THE VIRTUAL

DILLON RANGER DISTRICT

EASY HIKING ROGS

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Before venturing out into the forest and backcountry be sure that you are familiar with current weather conditions and forest regulations.  Each visitor should study the information on the trailhead bulletin board and/or go into the Forest Service office at 680 Blue River Parkway in Silverthorne to obtain the latest copy of the RECREATION OPPORTUNITY GUIDE (ROG) before heading out on any particular trail. 

TIPS FOR HIKERS:

Always be prepared for sudden afternoon thunder or snowstorms with adequate rain gear, warm clothing and plenty of food and water.  Be careful not to accidentally leave any litter along the way, including cigarette butts.  There is a six (6) foot leash law that is enforced for dogs in the Wilderness.  Always be careful with fire - a camp stove is the preferred method for cooking in the backcountry.  REMEMBER - NO BICYCLES ARE ALLOWED IN WILDERNESS AREAS!  The best way you can help the land survive is to challenge yourself to make the least possible impact on the land. 

CLICK HERE FOR INFORMATION ON LEAVE NO TRACE.

Before taking your dog into any Wilderness or backcountry area, please check out some important information by clicking below on Spike.

If you plan on backpacking into the backcountry and set up a campsite you should check out our pages that have all the BACKPACKING and DISPERSED CAMPING regulations.

If you see a particular HIKING trail that interests you, click on the trail name and you will be taken the ROG sheet for that trail.  The trail links contain the same Recreation Opportunity Guide (ROG) sheets that you can get at the Dillon Ranger District office.  The front side of the ROG sheet contains route information such as: route difficulty, length, directions on how to get to the trailhead, interesting information on the route and any important information that route users might need to know.  The back side of the ROG sheet contains a custom topographic map highlighting the OHV route along with an elevation profile.

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BOULDER LAKE (LOWER) HIKING ROG BRUSH CREEK HIKING ROG BUFFALO CABIN HIKING ROG CATARACT LAKE (LOWER) HIKING ROG LILY PAD HIKING ROG MESA CORTINA HIKING ROG OLD DILLON RESERVOIR HIKING ROG ROCK CREEK HIKING ROG SAPPHIRE POINT HIKING ROG TENDERFOOT HIKING ROG WILDER GULCH HIKING ROG GORE RANGE HIKING ROG GORE RANGE HIKING ROG GORE RANGE HIKING ROG GORE RANGE HIKING ROG

TO VIEW THE ROG SHEETS FOR EASY HIKING TRAILS:
1.  SCROLL DOWN THIS PAGE TO SEE A TRAIL DESCRIPTION FIRST
OR
2.  GO STRAIGHT TO THE ROG SHEET BY CLICKING ON THE ROG NUMBER ABOVE

   ** Please note that the brochures listed below are in Adobe Acrobat Portable Document Format (PDF). Before downloading the form, be sure you have Adobe Acrobat Reader, a FREE program, installed on your computer. Just click the "Get Acrobat Reader" graphic to download the freely available Acrobat Reader Utility. Then double-click the executable file and follow the on-screen instructions to install it.


EASY TRAILS

1.  BOULDER LAKE (LOWER) FDT 59 - BECAUSE THIS TRAIL TRAVELS INTO THE EAGLES NEST WILDERNESS NO BICYCLES ARE ALLOWED AND DOGS MUST BE ON A LEASH NOT LONGER THAN SIX (6) FEET IN LENGTH!  The trail begins at an elevation of 9,494 feet and ends at an elevation of 9,751 feet, with a highest elevation of 10,098 feet.  The elevation gain is +257 feet.  You will pass several meadows that are home to many varieties of wildlife.  This is a good trail for riding horses.  There is good pull-through parking in the Rock Creek Trailhead parking lot for trucks with trailers.  This trail receives heavy use on the weekend, hikers are encouraged to visit the lake during the week if possible.  In the spring, muddy spots along the trail can make for some soggy walking.  An extra pair of shoes is recommended.  The trail difficulty is rated EASY TO MODERATE.  For directions and a topographic map please see the ROG sheet. 

