Grizzly Creek Trail Trailhead: Grizzly Creek Rest Area (Glenwood Canyon)
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 point to turn around if you’re just acclimating to Colorado’s high altitude. It’s a consistent climb between mile 2 and mile 3.5. After mile 2 you’ll be able to enjoy a little more solitude as trail use tends to thin out – even on busy summer days.
Around 3.3 miles in on the Grizzly Creek Trail, the path becomes more difficult to locate and navigate. Keep your eyes peeled for cairns (small rock monuments) to help guide the way forward. A diversion pipe on the opposite side of the creek will begin to come into view. The trail begins to disappear shortly thereafter. We recommend turning around at mile 3.4 and returning to the trailhead the way you came.
Worth Noting: There are numerous places to rest and picnic along Grizzly Creek. Snowmelt fills the stream bed with clear, cold water that pours out of the Flat Tops Wilderness Area to the north. And when you’re done hiking, be sure to visit Glenwood Hot Springs to wind down and relax!