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Poplar Gulch Trail

Difficult
 4.7 (6) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A nice out and back hike from St. Elmo going over an unnamed pass with some gorgeous views.


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Map Key

12.6

Miles

20.3

KM

Out and Back

12,276' 3,742 m

High

10,108' 3,081 m

Low

4,193' 1,278 m

Up

4,193' 1,278 m

Down

13%

Avg Grade (7°)

45%

Max Grade (24°)

Dogs Off-leash

Features Fall Colors · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers

Overview

This trail is 100% singletrack from the outskirts of the ghost town of St. Elmo. It travels over an unnamed pass with gorgeous views of the southern Collegiate Peaks and the Continental Divide.

Description

Located just outside the ghost town of St. Elmo, the Poplar Gulch Trail starts in the trees with a short flat section, then begins climbing with a few long switchbacks. You'll eventually make it to an open meadow where you can start to glimpse the pass.

When you get to the pass, take some time to soak it all in before descending the north side to Cottonwood Creek. There are some gorgeous views to be had from the top of the pass. The south side is very smooth terrain while the north side is also mostly smooth hiking, but has a couple of rocky sections.

If doing the entire Poplar Gulch Trail as an out and back, just remember to save enough energy for the return trip as you'll have to climb back up the pass before a final descent back to your starting point.

If starting the trail from the north terminus with FR 344, the trail will be referred to as Green Tiber Gulch instead of Poplar Gulch

Contacts

Shared By:

Michael Robbert with improvements by Chip Loomis

Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 6 votes

#1

in St. Elmo

#1994

Overall
  4.7 from 6 votes
5 Star
83%
4 Star
0%
3 Star
17%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#1

in St. Elmo

#276

in Colorado

#1,994

Overall
56 Views Last Month
3,868 Since Jul 23, 2017
Difficult

0%
0%
0%
17%
83%
0%

Photos

Looking south at the Continental Divide.
Jul 23, 2017 near St. Elmo, CO

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Check-Ins

Feb 11, 2021
Krystal VanCleave Matyi
Checking in for the start of the hike. Will follow up afterwards.
Aug 17, 2020
Christina BV
Jul 15, 2020
Romy Bolton
Got caught right before the pass in a storm and had to turn back. Hail, lightening etc. stunning views!!! Spectacular trail - well worth it. 7.7mi — 3h 30m
Jun 13, 2019
Jesse Fink
W/ Kacey & josh! Snowpack made it impassable. 2mi
Sep 16, 2018
Steve Kn
Jul 9, 2018
Jennifer H
great hike done with group 8mi
Jul 3, 2018
John Albanese