Easy Hikes

 

Bristlecone Pine

Take the family on this great short stroll through the twisted and ancient Bristlecone Pines. Although the approach by car is arduous, the views over the valley, the wind constantly blowing off the slopes of Mt. Bross, and the high alpine flora make an eerie, lonely experience. Always bring a jacket!

Directions
A passenger car can be driven (with care and slightly higher clearance) to Mineral Park. The purely 4 WD road continues for 1/2 mile to the official parking area for the Bristlecone Pine Scenic Area.
In Alma, take Park County 8 (Buckskin Gulch Rd) 5.5 miles to Forest Road 787. Look for a sign that says to “Mineral Park”. Go east. Continue for 2.5 mi (30 minutes) to Mineral Park, a large open quarry-like area and park there. Four-wheel drive vehicles can continue the last 1/2 mi.

What it is
Stroll east from the parking area to the ancient, twisted trees on aptly named Windy Ridge.
Let your imagination run! The abandoned mines above, the 1000 year old trees, the extremes of weather, the tiny town of Alma below, and the whistling wind, all swirl together in the present.

 

Buckskin

Walk back in time on this delightful stroll. The headstones beg to tell their stories!

Directions
From Alma, drive W on Buckskin Gulch Rd (Park County 8), just in the center of town, 3/4 mi to a dirt track on the north side of the road. Turn in and park. Walk up the track about 100 yards and the monuments dot the hillsides on either side of the road.

What it is
This is a wonderful stroll for the family. The headstones are new and old, some are hidden and some are boldly obvious. The visitor fills in the stories!

 

Limber Grove

This is an easy, scenic hike to an ancient forest of twisted trees. It can be done as a loop, starting at one end and completing the circle by walking back on the road. This is a nice hike for those camped at either Fourmile or Horseshoe campground. It is a great family hike.

Directions
From Fairplay, travel south on US 285 one mile to Fourmile Road, County Rd 18. Turn west. Drive 8 miles to Fourmile Campground. The Limber Grove Trailhead is about ½ mile further west, on the south side of the road. The trailhead is well marked, with good parking.

What it is
Descend to Fourmile Creek, crossing over large timbers. Ascend steeply over rock stairs for a short distance. Gradually the trail contours in a southwesterly direction for ¼ mile. After a few switchbacks with slightly steep turns, the trail reaches a scree field. Traverse across the rocks that have been leveled by hikers to the first of the twisted trees. Views across the valley are marvelous. Look southward, up the cliffs, where more of the intrepid trees are seen on precarious shelves above. It is easy to imagine that this scene has not changed in hundreds of years, except for the constantly falling boulders that have augmented the piles below. The trail continues east through rather uninteresting lodgepole pine and young scrawny bristlecone pine forest to Horseshoe Campground. Complete the circuit back along the road, watching for flashes of fish in the clear creek.