Directions: Take CR 307 off US Hwy. 285 between Buena Vista and Antero Junction in Park County. Then turn onto CR 187 at the t in the road. In about four miles, turn right onto CR 187, signed for Aspen Ridge. Continue about 2 miles and turn right onto CR 185D where there is a split-rail fence and a sign designating Browns Canyon National Monument. Continue on this road half a mile through a Forest Service gate to the trailhead on the left. There is not a parking lot, so just park on the grass.
Use visual cues and route finding skills to keep to the trail. This little-used and un-maintained lollipop trail is a mix of singletrack, rock-filled gullies and old ATV trails with gentle grades the entire trail length. It is likely you'll have the trail to yourself on this scenic run. It passes through a mature forest of fragrant pine, aspen groves and small parks, plus has great views of the Collegiate Peaks, the Sawatch Range and the Arkansas River Valley below.
The trail begins behind the trail marker and is faint to begin with. Run uphill with the trees on your right about 0.25 miles where the trail curves right into the trees. From here, just follow the track and occasional trail markers. Several social trails intersect Trail #1435, so just follow the markers. At less than 2 miles (going counter-clockwise on the loop portion) there is a great overlook of Collegiate Peaks off to the right of the trail. This is a good spot for a break. Continuing counter-clockwise, Aspen Ridge and the valley below come into view. The trail contunies back to the start of the loop and to the trailhead. A great short run, especially in the fall when the aspen have changed colors!
Flora & Fauna
Open cattle grazing permitted. Elk and deer frequent the area. The trail winds through an open forest of pine and aspen.
Shared By: Tom Mosher