Winter Trail

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The Winter Trail is a trail located in Colorado.

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Bald Mountain Trail

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The Bald Mountain Trail (#201) is a difficult 5 miles/8.1 km and downhill biking is prohibited.

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Cross Mountain Trail

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Cross Mountain Trail (637)

The Cross Mountain trail is 3.1 miles long. It begins at Forest Road 424 – Cross Mtn. and ends at Forest Trail 409 – Lizard Head Trail. The trail is open for the following uses: Hiking, Horseback Riding

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Little Raven Trail

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The Little Raven Trail/Little Raven Extension Trail is within the Brainard Lake Recreation Area. It begins about a half-mile south of Brainard Lake Road on the Sourdough Trail.

In the winter, this trail is designated as skiing only.

From the Sourdough Trail, the Little Raven heads west up a steep incline for a half-mile, gradually leveling out as it approaches National Forest System Road (NFSR) 232. A turn to the north/east returns to Brainard Lake road after 0.8 miles.

To continue west on Little Raven Trail, turn south/west on NFSR 232 for 0.4 miles. Little Raven Trail breaks north/west from the road across from the old quarry. From here, the trail gently loses elevation for one mile, until it ends at the CMC Trail.

Fees Brainard Lake Recreation Area fees apply during the summer operating season (typically mid June through late October):

  • Passenger Vehicles & RVs (per vehicle/3 days): $10
  • Vans (per vehicle/1 day): $25
  • Buses (per vehicle/1 day): $40
  • Motorcycles (per cycle/3 days): $5
  • Hiker/Biker/Walker (per person/3 days): $1
  • Short-term Bicyclist: 30 minute free pass
  • American Land & Leisure Season Pass (passenger vehicles): $55
  • American Land & Leisure Season Pass (hiker/biker/walker): $20

Interagency Annual, Military, Senior or Access passes, Golden Age and Golden Access passes are accepted. No fee is charged when the seasonal gate is closed (winter season).

Usage: Heavy
Restrictions:
  • Prohibited: Pack animals (horses/llamas); recreational shooting (except for legal hunting) and being on trails posted as closed.
  • Brainard Lake Recreation Area Summer Season (May 1 – Nov 14): Dogs must be on a hand-held leash at all times; when open, developed camping is only allowed at Pawnee Campground (no camping in closed campgrounds); dispersed camping is only allowed north of the South St Vrain Creek.
  • Brainard Lake Recreation Area Winter Season (Nov 15 – Apr 30): Motorized vehicles are prohibited; dogs allowed only on the Brainard Lake and Lefthand Park Reservoir Roads; camping is prohibited within 1/4 mile of developed recreation sites except Red Rock Lake; skis only on Little Raven and CMC Ski Trail.
  • Fishing and Hunting: Permitted in accordance with regulations established by Colorado Parks & Wildlife.
Closest Towns: Ward, Colorado
Water: Lakes and streams; treat water for drinking.
Restroom: Practice Leave No Trace principles
Operated By: U.S. Forest Service
Information Center: Boulder Ranger District, 2140 Yarmouth Ave, Boulder, CO 80301

Directions: From Colorado Highway 72 at Ward, turn west onto the Brainard Lake Road. Travel 2.5 miles to the entrance portal.

Day Hiking

This trail is within the Brainard Lake Recreation Area. It connects the Sourdough Trail and Left Hand Park Reservoir Road to Brainard Lake via 1.5 miles of singletrack trail.

Fire Information  Unless seasonal restrictions are in effect, campfires must be attended at all times and cold to the touch with the bare hand before being abandoned. Collection of dead and down wood is allowed; do not break branches from standing trees for firewood.
Difficulty Level: Intermediate
Area/Length : 
Red Rock Trailhead to: Little Raven Ext. Trail – .5 miles; NFSR 232 – 1 mile; Little Raven Trail – 1

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Snowshoe Trail

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Snowshoe Trail #607

The Snowshoe Trail #607 serves as a connecting route from the Rim Road, FSR #416 to the Calamity Plantation Road, FSR #405.2A, in the Calamity Basin. It forks left (west) off of the Rim Road, travels for a short distance at a gradual grade, and then begins descending at a steep grade off of the rim of the Uncompahgre Plateau into the Calamity Basin.The trail travels through oak, aspen, manzanita, serviceberry, and ponderosa pine and provides access to some quality hunting and scenic views. It is also is used as a connecting route back to the Rim Road from the Unaweep Trail.

Open Season: June
Usage: Light
Best Season: Fall
Restrictions: Open to Hiking, Horse, Mountain Bicycle & Motocycle ( motocycle recommended downhill travel only)
Closest Towns: Grand Junction, CO

Directions:

UPPER ACCESS:

Travel approximately 9 miles south on the Divide Road, FSR #402, to its intersection with the Uranium Road, FSR #404. Turn right on the Uranium Road and travel west for approximately  2.9 miles to its junction with the Rim Road, FSR #416. Turn right on the Rim Road and travel northwest for 3.9 miles to the Upper Snowshoe Trailhead.

