This trail provides the only marked and maintained access to the lower reaches of West Clear Creek Wilderness. From its western terminus at Bull Pen Ranch at the canyon mouth, the trail leads upstream into the deep, narrow gorge which medium-sized West Clear Creek has cut into the southern edge of the Colorado Plateau.
The downstream end of the trail attracts large numbers of anglers, picnickers, and other streamside recreators attracted by the clear pools, slickrock water slides, and tree-shaded riparian areas tucked away between red rock canyon walls. The photo above is of the Hanging Gardens with an otter highlighted in the center.
From the trail's upper terminus, at Bald Hill, the route drops 1,800 feet down a steep, talus-strewn slope from a high plateau of pinyon-juniper forests to the canyon floor. It then winds its way downstream along a stretch of secluded pools and rocky riffles. Bring your wading shoes on this one, you'll have to cross the stream at least four times. In times of high runoff, this trail can be impassable. In the middle of a hot desert summer you'll appreciate the opportunity to cool off.
Tuesday, Oct 5, 2021 at 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time
Tuesday, Oct 12, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. Mountain Time
Thursday, Oct 21, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. US Mountain Time
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