Rattlesnake Gulch Trail via Fowler Trail
We will be hiking the Rattlesnake Gulch Trail via the Fowler Trail near Eldorado Canyon State Park. The Fowler Trail is an easy out and back trail with an elevation gain of 433 feet and a distance of about 3.7 miles. The Rattlesnake Gulch Trail is a moderate loop trail with an elevation gain of 961 feet and a distance of about 3.3 miles. This will provide an easy to moderate 7 mile hike with minimal elevation gain.
Both trails provide dramatic views of the Eldorado Canyon cliffs which reveal 1.6 billion years of geological history. The Fowler Trail goes behind the Bastille rock formation which is a rock climbers’ mecca and from which Ivy Baldwin walked a cable across the canyon to the Wind Tower at a height of 685 feet 89 times from 1906 until his 82nd birthday in 1948. The Rattlesnake Gulch Trail leads to the ruins of the Crags Hotel, which was built in 1908 and burned down in 1912. The hotel was accessed via an inclined railway from the canyon floor 800 feet below. From the hotel ruins, the trail leads to a view of the Continental Divide and then up near the Santa Fe and Rio Grande railroad tracks. If we are lucky, we will be able to see a train emerge from one tunnel and enter into another.
We will meet at the Fowler trailhead at 9:00 am. To get to the trailhead, take CO-93 South for 4 miles south of Boulder and turn right onto Eldorado Springs Drive. Follow the Drive for about 2.5 miles to the road on the left leading to the Eldorado Mountain Yoga Ashram. The road, which is county road 67 is not marked, but watch for the sign for the Ashram (Note: If you get to Eldorado Springs, you missed the road). Take the road until it ends and park along the left side of the road. Parking is limited so consider carpooling. There are no formal arrangements for carpooling, but check the registrant list for potential carpoolers. Dogs must be kept on leash.
These trails can get snowy and icy, so it is a good idea to bring microspikes. Make sure to dress accordingly, use sunscreen, and bring plenty of water and a snack.
Trail Information: https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/colorado/fowler-trail. https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/colorado/rattlesnake-gulch-trail. Note: This information indicates accessing the trails in Eldorado Canyon State Park, which we will not be doing to avoid the $8 entrance fee.
Hiking Coordinators: Trish Giassa, Jay Kay, Barbara & Bob Ludke, Bill Walters