This is one of the more challenging trails out of all of the trails in the area. It begins by the creek just off of the county road, and it ends at an old mine shaft and an old collapsed building about a mile west of the lakes. You will need a high-clearance vehicle, because at the top there are a lot of large rocks that make the trail quite challenging. The start of the Baldwin Lake trail is located where you cross the creek near the start of the Mount Antero trail. Instead of going across the creek to continue up to Mount Antero you keep going straight to take the Baldwin Lake trail. After the first small hill climb, there is a big camping area by Baldwin Creek. At this point, the trail gets a lot steeper. You will also find big rocks on the trail for another mile or so. Then, the trail becomes a short but narrow shelf road. At the end of the shelf road, you can take a right turn to go to the Boulder Mountain trail. Continue to the left to stay on the Baldwin Lake trail. Soon you will be by the first of the Baldwin Lakes. There are some camping sites around this area. At the far side of the lake, you will see a road that is closed to vehicular traffic. You can hike the closed road to the upper Baldwin Lake. The rest of the Baldwin Lake trail becomes more difficult just before the end of the trail due to its increased roughness and bigger rocks to negotiate. For the most part, there is only one line you can take to stay on the trail. At the end you will find the Baldwin Mine. At this point, you must turn around and go back the way you came.
Fairly easy 4WD trail that travels under the canopy of the dense forest; Aspen viewing in the fall. High-clearance 4WDs are preferred, but any high-clearance vehicle is acceptable. Expect a rough road surface; mud and sand are possible but will be easily passable. You may encounter rocks up to 6 inches in diameter, a loose road surface, and shelf roads, though these will be wide enough for passing or will have adequate pull-offs.
The Browns Lake Trail begins on the Crown Point road, crosses the Dadd Gulch and Flowers trails, and travels uphill and downhill a couple of times. Browns Lake is 4.3 miles from the trailhead. There is ample parking at the trailhead on the north side of the road. The trail starts at an elevation of 10,500 feet, travels over 11,400 feet, and drops off to Browns Lake at 10,500 feet. This trail is of moderate difficulty primarily because of the altitude and a few steep areas. The early sections of the trail where it crosses the tundra are very rocky. Much of the trail from the trailhead to the Flowers Trail crosses open country and can be windy at times. The landscape is heavily timbered from the Flowers Trail to just above Browns Lake. There is ample grass and water for horses. Camping is restricted in the Comanche Peak Wilderness. No fires (stoves only) are allowed in the travel zone near Browns Lake. Livestock are not permitted overnight. Fishing is good for brook trout in Browns Lake. The trail continues for 1.7 miles to intersect the Beaver Creek Trail.
Coming from the south, take Highway 72 to Peaceful Valley and follow signs to Camp Dick. The trailhead is on the right just past the winter gates, going uphill before you get to the camp itself.
This is always a popular trail in the area and there may be traffic. It is popular because it is close to the Peak to Peak Highway and it is easy enough for most 4x4 vehicles, with a few rough sections to make it fun. It is a good trail for those new to offroading. You can start from either end. The north end is where the actual old Bunce School still stands, and the south end is at Camp Dick, very near to the Middle St. Vrain trailhead. There are pit toilets and camp sites at this end. Most of the trail is fairly mellow, with a few rocks here and there.
Bobolink Trailhead-Boulder Valley Ranch Trailhead-Buckingham Park Picnic Area-Centennial Trailhead-Chapman Drive Trailhead-Chautauqua Trailhead-Cherryvale Trailhead-Cottonwood Trailhead-Crown Rock Trailhead-Doudy Draw Trailhead-Dry Creek Trailhead-Eagle Trailhead-Enchanted Mesa/McClintock Trailhead-Flagstaff Trailhead-Flatirons Vista Trailhead-Foothills Trailhead-Fourmile Creek Trailhead-Greenbelt Plateau Trailhead-Gregory Canyon Trailhead-Lefthand Trailhead-Marshall Mesa Trailhead-Mt. Sanitas Trailhead-NCAR Trailhead-North Teller Lake Trailhead-Panorama Point Trailhead-Realization Point Trailhead-Sawhill Ponds Trailhead-Settler's Park Trailhead-Shanahan Ridge Access-South Boulder Creek West TrailheadSouth Mesa Trailhead-South Teller Lake Trailhead-White Rocks Trailhead-Wonderland Lake Trailhead
Chautauqua Trail goes up a drainage to end at a junction with Bluebell-Baird Trail.
