Miners Gulch Trail in Colorado Trail’s Overview
The trail is located in the Arapaho National Forest and near to the Denver, Colorada. The trailhead is situated along the bank of Yankee Hill which has massive 4×4 network and is comprised of many four-wheel drive-trails. If you further explore the Yankee Hill area you will find precious gems, such as the name suggests the Miners Gulch. The trail becomes more difficult in some areas taking you to the dense forest where the trail also takes some curves for almost half a mile. The name of the trail is based upon the miners of the past who surveyed this area for mining purposes, yet there are still active mining assertions along this trail.
Trailhead Location: Yankee Hill
Trailhead GPS: 46.404091,-113.5086894
Trail Mileage: 1.76 mi
Riding Difficulty: Moderate 6
Temperature Range: 22⁰F to 89⁰F
Map of Miners Gulch Trail in Colorado
Miners Gulch Trail Access Directions
From the Colorado Springs take the highway 24 in the west which is nearly at 76 miles distance to highway 24/285. Turn left along south on highway 24/285, after about 14 miles passed the highway will pass over the Arkansas River from this point you should turn left in the south to the highway 285. At this highway after 5 miles passed you will cross the Nathrop from this point turn right towards west on Chafee County Road 162. After traveling 15 miles just before the arrival St. Elmo turn left on FR295 road. While traveling on this road after just 5 miles there comes sign for the Alpine Tunnel hiking travel from where you should take a hard right on to the FR299 which is the 4×4 trail containing Hancock Pass leading to the Yankee Hill.
Miners Gulch Trail Description
The most thrilling and adventurous way to run Miners Gulch is to travel from the bottom that is close to the Mosquito Gulch/North Clear Creek to the top where the trail intersects with the 4WD road of the Yankee Hill. After passing by the North Clear Creek road and crossing the creek you will start ascending up the Miners Gulch. The road of the trail is quite narrow surrounded by the dense forest with very less number of pull offs or shelves for passing vehicles.
The road becomes significantly wet in spring season due to the springs flowing from the hills. After a mile you will approach to a small opening where the road leads you over a rocky part. After this the road will then take you into the Miners Creek region where you will pass the spur road on the right to FR709.1 A road which is dead end at last.
Once you begin ascending out of the creek the road will continuously takes you to the Miner Gulch’s more dense forest. After some time you will come to an open area with two lines one to the left of the road and other to the right. The right side is slightly easier than the left but both lines contain rocks to climb before uniting again into a larger open field. After passing through this field you will come again on a narrow road leading you to climb up the Miners Gulch.
It should be noted that where the forest becomes thinner, this is the indication that you are climbing out of the gulch. The road on which you are driving would be lower to another road passing by your left. This road on the left is the Freeman Gulch Cutoff, FR175.3C. This road will soon connect you with the Miner Gulch road and continues to ascend until it connects you with the 4WD road of the Yankee Hill.
While on the journey to Miners Gulch, if you want to see all the beautiful views and sceneries of the Yankee Hill including the portion between the start and the end of the Miner Gulch, you should go from the eastern end and then the whole Miners Gulch trail from west to east. But, however this could not be the best decision for all as there is lots of other vehicles travelling the Miner Gulch from this direction.
The beginning of the Miners Gulch is quite easy and will soon lead you to the Miners Hill. Even you cannot feel how steep is the traveling. It will open up at one point and you can stop for a while to enjoy the hill views. The weather is also perfect you can have your good time over there.
At a first glance it might seems good idea to go the trail in reverse but it is quite dangerous. Because lots of traffic is coming in the opposite direction and there is lots of mess to pass through the dirt bikes and other ATVs.
After passing the lowermost part of the rocky hill, we recommend you should take the spur over to the camping site. Because it is the best place to have your lunch, moreover you will not see anyone else there so it will be a very pleasant experience.
Miners Gulch is located north-west of the Central City and being very close to Denver, the visit worth rendering. It is right to say that this trail is a little gem of trail with numerous technical rocks and real good time off-road experience. You must take care of the rocks and not over run on the trail which may prove to be another over rushed Spring Creek. Although this trail is short but contains lots of good experiences you can also include it into a loop around the Kingston Peak for a whole day.
On the upside of the trail there is an opening which is perfect for the lunch or short stay. After the lunch break you can begin the journey on the Gulch. This part also contains mini rock gardens as you ascend steeply through a dense tree lined section across the saddle.
After that a network of roads takes you to the west on the Yankee Hill and to the Kingston Peak to the north, or back to the Central City if you choose east. We recommend you should go for the Yankee Hill west through FS 378 to ascend the hill. The hill contains fascinating and eye catching views and sceneries which you can preserver in your camera.
Yankee Hill Panoramic View