Views of I-70 below, looking west
Getting there: We decided to hike at Herman's Gulch Trailhead, this is just off I-70, past Silver Plume going west and very easy to find. Exit #218 off I-70; turn right (north) into the parking lot. That's it! No curvy mountain roads without names, just I-70, exit, hike! It took about 40 minutes to reach the trail from our house in the Golden area.
Specs: This trailhead does have a bathroom; the parking lot is fairly large, but this is a very popular area and even on weekdays the parking lot can be busy. This trailhead gives access to several trails in Arapaho National Forest . Click here for google map.
|Trail map; click to enlarge|
Our Journey: Since we didn't leave the house until noon, I knew this wouldn't be a very long hike. The weather was supposed to get bad in the mountains Saturday afternoon/evening, and the ski traffic would make I-70 crowded and slow going; so I knew we'd try to leave by 3pm. I was really excited to be at the trailhead, this is an area I have passed many times on I-70 going out to bigger mountains and I always made a mental note to hike here sometime. After we got all of our gear, the dogs, and used the restroom; I checked out the trail map. There are several different trails that start at Hermans Gulch; I have included the photo of the map above, click it to enlarge and see all of the available routes.
We started snowshoeing up the main trail behind the sign, which takes you through the pine forest, the snow was very deep off the main path and even with snowshoes I sunk right in, so did the dogs. Belle was pretty sure there were deer below us, that we couldn't see, but she could smell; and she made a few attempts into the deep snow only to get stuck 2 feet off the trail! It was pretty funny to watch; Rock, however, a seasoned snow dog, ran back and forth on the trail, clearly upset with our slow human pace.
|Old Growth Aspen Grove|