CLICK ON THE PHOTO BELOW TO VIEW BOULDER LAKE (LOWER) PHOTOS 

CLICK ON THE ICON BELOW TO VIEW A BOULDER LAKE (LOWER) VIDEO

2.  BRUSH CREEK FDT 68 - BECAUSE THIS TRAIL TRAVELS INTO THE EAGLES NEST WILDERNESS NO BICYCLES ARE ALLOWED PAST THE WILDERNESS BOUNDARY AND DOGS MUST BE ON A LEASH NOT LONGER THAN SIX (6) FEET IN LENGTH!  THIS ROAD IS USED FOR MULTIPLE ACTIVITIES TO INCLUDE OHV USE, HIKING AND MTN. BIKING.  PLEASE RESPECT OTHER USERS.  The trail begins at an elevation of 8,040 feet and ends at an elevation of 9,040 feet, with a highest elevation of 9,040 feet.  The elevation gain is +1,000 feet.  This trail offers the hiker solitude as well as an opportunity to view wildlife.  The first mile of the Brush Creek Road is steep and leads through sagebrush offering an excellent view of Green Mountain Reservoir and the Lower Blue River Valley.  Once in the trees the trail becomes narrow.  The trail difficulty is rated EASY.  For directions and a topographic map please see the ROG sheet.

3.  BUFFALO CABIN FDT 31 - BECAUSE THIS TRAIL TRAVELS INTO THE EAGLES NEST WILDERNESS NO BICYCLES ARE ALLOWED AND DOGS MUST BE ON A LEASH NOT LONGER THAN SIX (6) FEET IN LENGTH!  The trail begins at an elevation of 9,778 feet and ends at an elevation of 10,425 feet, with a highest elevation of 10,425 feet.  Buffalo Mountain's elevation is 12,777 feet.  The elevation gain is +647 feet.  The trail will take you to an historic site, where you will find ruins of two log cabins.  The trail will begin by winding through a lodgepole pine forest and intersects with an old road.  Take a left at the intersection and follow the old road up to the cabins.  A trail continues past the cabin ruins and will quickly ascend up Buffalo Mountain.  NOTE: The trail that continues on to the summit of Buffalo Mountain is NOT a Forest Service maintained trail and has a trail difficulty level of MORE DIFFICULT.  The Buffalo Cabin Trail difficulty is rated EASY TO MODERATE.  For directions and a topographic map please see the ROG sheet. 

CLICK ON THE PHOTO BELOW TO VIEW BUFFALO MOUNTAIN SUMMIT PHOTOS 

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4 CATARACT LAKE LOOP (LOWER) FDT 57 - THIS IS A REC FEE DEMO AREA.  BECAUSE THIS TRAIL TRAVELS INTO THE EAGLES NEST WILDERNESS NO BICYCLES ARE ALLOWED AND DOGS MUST BE ON A LEASH NOT LONGER THAN SIX (6) FEET IN LENGTH!  The trail begins at an elevation of 8,652 feet and ends at an elevation of 8,662 feet, with a highest elevation of 8,770 feet.  The elevation gain is +10 feet.  An abundance of wildflowers can be seen from mid to late June.  Cataract Falls are located on the southwest edge of Lower Cataract Lake.  There are several other hiking trails which begin in the same vicinity that can be used to make a loop of the higher elevation lakes.  These trails are all rated MODERATE TO MORE DIFFICULT.  Camping is NOT permitted within .25 miles of Lower Cataract Lake, nor along this trail due to the heavy use of this area.  Due to the high use of this area try to hike during the week.  Hiking to the waterfalls is strongly discouraged because the area is hazardous due to the slippery and steep terrain.  This trail difficulty is rated EASY.  For directions and a topographic map please see the ROG sheet. 

CLICK ON THE PHOTO BELOW TO VIEW LOWER CATARACT LAKE LOOP PHOTOS

CLICK ON THE ICON BELOW TO VIEW A LOWER CATARACT LAKE LOOP SELF-GUIDED TRAIL GUIDE (PDF file format)

5.  GORE RANGE TRAIL FDT 60 - BECAUSE THIS TRAIL TRAVELS INTO THE EAGLES NEST WILDERNESS NO BICYCLES ARE ALLOWED AND DOGS MUST BE ON A LEASH NOT LONGER THAN SIX (6) FEET IN LENGTH!  The Gore Range Trail runs the north-south length of the Dillon Ranger District portion of the Eagles Nest Wilderness.  The Gore Range Trail has 9 major access routes from within the Dillon Ranger District.  On the ROG sheet the access routes are listed from north to south.  The Gore Range Trail is named after Sir St. George Gore, an Irish nobleman, who led a hunting expedition across this mountain range in 1853.  Jim Bridger, known as "King of the Mountain Men," served as his guide.  In 1854 the expedition crossed what is now known as the Gore Range and hunted in the Vail area.  Sir Gore is reported to have killed 2,000 buffalo, 1,600 elk, 200 bear and countless other animals.  This trail difficulty is rated EASY TO MORE DIFFICULT.  For directions and a topographic map please see the ROG sheet.

