This has been hidden from our maps to prevent overlap with existing trails, or because
our research has found there is no legal access.
River/Creek · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife
Per the land manager, all dogs must be leashed. You'll see many dogs and few leashes.
Need to Know
The west section of this trail from the Evans-Spalding ridge to the connection with the Bierstadt Trail is not an official trail and not maintained. Although hikers are free to hike where they want, traveling off trail damages surrounding resources which can lead to closures.
This description assumes you are descending from Mt. Evans. The trail's the same, just know that ascending up the gully on this trail is challenging and even more unpleasant than descending.
From the summit of Mt. Evans, wrap around to the south of the summit on a rocky but well-cairned trail. Descend a few hundred feet before ascending a few switchbacks to a false summit at 13,700 ft. From here, drop onto grassy slopes. After a few hundred feet descending, get funneled into a loose gully.
From here, the hike becomes less pleasant. There's not much of a trail, but staying to the right side of the drainage keeps you on slightly more solid ground. Tread carefully - loose rocks abound, and it's easy to injure yourself or a hiking partner lower down the slope. Descend about 1,600 ft in the gully before the terrain flattens out.
Don't get too excited - there's still quite a bit of suck ahead of you. While there is a trail near the gully here, it's incredibly difficult to locate, and it doesn't do you much good. Pass through about a half mile of muddy terrain, getting scratched up by willows in the process. Staying closer to Scott Gomer Creek should keep you at least slightly dryer.
Once finally through the willows, navigate on flat ground back to the trail. This will eventually rendezvous with the Mt. Bierstadt trail, taking you back to Guanella Pass. Cross the same footbridges you did in the morning, this time cursing trail developers for not paying the same attention to the willows you just slogged through. Once back at the car, feel free to celebrate one hell of a day.
Flora & Fauna
Willows at the end of the hike retain a lot of moisture... be ready to get wet. The 14ers Initiative does an excellent job of keeping them from getting too unruly, but plants certainly have a tendency to grow back.
Don't feed the marmots - they're feisty little creatures. Don't be surprised by bighorn sheep or mountain goats, either!
Shared By: Tyler Prince