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Backpacking: Colorado > White River National Forest > Eagle Ranger District

Quick Facts

Yates Gulch Trail

Average Time: 2-3 Hours
Beginning Elevation: 8,000 Feet (2493.8 Meters)
Difficulty: More Difficult
Elevation Gain, One-way: 1,640 Feet (511.2 Meters)
Ending Elevation: 9,600 Feet (2992.5 Meters)
Length, One-way: 2.7 Miles (4.5 Kilometers)
Recommended Season: May-November
Trail Number: 1864
Usage: Light
USGS Maps: Suicide Mtn., Seven Hermits




Satellite and Topo Map




General Description

This trail is good for those hikers or riders interested in experiencing a more arid part of the Forest. The trail is in good condition and easy to follow. It starts as an old jeep road that follows an intermittent stream and goes through sagebrush and young aspen. The trail travels between dry gypsum hills, then passes tall red sandstone cliffs. As the trail enters scrub oak and serviceberry shrubs, it steepens and becomes more rocky. The trail levels out more near the top of the gulch and continues through aspen and spruce/fir forests. The Yates Gulch trail ends at Yates Reservoir connecting onto the West Hardscrabble Trail, #2222.

SPECIAL INTERESTS
ROCKS - On the lower half of the trail, it is possible to find the clear-colored crystals of gypsum. Further up the trail, some of the red sandstone rocks have ancient ripple marks. Evidence that this area was once under a shallow sea long ago.

INSECTS - Again, on the lower half of the trail where there is an abundance of wildflowers, there are good chances of seeing a variety of butterfly species; blues, sulfurs, fritillaries, skippers and swallowtails. Other insects such as beautiful, fast-flying tiger beetles, loud-calling cicadas and the nectar-loving hover flies are all common and can be observed on the trail.

Directions from Eagle: Take I-70, 7 miles west of Eagle. Get off at the Gypsum exit. Go south towards the town and then take a right at the Forest Access sign onto the Gypsum Creek Road, FDR 412. Drive about 11 miles and the trail begins on the left hand side of the road. There is only parking enough for two vehicles on the side of the road near the cattle guard. No facilities exist at the trailhead.

Directions from Beaver Creek: Take I-70 west to the Gypsum exit (#140). Take a left into Gypsum, then a right at the Forest Access sign onto Valley Road, which becomes Gypsum Creek Road, FDR 412. Drive about 11 miles and the trail begins on the left hand side of the road. There is only parking enough for one vehicle and a small horse trailer on the side of the road near the cattle guard. No facilities exist at the trailhead.

Directions from Vail: Take I-70 west to the Gypsum exit (#140). Take a left into Gypsum, then a right at the Forest Access sign onto Valley Road, which becomes Gypsum Creek Road, FDR 412. Drive about 11 miles and the trail begins on the left hand side of the road. There is only parking enough for one vehicle and a small horse trailer on the side of the road near the cattle guard. No facilities exist at the trailhead.

Seasonal Information:
Recommended Season: May through November .



Current Conditions & Trip Reports
Updated: 2001-06-26 14:46:00.0


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Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Backpacking
Yes
ICON Hiking & Walking Yates Gulch Trail
Yes
ICON Horseback Riding Yates Gulch trail.
Yes



Related Activities
Gypsum Creek General Forest Area - The Gypsum Creek General Forest Area takes in the Gypsum Creek drainage south of the town of Gypsum. It includes the general area between Red Table and Hardscrabble mountains.

LEDE Reservoir Dispersed Camping Area - This popular camping area south of Gypsum has no designated or developed sites but camping is permitted at least 100 feet from the waters edge.



More Information

Visitor Information:

Vail Valley Partnership, 100 East Meadow Drive , Vail, CO, 81657, Phone: 800-525-3875, Fax: 970-476-6008, www.visitvailvalley.com

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