LOWER ACCESS:

Travel south on the Divide Road, FSR #402, for 9 miles to its intersection with the Uranium Road, FSR #404.  Turn right (west) onto the Uranium Road and travel approximately 10.7 miles to the junction of the Uranium Road and the Pine Mountain Road, FSR #405.  Turn right (northwest) onto the Pine Mountain Rd. and travel 6.1 miles to its intersection with the Calamity Plantation Road, FSR #405.2A.  Turn onto the Calamity Plantation Road and travel northeast for approximately 2.5 miles to the junction with the Lower Snowshoe Trailhead.
Parking:

UPPER TRAILHEAD:

Off the Rim Road, FSR #416.  T. 15S.,  R. 102W.,  Sec. 34.  U.S.G.S Map: Pine Mountain.

LOWER TRAILHEAD:

Off the Calamity Plantation Road, FSR #405.2A.  T. 51N.,  R. 17W.,  Sec. 8. U.S.G.S Map: Pine Mountain.

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Bear Lake Trail

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Bear Lake Trail # 721

The Bear Lake trail is 3.34 miles long. It begins at Forest Road 105 and ends at Bear Lake, a popular fishing lake.

The Bear Lake Trail provides a good starting point for longer backpacking trips. Prior to reaching Bear Lake, cutoff trail # 721.1A cuts off and connects with the Conejos Peark trail # 720 which heads west to Conejos Peak or south to trail # 724.

The trail is open for the following uses: Horseback riding, backpacking, hiking, cross country skiing and snow shoeing

Best Season: Mid-June — October
Closest Towns: Antonito
Information Center: The first mile of the trail is quite steep and numerous switchbacks crisscross the slope above Saddle Creek. About 10,500 feet, the trail becomes less steep and leads thru subalpine meadows, from which vistas of the Saddle Creek Valley and the mountains beyond can be seen. From an elevation about 11,300 feet, the trail remains within the dense alpine forest until it reaches Bear Lake. In early summer, snowbanks may cover parts of the trail where it is protected from direct sunlight by the dense forest. Bear Lake sits in a bowl surrounded by the 1,000 foot cliffs that descend from the unnamed peak above.

Directions:

Follow Forest Road 250 north from its junction with Hwy 17, turn west on Saddle Creek Road FR #105 and follow it west about 3 miles to the Bear Lake Trailhead.

Lake and Pond Fishing

Bear Lake

Difficulty Level: Moderate

Day Hiking and Backpacking

Hikers are advised to carry water because the climb is strenuous and water sources are few until Bear Lake is reached. Water must be treated before consumption.

Difficulty Level: Intermediate to Difficult

Horse Riding

Difficulty Level: Intermediate to Difficult

XC Skiing/Snowshoeing

Difficulty Level: Intermediate to Difficult

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Devils Thumb Trail

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From the trailhead, cross the footbridge and take the Devils Thumb Trail, which climbs steeply for about a half-mile on an old road. The Devils Thumb Bypass turns right (north) just before the second bridge.

The bypass trail is shorter and crosses open meadows to the north of the creek, but it bypasses intersections with King Lake and Woodland Lake trails.

This trail enters into the Indian Peaks Wilderness.

Diamond Lake Trail forks right (north) about a half-mile before the trail reaches Jasper Lake. Jasper Lake is surrounded on three sides with trees and a steep ridgeline to the north.

The trail continues another mile to Devils Thumb Lake, and a mile beyond that to the Continental Divide.

Permit Info: This trail lies within the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area:

  • Camping permits required for all overnight trips between June 1 and September 15. Overnight permits cost $5 per group, per trip from June 1 through September 15.
  • Organized groups are required to have a permit for both camping and day-hiking year round. Day-hiking permits are free.
Usage: Heavy
Restrictions: Indian Peak Wilderness restrictions apply:

  • Motorized and mechanized vehicles are prohibited.
  • Pets must be on a hand-held leash at all times.
  • Campfires prohibited.
  • Campsites must be at least 100 feet away from water and trail.
  • Group size is limited to 12 (people and livestock combined).

Fishing and hunting: permitted in accordance with regulations established by the Colorado Parks & Wildlife.

Closest Towns: Nederland, Colorado
Water: Lakes and streams; treat water for drinking.
Restroom: Practice Leave No Trace principles
Operated By: U.S. Forest Service
Information Center: Boulder Ranger District, 2140 Yarmouth Ave, Boulder, CO 80301

Directions:
From Nederland, head south on Colorado Highway 119 for a half-mile. 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.

Day Hiking

This trail is among the most popular trails in the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area. It extends from Hessie Trailhead for 6.5 miles to the Continental Divide. Along the way, it passes Jasper Lake and Devils Thumb Lake. The trail intersects Lost Lake Trail, King Lake Trail, Woodland Lake Trail, and Diamond Lake Trail.