6 LILY PAD LAKE FDT 50 - BECAUSE THIS TRAIL TRAVELS INTO THE EAGLES NEST WILDERNESS NO BICYCLES ARE ALLOWED AND DOGS MUST BE ON A LEASH NOT LONGER THAN SIX (6) FEET IN LENGTH!  The trail begins at an elevation of 9,877 feet and ends at an elevation of 9,891 feet, with a highest elevation of 9,939 feet.  The elevation gain is +14 feet.  This trail provides a nice day hike even for the most inexperienced hiker.  The trail follows a modest grade from the Wildernest subdivision through lodgepole pine and dense aspen forest.  The area around Lily Pad Lake makes a great picnic spot.  The trail difficulty is rated EASY.  For directions and a topographic map please see the ROG sheet. 

CLICK ON THE PHOTO BELOW TO VIEW LILY PAD LAKE PHOTOS

 

Photos of this trail may be viewed by clicking HERE.

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7 MESA CORTINA TO SOUTH WILLOW FALLS FDT 32 - BECAUSE THIS TRAIL TRAVELS INTO THE EAGLES NEST WILDERNESS NO BICYCLES ARE ALLOWED AND DOGS MUST BE ON A LEASH NOT LONGER THAN SIX (6) FEET IN LENGTH!  The trail begins at an elevation of 9,217 feet and ends at an elevation of 9,432 feet, with a highest elevation of 9,611 feet.  The elevation gain is +215 feet.  There are great views of Dillon Reservoir and the entire Blue River Valley from the trailhead.  The trail winds through aspen groves into a meadow which offers a good view of the Ptarmigan Peak Wilderness.  After the meadow is the Eagles Nest Wilderness boundary.  The trail then travels through lodgepole pine forests and crosses South Willow Creek just before intersecting at a fork in the trail with the Gore Range Trail (FDT 60).  Following the right fork takes you north while taking the left fork takes you south.  Traveling north on the Gore Range Trail will take you to the North Willow Trail (FDT 36) and on to Salmon Lake and the Willow Lakes.  Traveling south on the Gore Range Trail will take you along South Willow Creek around Buffalo Mountain eventually to Red Buffalo Pass or Eccles Pass.  The trail difficulty is rated EASY TO MODERATE.  For directions and a topographic map please see the ROG sheet. 

CLICK ON THE PHOTO BELOW TO VIEW MESA CORTINA TO SOUTH WILLOW FALLS PHOTOS 

8 OLD DILLON RESERVOIR FDT 87 - THIS TRAIL IS USED FOR MULTIPLE ACTIVITIES TO INCLUDE HIKING AND MTN. BIKING.  PLEASE RESPECT OTHER USERS.  The trail begins at an elevation of 9,066 feet and ends at an elevation of 9,193 feet, with a highest elevation of 9,203 feet.  The elevation gain is +127 feet.  The Old Dillon Reservoir was built in the 1930s to supply water to the original town of Dillon, which is now covered by the New Dillon Reservoir.  Water is supplied to the old reservoir via a diversion ditch out of Salt Lick Creek, above what is now I-70.  The Old Dillon Reservoir is partially surrounded by lodgepole pine and willows, offering protection from the wind and sun.  The protected environment allows for calm waters and provides good fishing opportunities in a relatively isolated location.  The trail difficulty is rated EASY.  For directions and a topographic map please see the ROG sheet. 

