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Hiking & Walking: Colorado > White River National Forest > Eagle Ranger District

Quick Facts

Glenwood Canyon Trail

Beginning Elevation: 5,900 Feet (1839.2 Meters) in Glenwood Springs
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation Gain: 300 Feet (93.5 Meters)
Ending Elevation: 6,200 Feet (1932.7 Meters) in Dotsero
Length, One-way: 18 Miles (30.0 Kilometers)
Recommended Season: Spring to Fall
Usage: Heavy
USGS Maps: Glenwood Springs, Shoshone

Outfitters and Guides

Satellite and Topo Map

General Description

Glenwood Canyon Trail at Grizzly Creek
Copyright: Christine M. Douglas - US Forest Service
Glenwood Canyon Trail at Grizzly Creek
The Glenwood Canyon Trail follows the Colorado River all the way from Dotsero on the east end to Glenwood Springs on the west end. This paved trail is used by joggers, hikers, bicyclists, fishermen and in-line skaters. The trail is a great way to enjoy the scenery of Glenwood Canyon, for watching whitewater activities on the river, and for access to fishing spots. The trail is closed most of the winter and sometimes closed in the spring due to high water conditions. This path goes through all the rest areas in the Canyon, so picnic and restroom facilities are available throughout the trip.

The west end of the trail ends just to the east of the hot springs pool in Glenwood Springs . At either end of the trail is a map with information on the trail and canyon. Although the trail runs in the same narrow canyon as a major interstate highway and a railroad track, great care was taken to separate these uses and to provide a quality outdoor experience.

SCENIC VIEWS - This trail offers many spectacular views. There are majestic views of the Canyon walls and of the Colorado River. Although uncommon, it is possible to see bighorn sheep (usually in the No Name area) that were reintroduced to the area in the winter of 1989-90 and 1991. It is also possible at times to see deer, elk, water fowl, and other wildlife.

BAIR RANCH (exit 129) - This rest area offers a shaded picnic area and restrooms, There is also an interpretive sign that tells about the sheep ranch located across the river.

SHOSHONE POWER PLANT (exit 123, eastbound access only) - Constructed between 1905 and 1909, the Shoshone Power Plant supplies hydroelectric power to eastern Colorado. The dam for this project is located near Hanging Lake Rest Area and was the first of several great dams that would eventually control the Colorado River. This exit also has a raft launch site, and a toilet facility.

GRIZZLY CREEK (exit 121) - Named in 1881 by a man named Ryan, who killed the largest grizzly bear in western Colorado there. This exit now offers a rest area, with picnic tables, a raft launch site, and access to the Grizzly Creek trail, a 3.4 mile hike.

HANGING LAKE (exit 125) - One of the most popular hikes in Colorado, this hike is definitely worth the climb. A steep 1.2 miles leads to Hanging Lake with the Bridal Veil Falls and another short trail to Spouting Rock.

DISTANCE (From Glenwood Hot Springs):
to No Name intersection: 2.4 mi.
to Grizzly Creek: 5.0 mi.
to Shoshone Power Plant: 6.7 mi.
to Shoshone Dam: 9.0 mi.
to Dotsero Trailhead: 18 mi.

Directions from Glenwood Springs: Go to the I-70 interchange. Take the Highway 82 exit and go to stop light. Right at the stop light, keeping in the left lane after the turn. Go straight through the next stop light where Highway 82 turns to cross the river. Stay on the road north of the hot springs pool, don't cross the bridge. Parking is available by the Art Center. Trailhead sign is just past the Art Center. Trail may also be accessed at the No Name, Grizzly Creek, Shoshone Power Plant, Hanging Lake, Bair Ranch, and Dotsero interchanges off I-70 in the Glenwood Canyon area.

Directions from Eagle: Travel 12 miles west of Eagle on I-70 to the Dotsero exit. Turn right at the bottom of the exit ramp and follow the I-70 frontage road west to the trailhead.

Directions from Vail: Travel 43 miles west on I-70 to the Dotsero exit. Turn right at the bottom of the exit ramp and follow the I-70 frontage road west to the trailhead.

Directions from Beaver Creek: Travel 34 miles west on I-70 to the Dotsero exit. Turn right at the bottom of the exit ramp and follow the I-70 frontage road west to the trailhead.

Seasonal Information:
Normally Accessible: May through October (NOTE: Portions of the trail may close in Late Spring due to high water.) .

Current Conditions & Trip Reports
open Updated: 2002-05-16 08:37:00.0

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Difficulty: Easy
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: This is the place to be in the summer

Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Fishing Fishing available in the Colorado River
ICON Hiking & Walking Paved recreation trail through canyon.
ICON Picnicking Picnic tables are located at I-70 rest areas, along the trail.
ICON Road Biking Paved recreation trail through canyon.
ICON Viewing Scenery Paved recreation trail through canyon.

Related Activities
Glenwood Canyon - The Glenwood Canyon portion of I-70, with its numerous possible stopping points provides a beautiful scenic drive.

Glenwood Canyon General Forest Area - The Glenwood Canyon General Forest Area, east of Glenwood Springs, is dominated by the spectacular Glenwood Canyon and its numerous arms.

Grizzly Creek Trail - This easily accessible trail just off I-70 provides views of a portion of spectacular, Glenwood Canyon.

Hanging Lake Trail - This short, steep trail in Glenwood Canyon, leads up Deadhorse Creek to scenic Hanging Lake.

More Information
Frequently Asked Questions
Email the Local Ranger

Visitor Information:

Eagle Ranger District, 125 W. 5th St., P.O. Box 720 , Eagle, CO, 81631, Phone: 970-328-6388, Fax: 970-328-6448


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