Location: Roosevelt National Forest
Nearest town: Jamestown
Distance from Denver: 49 mi / 1:10
Trail distance: 3.85 mi RT + option to continue ~1.0 mi along four-wheel drive roads to the top of Miller Rock for 360-degree views
Elevation: 8,365 ft at TH
Direction notes: Follow Lefthand Canyon Rd thru tiny Jamestown (follow the speed limits). Continue 4.5 mi past Jamestown (the road becomes Overland Rd). Continue 0.4 mi after the road turns to dirt and turn right into the signed parking area.
Dogs: Leash only, but none of the 7-8 dogs I saw were on leashes.
Date hiked: Feb 2013
Roosevelt National Forest
Trail notes and photos:
This is an easy trail with little elevation gain which rolls along the St Vrain Creek for just under 2 mi before reaching a four-wheel drive road (where I saw a jeep trying to navigate the road ahead). Turn around here, or continue another 1.0 mi on the roads to reach and climb Miller Rock for a 360-degree view. According to trail descriptions I consulted, the four-wheel drive roads become a bit of a mess so finding the correct road to Miller Rock can be a challenge.
I may return to this trail in the spring or early summer to check out the reportedly great wildflowers here, and get to the big view at Miller Rock.
Dispersed camping is allowed along the trail, and I noticed a few stone fire pits closer to the trailhead, despite the snow cover. It was a fairly busy trail even on this winter day, with at least 8 pairs of hikers. To the sides of the trail are dead trees which the Forest Service felled for safety reasons, and along the hillsides across the creek mounds of cleared duff and branches are visible.
The St Vrain Creek is almost always visible from the trail. Today most of it was covered in ice and a few inches of snow.