Take A Hike…In-And-Around Basalt
Description-This is a very popular trail especially on the weekends. It is a medium difficulty trail with steep sections. It is about 3.5 miles and 2000 feet to the first top point with the option to continue on.
Directions- From Highway 82, go south(up-valley) of Basalt about 1.5 miles and turn left on to Bishop Road. Take a left onto Holland Hills Road and then stay straight on Kelly Court as it turns to dirt and ends at the trailhead parking lot.
Basalt High School Trail
Description-This hike starts directly behind Basalt High School and heads west along a gentle trail before climbing steeply to reach a ridge near the top of Light Hill.
Directions- From the main Basalt stoplight on Highway 82, go south on Basalt Avenue (away from downtown). Take a right onto Fiou Lane and then go left on Southside Drive to where it ends at the high school. Behind and to the left of the school there is a bus turnaround. The trail begins at the left side of the turnaround.
Description-Basalt Mountain Trail is a 3.5 mile trail located near Basalt, Colorado. The trail is rated as difficult and primarily used for hiking.
Directions- From Basalt take Hwy. 82 west to El Jebel and turn right at the Texaco and head up through El Jebel and Missouri Heights for approximately 6 miles past Spring Park Reservoir. Here the road forks. Take the right fork onto forest road #509 for approximately 2 miles to the intersection of Cattle Creek and Basalt Mountain Roads. Turn right on road #524 and go 6 miles to the top of Basalt Mountain. The Trail starts by a locked gate and the bulletin board is 300 feet past the cattle guard on the top.
Description-This trail runs from Glenwood Springs to Aspen, Colorado. The Rio Grande has 42 miles of continuous multi-use trail and is completely protected from vehicular traffic except at intersections. The Rio Grande Trail is a rails to trails project which is built in the Aspen Branch of the historic Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad.
Directions- From downtown Basalt, go south/west on Midland ave. Take a left onto Emma road and then the first exit at the roundabout. Head straight through the stoplight intersection and then a right on to Fiou Ln. Then a left onto Southside drive towards the Basalt High School. You will cross the trail as you enter the parking lot. If you are facing the school, left goes to aspen, right goes to Glenwood.
Hay Park Trail
Description-From the parking lot the trail climbs uphill through a wet pasture and travels along a fence line for approximately 1,000’ until you reach the bulletin board and trail sign. From here the trail winds steeply and crosses through private property for approximately 1.2 miles. It is important to stay on the trail and follow directional signing for the Hay Park Trail. Once on National Forest land, the trail drops and climbs and crosses several small streams such as Hardscrabble Creek and then East Sopris Creek (2.2 miles from start) where there is a small footbridge. The trail travels through many Aspen groves as well as a few stands of pine and spruce trees. The highest point on the trail is the subtle pass in Hay Park at 9,680’. This route is popular with horseback riders, mountain bikers, and hunters in the Fall.
Directions- This trail can be accessed from either the Thomas Lakes trailhead below Mount Sopris or from the BLM parking lot off of Capitol Creek Road. This narrative is from the BLM parking lot: Drive 5 miles up valley on Highway 82 to Old Snowmass and turn right. Continue 2 miles to the “T” intersection. Take the right turn and continue 5 miles until the pavement ends. Follow the dirt road about 1.5 miles to the BLM parking area, which is off to the right. There are limited camping opportunities on this trail as it is primarily a day-use trail.
Mount Sopris/Thomas Lakes
Description-The trail is very well maintained and in good condition. It is very heavily used on the weekends, so plan accordingly. There are two lakes about ¼ mile apart with ample designated camping in between. The wilderness boundary is just before the first lake so be considerate of others and follow wilderness regulations. The hike is a beautiful one with many wildflower and scenic overlooks. From Thomas Lakes you may choose to climb Mt. Sopris, which is a steep 4 miles from the Lakes.
Directions- From Carbondale travel south on Hwy 133 for approximately 1.4 miles. Make a left turn on Prince Creek Road and go about 6 miles to the fork in the road. Take a right at the fork and follow it for 2 miles. The trailhead is ¼ before Dinkle Lake, across from the fenced parking area.
Rocky Fork Trail
Description-This trail is fairly steep for the first half mile, then levels off to a gradual climb until it connects with Road #528. Fishing is fair in the stream for Brook Trout.
Directions- Travel 10 miles up the Fryingpan River Road. Take a right at the anglers access road below the Ruedi Dam, cross the river and follow the road to the left until it dead ends at the trailhead.
Ruedi Overlook Trail
Description-The trailhead is located 200 feet north of the powerline jeep trail. For the first 2 miles this trail is very steep and cuts across the powerline. Upon reaching the summit of redhill, follow the jeep trail north about 1/4 mile. The jeep trail begins descending the hill here and the trail continues uphill. No more intersections are found until the top of Red Table Mountain This trail offers the hiker/biker some spectacular views of the Fryingpan Valley and the Hunter/Fryingpan Wilderness. The view on top is a spectacular 360 degree view.
Directions- Follow the Fryingpan River road for 12 miles to the Ruedi boat dock and campground road. The trailhead is located across the highway and up the road 200 feet from the boat dock/campground entryway. Vehicles may be parked at the boat dock parking area.
