. The hike begins by climbing nearly 2,000′ to the summit of Half Moon Pass. Holy Cross and a marvelous cascade can be viewed directly to the southwest. From there, you will drop approximately 1,000′ to East Cross Creek. You will only have 2 miles and 3,000 vertical feet to travel from that point to reach Holy Cross’ summit. Mount of the Holy Cross sits at the north tip of the Sawatch Range. Worth Noting: Don’t miss the awe-inspiring waterfall on East Cross Creek. The fall is most visible just beyond Half Moon Pass (look directly at Holy Cross; you’ll see the fall below it).
Trailhead: Fern Lake Trailhead Activities: Hiking, Camping, Skiing, Snowshoeing Closest City / Town: Estes Park, Colorado Driving Directions: Enter into Rocky Mountain National Park via the Beaver Meadows Entrance Station. From the entrance station, make a left onto Bear Lake Road. Continue on Bear Lake Road for 2 miles, and hand a right onto Moraine Park Road. Moraine Park Road will eventually dead-end at the Fern Lake Trailhead. In sum, you will travel 4.1 miles from the Beaver Meadows Entrance Station. Hiking Distance: 7.6 miles (roundtrip) Description: Making this Rocky Mountain National Park hike during the fall, winter, or spring is a great way to beat the crowds. However, snowshoes are a requisite if you decide to make the trek in the winter and early spring. The Fern Lake Trailhead sits at 8,155′ in elevation. The first 2.5 miles are relatively flat and easy. You will not encounter much elevation gain until you ascend the final 1.3 miles. Fern Lake is a marvelous high-alpine body of water. You will gain approximately 1,350′ in elevation on this hike, topping out at 9,503′. Camping at Fern Lake is available, but only through a backcountry permitting system; contact the National Park Service for further […]
Lost Lake Hike Trailhead: Hessie Trailhead Activities: Hiking, Backpacking, Skiing, Snowshoeing Closest City / Town: Nederland, Colorado Driving Directions: From the 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; veer left at the next fork towards Hessie Trailhead. The Hessie Trailhead sees extremely high use, especially on weekends, and parking is very limited. Plan to arrive early and watch for signs along the road indicating which parking spots are legal. ***Please note that a stretch of the road from County Road 130 to the Hessie Trailhead is a cobblestone creek bed. It carries water year round and runs heavily in the early summer. It is passable by 2-wheel drive vehicles; however, high clearance is recommended. There is a parallel trail so hikers can bypass the water.*** Hiking Distance: Approximately 3 miles (roundtrip). Description: The trail up to Lost Lake begins around 9,000′ in elevation and ends at approximately 9,800′. It follows a closed jeep track the majority of the way […]
Trailhead: Hessie Trailhead Activities: Hiking, Backpacking, Snowshoeing (to a point) Closest City / Town: Nederland, Colorado Driving Directions: From the Peak-to-Peak Highway (Highway 119/72), turn west on County Road 130, located just south of the center of the town of Nederland, and follow signs for Eldora Ski Resort and the town of Eldora. At the fork in the road, keep right, through the town of Eldora. At the end of town, continue westward as the pavement ends, following to the left at the next road fork for the Hessie Trailhead. The Hessie 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. ***Please note that a stretch of the road from County Road 130 to the Hessie Trailhead is a cobblestone creek bed. It carries water year round and runs heavily in the early summer. It is passable by 2-wheel drive vehicles; however, high clearance is recommended. There is a parallel trail so hikers can bypass the water.*** Hiking Distance: (all distances are one way) King Lake: 5.2 miles Betty Lake: 5.5 miles Bob Lake: 6 miles High Lonesome Trail: 5.7 miles Description: Outside […]
Trailhead: Lake Como Trailhead Activities: Hiking, Backpacking Directions: Get onto U.S. 160 and drive towards the Town of Blanca. Take Colorado 150 north towards the Great Sand Dunes. Drive just over 3 miles, and hang a right onto Lake Como Road. Lake Como Road is a dirt road. There is a small parking area at the start of the road. Most cars will be able to make it about 1.5 miles up Lake Como road – THIS IS THE PARKING AREA FOR 99.9% OF ALL VEHICLES!!! From this point on it is about 5 miles up to Lake Como. Blanca Peak is another 5 miles from Lake Como. Hiking Distance: 10-12 miles (one way) – Hiking distance really depends upon how far you can drive up Lake Como Road. Description: We call this hike the “knee-grinder” because the hike along the 4X4 road leading up to Lake Como is absolutely brutal. Along the way you’ll inevitably encounter loose rocks that simply beg for you to twist your ankle on them. Lake Como is the best spot to establish camp before attempting the hike up Blanca Peak (elevation 14,345′). Generally, the Lake offers a serene place to bed down for the […]
Conejos River Headwaters Loop Trailhead: Three Forks Trailhead Activities: Hiking, Backpacking, Camping, Fishing Closest City / Town: Platoro, CO (Monte Vista & Alamosa, CO) Driving Directions: Take U.S. 285 south to Monte Vista. Continue on Colorado Highway 15 (Gunbarrel Road) south 12.0 miles. Turn Right (West) on Twelve Mile Road. The road turns into FR 250, a dirt road. Follow FR 250. (Note: you will be on Twelve Mile Road and FR 250 for 29 miles, which is where you should run into Platoro Reservoir). Next, you will pass through Jasper. Avoid turning onto FR 380. Continue on FR 250 and begin heading up switchbacks to Stunner Pass. From the summit of Stunner Pass you will descend towards Platoro. Before you get to Platoro the road intersects FR 247 with signs to Platoro Reservoir and the Three Forks TH. Take a right (Southwest) and head towards Platoro Reservoir. After about 3.5 miles, you should arrive at the Three Forks Trailhead. Hiking Distance: 31.5 miles (roundtrip) Conejos River Headwaters Loop Trip Report: Day One – Three Forks Trailhead to Blue Lake: We began the trip at the Three Forks Trailhead. It was a relatively flat journey for the first couple miles. After Splashing […]
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: Rio Grande Reservoir-Stony Pass Road (east); Molas Pass (west) (Colorado Trail Section 24) Activities: Hiking, Backpacking, Camping Closest City / Town: Silverton, CO Hiking Distance: 21 miles (one way) Description: This hike is best done as a shuttle backpacking trip. However, hiking the trail both directions (42 miles roundtrip) is not a bad idea because of the sheer beauty of the Weminuche Wilderness Area. The trail is littered with mining relics of days long and gone. No description could ever do this area any justice because words cannot possibly convey the grandeur you will experience by making this trip. Worth Noting: The Durango-Silverton Railroad is an historic train path that is worth looking into. The Colorado Trail actually crosses the railroad tracks next to the Animas River. Suggested Materials: The following two resources are absolutely essential for doing any significant amount of hiking along the Colorado Trail. While hiking the Colorado Trail, we loved the guidebook’s detail and the ease of being able to stash the databook in a highly accessible pocket. Do yourself a favor: don’t leave home without throwing these two invaluable items in your pack. Colorado Trail: The Official Guidebook, Segment 24 (we would give you […]