Mesa Trail starts at the first turn at the top of Bluebell road (the emergency access road) that goes south from the trailhead. Long, sinuous, hilly and varied, it meanders south through forests and meadows beneath the Flatirons with connections to nearly all canyon trails along Boulder's Front Range. Near its southern end the Mesa Trail branches off twice to the Shadow Canyon Trail, but the main Mesa Trail goes eastward to end at the South Mesa Trailhead.
Baseline Trail follows Baseline Road west to end at its first turn on the way up Flagstaff Mountain. Bluebell-Baird (0.7 mi; 340 ft.) branches southeast off the Amphitheater Trail and climbs a ridge, then follows the ridge south past the Chautauqua and Bluebell Mesa Trails to end at the Bluebell Road just behind the Bluebell Shelter.
Royal Arch starts near the Bluebell Shelter at the end of Bluebell Road leading south from the Trail Head. It goes into Bluebell Canyon, then climbs some switchbacks to gain a ridge. The trail drops into the drainage on the outer side of the ridge, climbs past the lovely Tangen Spring, then more steeply to end at Royal Arch.
Woods Quarry starts about 0.4 miles up the Mesa Trail and ends in an abandoned quarry.
First-Second Flatiron Trail starts from the Bluebell-Baird Trail, goes south to two trail signs, then west to begin switching back and forth between the First and Second Flatirons. It ends at the saddle between the First Flatiron and Sunset Rock.
Second-Third Flatiron Trail starts from the Bluebell-Baird Trail, goes south to two trail signs, then southwest to the base of the Second Flatiron, then east to end at the junction of the Flatiron Trail.
Third Flatiron Climbing Access Trail starts on Bluebell Road near the Bluebell Shelter. Goes northwest, then southwest and climbs to the junction of the Second-Third Flatiron Trail. Continues up to a talus field and the junction of the Third Flatiron Descent Trail. Ends at the start of the Third Flatiron Standard East Face climbing route.
Third Flatiron Descent Trail starts in the saddle to the west of the summit of the Third Flatiron. Begins to descend north, then east, down through a talus field to end at the Third Flatiron Trail.
From Steamboat Springs, head west on US-40 for 1.5 miles to County Road (CR) 129. Hang a right on CR 129, and head north for 30 miles to Forest Route (FR) 550. Take a right on FR 550 (towards Whiskey Park), and go 16.4 miles to the trailhead. The trailhead is on the right side of the road and 0.1 miles past the intersection with FR 550.2E. NOTE: This trailhead is difficult to locate - take your time.
Rabbit Ears Trailhead
The trailhead is located on US-40, 2.5 miles west of its intersection with Colorado Highway 14. This trail is best done as a 4 to 5 day shuttle backpacking trip. Essentially, this trek encompasses the northern-most 63 miles of the Colorado portion of the Continental Divide Trail. Along the way, you will gain over 8,000 feet in elevation. In other words, this is a tough hike. The views are absolutely mind-blowing, deer and elk seem to be everywhere, and parts of the trail are seldom traveled.