Miller Divide Trail
Description-This trail accesses some of the finest deer and elk habitat in the country. It also provides scenic views of the Fryingpan Valley and Rocky Fork Creek. The first part of the trail is steep but flattens out on top with a short downhill to Rocky Fork Creek. It is hard to follow on top.
Directions- Follow the Fryingpan River Road to the inlet of Ruedi Reservoir (about 23 miles). Turn right onto the dirt road just after the bridge that crosses the river. Drive past the campground entrance and take the first dirt road to the left. Drive past the house and take the right fork and follow the road to the gate. Park here and be sure not to block the road or gate. This trail is restricted to non-motorized traffic only. The first part of this trail crosses private property, please respect their rights.
Description-Savage Lakes trail is a 5 mile in and out trail with 1,204 vertical change. It is a moderately difficult trail that climbs through the woods and adjacent to a stream for most of the hike. It should be noted, however, that numerous snow drifts can be expected on the trail throughout the month of June. Fishing is good for Brook and Lake Trout. Even though the trail starts out as being rather steep, the trail soon becomes one of the more moderate hikes in the area. Along one section of a rocky outcropping is a favorite spot for marmots. To visit the upper lakes, stay on the left hand side of the lake to find the trail and a simple climb up.
Directions- Drive east on Fryingpan River Road 28 miles, passing Ruedi and Meredith. About 3 miles past Meredith a dirt road branches to the left, just before a small bridge. This Forest Road 501(there is no sign). Follow FR501 for about 5 miles to a fork in the road. Take the left fork(about 1 mile past Elk Wallow Campground) and continue another 3.5 miles to an area where the road has been greatly widened. The trailhead lies on the left(north) lower side.
Henderson Park Trail
Description-The trail goes through pine forests most of the way. It is hard to follow at times.The trail skirts the edge of Henderson Park and from there you can access Carter Creek, Coffee Pot Park, Last Chance Creek Trail and Josephine Lake trails. Before the trail drops into Carter Creek you have a great view of the creek. The trail becomes very rough at this point. After you leave Henderson Park water is scarce until you reach Carter Creek. It is about 2 miles to Henderson Park and 3 more miles to its junction with Last Chance Creek trail.
Directions- Travel 27 miles up the Fryingpan River road. Take road #501 to the left and go past Elk Wallow Campground. A short distance past the campground take the left fork for about a half mile to the trailhead on the left side. Caution: it is hard to see.
Description-From the trailhead in Twin Meadows, hike west along the creek. The trail is marked with blue metal tags on trees for cross-country skiers. Mt. Yeckel provides a breathtaking view of the Fryingpan River drainage and the Elk range. If you wander around Sawmill Park you will find the remains of an old firewatchers lookout tower and cabin. The trail ends at Sawmill Park, but you can continue all the way to Aspen by picking up the Spruce Creek trail at the other end of the Park.
Directions- Follow the Fryingpan River Road for 28 miles. Turn right on road #504 at the Norrie Colony sign. Follow this gravel road 3 miles and turn right on the first gravel road fork. The trailhead bulletin board is visible as soon as you enter Twin Meadows. High clearance is required, 4×4 recommended.
Chapman Lake Trail
Description-This is a pretty, small mountain lake that is popular for both it’s fishing and easy access. The trail follows the mountainside contour and tops off on the bench where the lake sits.
Directions- Travel 28 miles up the Fryingpan River Road. Turn right on road #504 at Norrie Colony. Drive across the river and up the switchbacks approximately 3 miles. Take the left fork, continue one mile and take the right fork approximately 1/2 mile to the trailhead on the left side of the road.
South Fork Fryingpan Trail
This trail is an access to the national forest that is seldom used. It is a very wet area going through spruce/fir trees and follows the Fryingpan River. Due to vegetation there are no views of the surrounding areas.
Directions- Travel 32 miles up the Fryingpan River road #105. Turn right at the Horseshoe Bend Guest Ranch road near Nast Lake. Parking is provided at the Granite Lakes trailhead just over the bridge. Walking east you will come to the guest ranch, turn right going past the lodge and out buildings, the trail is straight ahead.
Lyle/Mormon Lake Trail
Description-If you decide to go on this hike, it is one of the most scenic in the Fryingpan River area. The trail goes through acres of broad valleys and scattered trees for the first 1.5 miles to Lyle Lake. About 300 feet above and 1/4 of a mile further than Lyle Lake is a tarn (a small lake) one might want to explore before going on to Mormon Lake. Once getting to Lyle Lake you have two choices on how to get to Mormon Lake; the path to the right is shorter, but involves crossing a small boulder field. Follow the trail over the crest and get ready for a gentle traverse. You will climb until wall at the valley’s head to a grassy vale, pass a tarn on your left, veering left and you then will be able to see Mormon Lake 80 feet below.
Directions- Travel 33 miles up the Fryingpan River Road until the pavement ends, bear left and go 10 more miles until you come to a sign pointing to Hagerman Pass. Turn left onto road #105 for 100 feet. Park at the bulletin board.