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Map Key

11.8

Miles

19.0

KM

Point to Point

11,929' 3,636 m

High

10,059' 3,066 m

Low

2,311' 705 m

Up

2,300' 701 m

Down

7%

Avg Grade (4°)

32%

Max Grade (18°)

Dogs Off-leash

Description

Start at the Gold Creek Campground. The incline starts immediately as you hike on a really beautiful trail through the forest. It's a mixed-use trail, you may see dirt bikes.

At a little over 2 miles in, the steep incline decreases quite a bit to give you some flat ground for a while. After about 3.5 miles in, there's a junction on your right that goes to Boulder Lake, it's about half a mile each way. It's super scenic and a good spot to fish or camp.

Otherwise, keep hiking on the trail through hilly forests and meadows. Since there are a lot of meadows and open spaces here, there is quite a bit of sun exposure. The trail is really easy to follow; you're never guessing where it disappeared to, but if you do find yourself off-trail, just use your GPS to find your way back again.

Eventually, you start dropping back down and into some shady forests. You continue descending and the pine forest changes to aspen when you get down low enough in elevation.
In the fall, the golden color of the aspen leaves is pretty phenomenal.

At the junction at about 12.5 miles, turn right for the Beaver McIntire Trail, and follow it for another couple miles until the road, unless you're doing an out and back, and then you can just turn around whenever you feel like it and head back into the aspen forest.

You can hike this trail both ways as an out and back, but if you can figure out the logistics, it's nice to hike it one way, starting at Gold Creek Campground and ending near Beaver Creek. For driving directions, take CO Rd 10 to CO Rd 743, AKA Lost Canyon Rd; pick-up is easiest along this road somewhere.

Contacts

Shared By:

Hiking Project Staff with improvements by Bill Coleman and 1 other

Trail Ratings

  3.5 from 2 votes

#25508

Overall
  3.5 from 2 votes
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Trail Rankings

#2,082

in Colorado

#25,508

Overall
2 Views Last Month
260 Since Oct 11, 2018
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Photos

Aspens on the Fossil Ridge Trail in full fall color.
Sep 28, 2023 near Gunnison, CO
Fossil Ridge Trail to Boulder Lake.
Sep 28, 2023 near St. Elmo, CO
Northern hills and meadows.
Sep 28, 2023 near St. Elmo, CO
Looking SE on the meadows in the morning.
Sep 28, 2023 near St. Elmo, CO
Great view looking northwest from the trail.
Sep 28, 2023 near St. Elmo, CO
Hiking south along the Fossil Ridge Trail.
Sep 28, 2023 near Whitepine, CO
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