The Devil's Backbone Open Space is the southern parcel of open space lands and connector trails that stretch all the way to Lory State Park. Larimer County bought this parcel to protect the unique geology and wildlife habitat. The "Devil's Backbone" is an eroded rock formation on the west side of the park. The trails run along the east side of this formation. The names of the various trails in the Devil's Backbone Open Space are a little confusing. The trails extending from the Devil's Backbone Trailhead extend north continuously to Horsetooth Mountain Park via the Blue Sky Trail. However each section of the trail has a different name. The first leg of the trail is the Wild Loop Trail. It extends 1.3 miles from the Trailhead, and includes a loop made up of a western leg that runs closest to the Backbone, and an eastern leg that runs through the valley. The next segment is the Hunter Loop, which extends from the end of the Wild Loop Trail for 0.6 miles before splitting into two legs that again meet further to the northeast, creating another loop. At the far northeast end of the loop, the Laughing Horse Loop continues on, followed by the Blue Sky Trail which continues to Horsetooth Mountain Park. Along the way, the Rimrock Trail connects the Coyote Ridge Natural Area (accessed from trailhead on Taft Hill Rd. south of the Larimer County Landfill) with the Blue Sky Trail. This trail description adresses the Wild Loop and Hunter Loop Trails.
From the parking lot, you walk past a few picnic tables, then start climbing up the trail. For the first 0.4 miles, a ridge separates you from the Devil's Backbone, so the views are primarily of the valley and the housing development to the east. At 0.4 miles, (look for marker #2, the trail splits. This is the loop part of the trail. Go right, and you'll continue straight up the valley. Go left, and after hiking up a short rocky section of the trail, you will emerge from behind the ridge, and you'll begin to see the first section of the Devil's Backbone. The numbered sign posts also follow the trail to the left, so I recommend going on the left (west) route, and returning via the eastern trail. The next stretch of trail provides some of the best views of the Backbone, including several openings that have eroded in the rock. Also, watch the sky as you hike, this area is known for its hawks, ravens, swallows and owls. About 1/4 mile beyond the trail split is an overlook that offers terrific views of the valley just beyond the Backbone, and of the mountain ranges to the west. Looking east and south from the overlook gives you a view of the valley you just hiked up. Looking north, you see the continuation of the valley where you'll soon be hiking, and the homes and farms that populate the valley heading north towards Masonville. After the overlook, as you continue on the trail you'll come to another trail split. Here you can take the "keyhole" trail or the "bypass" trail. The keyhole trail climbs up to the Backbone, and is a little tougher than the bypass, but it takes you to the Keyhole, a good-sized hole that has eroded through the formation, again providing terrific views of the valleys and mountain ranges to the west. If you're hiking just the Wild Loop Trail (and not extending your hike with the Hunter Loop), the Keyhole is the highest elevation of the hike. From the Keyhole, the trail gently descends, first intersecting with the bypass trail, and at 1.3 miles from the trailhead, meets up with the eastern leg of the Wild Loop. From here, you can turn south on the eastern leg and return to the parking lot, making this a 2.5 mile loop. Or you can turn around and return on the western leg of the trail (where you just came from), making this a 2.6 mile out-and-back hike, and giving yourself a chance to see the backbone again from a different direction. Although the eastern trail doesn't have the views of the route you came up, it is straight and mostly flat, providing the quickest way back to your car. This point is also the beginning of the Hunter Loop Trail. If you would like to extend your hike to about 4.5 miles. Continuing north, the trail soon crosses the valley, continuing up the east side. Soon, the trail turns more to the east, and you begin a steady climb out of the valley to the ridgeline. At the top of the saddle, the trail splits, making the loop portion of the Hunter Loop. Turn right, and you'll continue south, climbing up the edge of a hill. Soon you'll turn back east again, skirting the edge of the hillside, and providing some great views of the Open Space. Soon you'll hit a split again. This is the intersection with the Laughing Horse Loop. Going right will take you to the Blue Sky Trail, going left will continue the loop and take you back to where you came from. Completing the Hunter Loop and returning via the eastern leg of the Wild Loop trail makes for a pleasant 4.5 mile hike, with two loops along the way.
