Saturday, June 28, 2008

Beaver Creek Winter Sports Trail

The Bald Hill Trail is an unofficial segment of the Beaver Creek Winter Sports Trail in the San Juan National Forest near Dolores in southwest Colorado.

The trailhead for the Beaver Creek Winter Sports Trail is at the junction of Forest Road 526 and 532 near the gas compression facility, about 10 miles past the turnoff for House Creek Recreation Area on McPhee Reservoir.

The Beaver Creek Massacre Trail is not far from the same junction. There are interpretive signs at the 526/532 junction showing a map and information on wildlife in the area.

I walked the segment that starts about 2 miles east along Forest Road 532 at the Road marked 532A.
This rough road heads generally southeast and climbs through forest of Ponderosa Pine and Gambel Oak before reaching a meadow area with Long Draw Reservoir, a small wetlands area.

As the trail climbs there are more groves of Aspens and there are several large crags of dead Ponderosa Pines. One of the large crags was marked with a small sign designating it as a wildlife tree.

Another large wildflower filled meadow arrives after about 2 miles and Bald Hill becomes visible. The road continues on toward Oak Knolls Reservoir and the connects with the Boggy Draw Road and Trail System.
There is another small wetlands reservoir at the base of Bald Hill. I turned around here and returned to the start point. It took about 1:00 hour uphill to Bald Hill and 0:45 back down for a total hike of 1:45.

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