“A smooth and easy-rolling run with incredible views, aspen groves, and three stream crossings.
— Kelly Kahler
This best part about this run is that it is at high altitude, but does not have an overwhelming amount of elevation gain. There are some moderately technical areas (considered black diamond for a mountain bike), but it is a fun out and back.
Fall Colors — River/Creek — Views — Wildflowers — Wildlife
This is also a popular hiking and mountain bike trail. During fall peak colors, the first 2 miles from the road have lots of hiking/biking traffic.
Part of the Colorado Trail, the first two miles from the road cut through a wider trail with roots and small rocks here and there. The trail is very well-worn and gains a bit of elevation (maybe 400ft?).
The trail then narrows into singletrack and opens up into a high alpine meadow with incredible views: mountain ranges off in the distance to the southwest, 13ers just over to the west and northwest. GORGEOUS - and all downhill. The trail continues on through aspen groves, losing a bit of elevation along the way. The first stream crossing is at 3 miles; the second is at 4.5 miles, and you're winding your way through the aspens the whole way.
You end up at Jefferson Creek at about 6 miles even. The meadow is the steepest part on the way back, but you're just stopping to take in the views - right?
People come here for the fall colors - plenty of aspens!