On this hike you'll gain about 1,600' in elevation. This trail initially parallels the north side of Stillwater Reservoir, which was constructed back in 1940. At 0.8 miles you will run into a registration/information board at the junction with trail #1120. Hang a right at the junction (heading north). You will reach the Flat Tops Wilderness Area boundary in another .2 miles. Next, you will pass Little Causeway Lake at mile 1.6. There is good camping and fishing at the Lake. From here you climb along and through talus slopes to the Bear River/ E. Fork of the Williams Fork watersheds divide at mile 2.3. A side trail on your left makes a steep ascent to the Devil's Causeway.
The Devil's Causeway is one of the most intriguing geologic structures in Colorado. This basaltic bridge is 50 feet long and a mere 5 feet wide. However, it appears even thinner when you're actually on top of it. It is a 1,000+ foot drop-off on either side of the bridge.
The Dolores River is a tributary of the Colorado River, 250 miles long that runs through Colorado and Utah. It rises in southwestern Colorado near Dolores Peak and Mount Wilson in the San Miguel Mountains. It flows southwest, past the town of Dolores, where it turns, flowing north and northwest. It flows through the Dolores River Canyon, then cuts across Paradox Valley before receiving the San Miguel River in Montrose County and crossing into Utah, where it joins the Colorado in Grand County near the former Dewey Bridge. The Dolores is navigable by rafts and kayaks (up to class IV) from McPhee Reservoir to its confluence with the Colorado. When water is restricted from the reservoir it may be possible to boat down stream from the San Miguel River. However, the river is extensively used for irrigation and during low water years is wholly unnavigable. In high-runoff years, the section from Bradfield Ranch near Cahone, Colorado down to Slickrock, Colorado, offers scenery, camping, and rapids for inflatables and kayaks. The section from Slickrock to Bedrock, Colorado goes through the goosenecks of a sandstone canyon with several mostly class II rapids. The Bureau of Land Management recommends minimum flows of 200 cubic feet per second for canoes, kayaks, and inflatable kayaks, 800 cu ft/s for small rafts of up to 14 feet, and 1,000 cu ft/s for larger rafts of up to 18 feet in size. The BLM does not require permits for groups running the river in Colorado, though permits are required from the Moab BLM office for boaters wishing to make the run from Gateway, CO into Utah and to the confluence with the Colorado River near Dewey Bridge.
From Nederland, head south on Colorado Highway 119 for 0.5 miles. Turn west onto County Road 130 (Eldora Ski Resort sign). Stay on the main road and through the town of Eldora. Once the pavement ends continue another five miles to the Fourth of July Trailhead. This portion of the road is rough but passable in a passenger car during the summer months.
Fourth of July Trailhead
Fourth of July Mine-4 Miles RT : Diamond Lake-5.2 Miles RT : Caribou Lake-8 Miles RT
From the Fourth of July Trailhead, the Arapaho Pass Trail climbs the wooded, northern slope of the North Fork, Middle Boulder Creek drainage into the Indian Peaks Wilderness. The Diamond Lake Trail intersects after 1.2 miles. At 1.8 miles, Arapaho Pass Trail reaches the Fourth of July Mine and the Arapaho Glacier Trail intersects. The Arapaho Pass Trail continues west on an old road 1.2 miles farther to Arapaho Pass (elevation 11,906 feet). Continues north (right) from Arapaho Pass and drop 750 feet down a series of switchbacks to Caribou Lake. From here continue nine miles to Monarch Lake. For a side trip from the crest of Arapaho Pass, follow Caribou Pass Trail west along the ridge for about 0.25 miles to visit Lake Dorothy. Caribou Pass Trail continues on an impressive old road, blasted into a cliff, to Caribou Pass.
Diamond Lake is a high alpine lake that is relatively easy to get to. Although the best approach is from the Fourth of July Trailhead, Diamond Lake is also accessible from the Hessie Trailhead and another small trailhead located along Fourth of July Road. From the trailhead, the trail climbs 1.2 miles to the Diamond Lake Trail split-off. Next, it descends to the North Fork of the Middle Boulder Creek where it runs dead-smack into a beautiful cascade. From the creek, you have a little over one mile of incline to huff and puff through until you reach the Lake. About 1/2 mile west of Diamond Lake there is an old plane wreck.