CLICK ON THE PHOTO BELOW TO VIEW OLD DILLON RESERVOIR PHOTOS

9 ROCK CREEK FDT 46 - BECAUSE THIS TRAIL TRAVELS INTO THE EAGLES NEST WILDERNESS NO BICYCLES ARE ALLOWED AND DOGS MUST BE ON A LEASH NOT LONGER THAN SIX (6) FEET IN LENGTH!  The trail begins at an elevation of 9,494 feet and ends at an elevation of 10,248 feet, with a highest elevation of 10,248 feet.  The elevation gain is +754 feet.  From the trailhead leaving the parking area, the trail is an old road.  The trail will eventually take off from this old road.  Approximately 1.84 miles from the trailhead the Alfred M. Bailey Bird Nesting Area may be seen on the left side of the trail.  This site was designated a special management area in 1971 and contains examples of nearly all the many habitats found in the Gore Range.  [To view the Alfred M. Bailey Bird Nesting Brochure please check below]  At the end of the trail is the historic Boss Mine.  There are several old structures there from when this was an active mine.  Please leave all mining artifacts where they are so others may enjoy them also.  There are several trails taking off from the main trail that lead to other mining areas.  Because of the possibility of other mines and shafts, you are encouraged to stay on the main trail.  As with the Boulder Lake (Lower) Trail (FDT 59), this is an excellent trail for horse trips.  The trail difficulty is rated EASY TO MODERATE.  For directions and a topographic map please see the ROG sheet.

 

ALFRED M. BAILEY BIRD NESTING BROCHURE - BE PATIENT, LARGE FILE!!  To change the view of the form on-screen go to the Adobe Tool Bar and select Rotate Counterclockwise!!

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10 SAPPHIRE POINT FDT 89 - THIS TRAIL IS USED FOR MULTIPLE ACTIVITIES TO INCLUDE HIKING AND MTN. BIKING.  PLEASE RESPECT OTHER USERS.  The trail begins at an elevation of 9,512 feet and ends at an elevation of 9,503 feet, with a highest elevation of 9,514 feet.  The elevation gain is -9 feet.  The Sapphire Point Trail is wheelchair accessible.  This short walk is an excellent trail for people who just want to view some spectacular scenery.  The overlook area offers spectacular views of Dillon Reservoir and the Tenmile Range.  The picnic area offers majestic views of Dillon Reservoir and the Gore Range.  A walk to the overlook to watch the sunset is an experience not to be missed!  The overlook and picnic areas are popular spots for weddings and other ceremonies.  IF A CEREMONY IS TAKING PLACE PLEASE BE CONSIDERATE OF THE PARTICIPANTS.  This trail is great for kids of all ages and there are numerous chipmunks and Golden Mantled Squirrels to observe at the overlook.  The trail difficulty is rated EASY.  For directions and a topographic map please see the ROG sheet. 

CLICK ON THE PHOTO BELOW TO VIEW SAPPHIRE POINT PHOTOS

 

11 TENDERFOOT FDT 76 - THIS TRAIL IS USED FOR MULTIPLE ACTIVITIES TO INCLUDE HIKING AND MTN. BIKING.  PLEASE RESPECT OTHER USERS.  The trail begins at an elevation of 9,247 feet and ends at an elevation of 9,868 feet, with a highest elevation of 9,886 feet.  The elevation gain is +621 feet.  An abundance of wildflowers can be seen from mid - late June.  When the snow melts, this trail dries out early making it an excellent spring trail.  The Tenderfoot Trail travels through lodgepole pine and aspen groves.  The views of the Tenmile Range, the Gore Range and Dillon Reservoir from this trail are impressive.  You have reached the end of the Forest Development Trail (FDT) when you reach the second wooden bench.  A social trail, a trail not maintained by the Forest Service, continues up toward the top of Tenderfoot Mountain and continues northeast toward Straight Creek and I-70.  There is no water on this trail so be sure and bring your own.  The trail difficulty is rated EASY TO MODERATE.  For directions and a topographic map please see the ROG sheet. 

CLICK ON THE PHOTO BELOW TO VIEW TENDERFOOT PHOTOS 

12 WILDER GULCH FDT 75 - THIS TRAIL IS USED FOR MULTIPLE ACTIVITIES TO INCLUDE HIKING AND MTN. BIKING.  PLEASE RESPECT OTHER USERS.  The trail begins at an elevation of 10,539 feet and ends at an elevation of 11,769 feet, with a highest elevation of 11,769 feet.  The elevation gain is +1,230 feet.  The trail climbs continuously as it parallels the stream where numerous beaver ponds are found.  After approximately 2.5 miles the trail swings to the left and then winds up to Ptarmigan Pass at the head of the valley.  Ptarmigan Pass offers a fantastic view of the Sawatch Range and the west side of the Gore Range.  This is an excellent trail for horse travel.  There is plenty of parking for trailers in the Vail Pass Rest Area parking lot.  The trail difficulty is rated EASY TO MODERATE.  For directions and a topographic map please see the ROG sheet. 

CLICK ON THE PHOTO BELOW TO VIEW WILDER GULCH PHOTOS

 

CLICK ON THE ICON BELOW TO VIEW A WILDER GULCH VIDEO

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