Trails traveled: Miller Gulch Trail, Gashouse Gulch Trail, Baldy Trail, Difficulty: Blue, (Moderate)
Loop, 10.5 mile round-trip, 1,217ft elevation gain
Time: 4 hours, 20 minutes
Weather: Cloudy, Overcast, Rainy
- Green Mountain
- Baldy Peak
- Mountain Bikes
This hike was longer than it was harder. The elevation gain of 1,217ft was gradual throughout the entire hike so you didn’t really “feel” it. It was good to get back on the trail after about a month hiatus. I had some health issues that prevented me from hiking the past couple of weeks, and finding time is always a challenge.
The trailhead is about an hour and a half from Denver. In Bailey, you turn off at the road to Wellington Lake, which after a mile or so, becomes more of a dirt road to the trailhead. There is a good-sized parking lot that was empty except for one car when I arrived in the early afternoon. It was about a half-mile hike just to the trailhead from the parking lot.
My favorite feature of the hike was all the places to reflect. There were lots of rock outcroppings to climb and look out over the terrain below. There was also some shady spots on large smooth boulders to sit, reflect, write and rest. Only one stretch of the hike was not shaded, where you get a good look at Green Mountain to the South. One of the downsides of the hike is it is the site of a wildfire a few years back so there are parts where the trees all around are downed and burnt.
There were lots of wildflowers still on the hike as well as some of the most beautiful black butterflies. I couldn’t figure out exactly what type of butterfly they were.
The hike was a nice time for me to unwind and process through some thoughts. I enjoyed the time alone. I took my time and the weather held off until right after I finished, when the sprinkling picked up just a little more to a steady rain. Some of the poetry I wrote during my hike will be posted in the next few days.