The Fourth of July Road is the perfect adventure for folks looking for a gentle snowshoeing or cross country ski trip. You will be on established roads the entire time. Nonetheless, the excursion offers a decent backcountry experience. The hike begins by following the Fourth of July Road for just under one mile until reaching a fork. If you decide to head left, you will end up at the Hessie Trailhead. Instead, take a right towards the Fourth of July Trailhead. The road parallels the winding North Fork of the Middle Boulder Creek all of the way up to trailhead.
From Nederland, head south on Colorado Highway 119 for 0.6 miles. Turn west onto County Road 130, signed for Eldora. Follow the paved road through the valley to the Town of Eldora, where the pavement ends. Continue beyond the end of the pavement for 0.75 miles to the fork in the road. The left fork goes to Hessie Trailhead. This trailhead gives you access to several trails including Lost Lake Trail, King Lake Trail, & Devilís Thumb Trail.
Lost Lake Trail-3 Miles RT : Jasper Lake-9 Miles RT : Devilís Thumb Pass-14.2 Miles RT
Lost Lake Trail follows a closed jeep track the majority of the way. There are a couple old mines and cabins on the mountainside to the south of Lost Lake. Additionally, this hike showcases the backside of Eldora Ski Resort relatively well. Above Lost Lake, Jasper Creek divides into three drainages, each with a good trail system. The southern basin reaches King Lake and the twin Betty and Bob Lakes below Rollins Pass. The middle basin holds Woodland Lake and the Skyscraper Reservoir. The northern drainage holds the artificial Jasper Lake (campsites) and the lovely Devil's Thumb Lake. Each requires a 4-6 mile approach, but is well worth the effort. Established trails from the north and south drainages access the Divide and can be connected via a 2.5 mile stretch of the Continental Divide Trail. The "Hessie Loop" is a great hike or trail run.
Devilís Thumb Pass is a great day hike experience. You will gain 3,000 feet in elevation on this hike, topping out near 12,000 feet. You can find spots to pitch a tent around Jasper Lake, as well a couple flat locations near Devil's Thumb Lake. Backpacking permits are required in the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area between June 1 & September 15.
Woodland Lake is nestled high in the mountains between the valley leading to King, Bob, and Betty Lakes and the valley winding up to Devil's Thumb Pass. Initially, this hike follows an old jeep road for approximately .5 miles. At the intersection of Devil's Thumb Trail (Trail 902) and the Devil's Thumb Bypass Trail, take a left and pass over the bridge. After hiking a total of 1.4 miles, the trail hits the junction with the King Lake Trail (Trail 901). Keep right on the Devil's Thumb Trail. Soon after entering the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area you will encounter the junction with the Woodland Lake Trail (Trail 811). Take a left, and continue on up the trail for another 2 miles. Skyscraper Reservoir is a .5 miles beyond Woodland Lake.
Nestled at 13,294 feet in elevation, James Peak is a close escape from the Boulder/Denver metro area. There are numerous high-alpine lakes, including Little Echo Lake and James Peak Lake. James Peak Wilderness Area is 14,000 acres in sum. Congress designated the area as wilderness in 2002. Indian Peaks Wilderness Area is located directly to the north.
From Boulder take Canyon Blvd (Hwy 119) east to US Hwy 36 (28th St). Turn left (north) and proceed out of town on Hwy 36. After 15 miles you'll reach the intersection of US Hwy 36 and CO Hwy 66. Take a left and continue west on Hwy 36 into Lyons. Total distance from Canyon/28th in Boulder to downtown Lyons is 16.3 miles. From downtown Lyons, take CO Hwy 7 west up South Saint Vrain Canyon. At 14 miles you'll pass CO Hwy 72 (Peak to Peak Hwy), at 18.75 miles you'll pass Allenspark, and at 20.5 miles you'll pass the Wild Basin Entrance. Continue on Hwy 7 for a total of 24.3 miles from Lyons to the Longs Peak Ranger Station and Campground entrance. There is a sign here, and it's a left turn right before a sweeping right. Turn left and proceed another mile to the trailhead. The road to the trailhead and the parking area is plowed in the winter also.