Difficulty Level: Intermediate to Difficult

Backpacking

Fire Information Campfires are prohibited year-round.
Difficulty Level: Intermediate to Difficult
Area/Length : 
Hessie Trailhead to: Jasper Lake 4.5 miles; Devils Thumb Lake – 5.5 miles; Continental Divide – 6.5

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Lost Lake Trail

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Lost Lake Trail #813

Difficulty: Moderate
Trail Use: Moderate to Heavy
Length: From Hessie Trailhead (TH) to Lost Lake – 1.4 miles. DISTANCE IS ONE WAY.
Elevation: 9,000 feet at Hessie TH; 9,800 feet at Lost Lake.
From Hessie Trailhead, cross the footbridge following Devils Thumb Trail #902 which climbs steeply for about a half-mile on an old road.

 

Camping is allowed only at designated campsites.

Usage: Heavy
Restrictions: The Lost Lake Trail is located outside the Indian Peaks Wilderness. Wilderness regulations do not apply. Camping at Lost Lake is restricted to eight designated campsites around the lake. Permits are not required, camping is first-come, first-served. Fishing and hunting: permitted in accordance with regulations established by the Colorado Parks & Wildlife.
Closest Towns: Nederland, Colorado
Water: Lakes and streams; treat water for drinking.
Restroom: Practice Leave No Trace principles
Operated By: U.S. Forest Service
Information Center: Boulder Ranger District, 2140 Yarmouth Ave, Boulder, CO 80301

Directions:

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.

Lake and Pond Fishing

Day Hiking and Backpacking

This is a short, steep trail. It splits from Devils Thumb Trail about one mile out of Hessie Trailhead, then climbs for another 1/2 mile, ending at Lost Lake. It offers distant views of the Continental Divide.

Fire Information  Unless seasonal restrictions are in effect, campfires must be attended at all times and cold to the touch with the bare hand before being abandoned. Collection of dead and down wood is allowed; do not break branches from standing trees for firewood.
Elevation desc This trail gains 800 feet over 1.5 miles
Difficulty Level: Intermediate
Access
  • From Nederland, head south on Colorado Highway 119 for ½ mile. Turn west onto County Road 130 (Eldora Ski Resort sign). Stay on the main road through the town of Eldora.
  • Once the pavement ends, continue for another mile. Look for a sign and vehicles parked above a side road heading sharply down and to the left. This side road leads to Hessie TH and is a cobblestone creek bed that carries water year round. Vehicles without high clearance should park at this junction. From here, it is a ¼-mile walk to the trailhead.
  • This trailhead sees high use, especially on weekends, and parking is limited.
Trail Highlights
  • From the trailhead, cross the footbridge and take the Devil’s Thumb Trail #902, which climbs steeply for about a ½-mile on an old road.
  • Do not take the Devil’s Thumb Bypass, which turns right (north) in 0.8 miles, just before the bridge. This trail does not pass the Lost Lake Trail junction. Instead, cross the bridge and stay on the main Devil’s Thumb Trail.
  • It is 1.1 miles from the trailhead to the Lost Lake Trail junction. Turn left (south) following signs for Lost Lake Trail #813. The lake is up another ½-mile on a good trail.
  • Camping is allowed at one of the eight first-come, first-served campsites around the lake.
Important Information
  • Lost Lake is located outside of the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area. Therefore, wilderness regulations do not apply: permits are not required for camping and campfires are allowed.
  • CAMPING AT LOST LAKE IS LIMITED TO DESIGNATED CAMPSITES ONLY.
  • If you are planning to build a campfire during the summer months, it is advisable to contact the Boulder Ranger District (303-541-2500) before your trip in regards to possible fire bans.
  • The Hessie Trailhead may not be accessible by vehicle during the winter months.

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Soda Canyon Overlook Trail

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Soda Canyon Overlook Trail 1.2 miles, round-trip
Begins one mile north of the Balcony House parking area along the Cliff Palace Loop Road. The trail is an easy walk to the canyon edge and offers views of Balcony House and other archeological sites along Soda Canyon.
Natural History: The trail goes through big sagebrush, Utah juniper, yucca, and gambel oak.This is a fairly low-growing, open area and will be hot in the summer.

Soda Canyon Overlook Trail: Park at the north end of the Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum parking lot. Follow the groomed trail to the Mesa Top Road and Cliff Palace Road intersection. Cross the Mesa Top Road and follow the groomed Cliff Palace Loop trail to a Y-intersection. Take the left path to the Soda Canyon Overlook Trailhead just north of the Balcony House parking lot. Due to the distance this trail is rated as moderate. Groomed trail from parking lot to trailhead is 1.75 miles. Ungroomed Soda Canyon Overlook Trail from groomed trail to overlook is .75 mile. Total distance, round trip is about 5 miles.

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Big Dry Creek Trail

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The Big Dry Creek Trail, a recreation trail, roughly follows the creek from Standley Lake Regional Park to Interstate 25.

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References

  • Wikipedia
  • Image by Jeffrey Beall – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=33396902