The Longs Peak Trailhead is the primary means for accessing Longs Peak, and is the trailhead for the popular East Longs Peak Trail. This area is located on the east side of Rocky Mountain National Park. Unlike other access points in RMNP, no entrance fees are required to access this area. The trailhead also features a ranger station (with an emergency phone) and a small campground. Camping is first-come, first-served, limited to 3 consecutive days, and is tents only. To reach the summit there will be climbing required and experienced climbers are recommended.
Trails in the Park
Balcony House Loop Trail
Badger House Community
Cliff Palace Loop Trail
Far View Sites Complex
Farming Terraces Trail
Long House Trail
Mesa Top Loop Road
Knife Edge Trail
Park Point Overlook Trail
Petroglyph Point Trail
Point Lookout Trail
Prater Ridge Trail
Rock Springs Trail
Soda Canyon Overlook Trail
Spruce Canyon Trail
Spruce Tree House Trail
Step House Trail
Grant Frontier Park: S. Platte River Drive, north of W. Wesley Ave.
Overland Lake Park: S. Platte River Drive at W. Florida Ave.
Frog Hollow Par: W. 8th Ave., west of I-25/US 87/US 85/US 6
Gates Crescent Park: East of I-25/US 87/US 85/US 6 across from Invesco Field.
Steele Street and E. 78th Ave.
Platte River Trailhead Park, Colorado Blvd.
Northern Terminus at E. 104th Ave.
The Platte River Greenway Trail follows the Platte River through downtown Denver for 28.5 Miles. The Denver Historical Society has placed 30 plaques at points along the trail to tell you about the historic sires along the way. The trail connects you to several shopping outlets & entertainment. (REI-Six Flags-Pepsi Center-Broncos Stadium-Denver Aquarium & Museum, and many restaurants and bars.)
Entrance #2 off of Highway 93 into Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre is closed due to ongoing bridge reconstruction on Road 2. Patrons attending concerts or visiting the park and amphitheatre should use entrances 1 or 3 and plan to arrive early. Will Call traffic should use Entrance 1 to gain access to the box office. During concerts, limited traffic may be directed to use Entrance #2.
Rock climbers will enjoy over 80 climbing routes - all bolted sports climbs. (Climbers must register at the Garden of the Gods Visitor Center.) Some trails are for hikers only. Dogs must be leashed except in the designated off-leash area. Be prepared to park in the overflow lot on 31st Street, around the corner from the main lot, on weekends due to the popularity of this open space. The latest Master Plan for Red Rock Canyon Open Space combined what was once known as Section 16, White Acres Open Space and Red Rock Canyon into one Open Space area, known collectively now as Red Rock Canyon Open Space, with a total of 1,474 acres. Section 16 trailhead has been a favorite for hikers and bicyclists since the 1970's.The moderately difficult 6 Palmer-Red Rocks Loop trail gains 800' of elevation and loops through beautiful mountain scenery. There is a connection to the Paul Intemann Nature Trail, which leads to the Barr Trail up Pikes Peak at the west end of Manitou Springs. The Section 16 trailhead can be reached by exiting Highway 24 West at the 26th Street intersection. Head south and turn right on Lower Gold Camp Rd at the 4-way stop. The Section 16 trailhead is a short distance on the right. Red Rocks Park is open daily from 5AM to 11PM and is free of charge. In the event of a performance the Amphitheatre and Visitor Center will generally close to the public in the early afternoon hours. Park Rangers patrol the park to assist visitors, provide information, and enforce park rules. To contact a Park Ranger call (720) 913-1311.