June 15, 2018 Slideshows » Columns

Road trip hike: Nate Stultz Trail 

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I'm always on the lookout for a new hiking trail. I'll even spread some maps out on the living room floor and pore over them until I find something new.

Recently, Forest Service Trail 665, in the Pike National Forest north-east of Tarryall Reservoir in Park County, caught my attention. The trail, also known as a the Nate Stultz Trail, is a pleasant, moderately difficult trail that reaches around 11,000 feet in elevation over roughly 8 miles out and back. I found a lot of conflicting information about this trail, but the information here is from my own research, and current as of June, 2018.

To get there: Take US 24 west from Colorado Springs to Park County Road 77, just west of Lake George. Turn north on CR 77 and follow it for 27 miles to Al Gulch Road, about 3 miles past Tarryall Reservoir. Turn right onto Al Gulch Road, which becomes Forest Service Road 141, and follow it for about 3.2 miles. At the bend in the road, look for a large, grass parking area on the left and a sign with trail information — the trail starts behind the sign. The road to the trailhead is passable by almost any vehicle (low-clearance cars beware). 

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Bob Falcone
About 3.2 miles after turning off of County Road 77, look for the wide parking area on the left.
Bob Falcone
The trail is behind the large sign board.
Bob Falcone
The trail is marked with this sign, which is not readily visible from the road.
Bob Falcone
Another trail marker, near the start of the trail.
Bob Falcone
After about .5 miles, the trail crosses Gooseberry Creek. Shortly after, the trail hits a little switchback. Go right.
Bob Falcone
The trail continues gradually uphill through a nice forest. The trail is alternatively soft tread or large granite rocks, but is never overly difficult.
Bob Falcone
Bob Falcone
At about 2.6 miles, the trail crests a ridge and opens up to High Park, an open, wind-blown area. Go through the pedestrian gate in the fence.
Bob Falcone
Just past the fence there's an interpretive sign. The trail continues downhill to the left of the sign.
Bob Falcone
A short distance away, another trail marker points towards a wooded area. There are logs down on both sides of the trail through this section.
Bob Falcone
The trail continues clockwise around High Park.
Bob Falcone
On the opposite side of High Park, the trail starts downhill. There are some downed trees you'll have to navigate over or around. At about 4 miles there's a rock-hop creek crossing, and a few hundred feet later the trail meets Topaz Road/Forest Service Road 446.
Bob Falcone
Across the road is a large field/parking area. You can do as I did and turn around here for a roughly 8 mile hike, or continue across the field to continue on the Stultz Trail to County Road 56, a couple more miles down the trail
Bob Falcone
Stultz Trail hike to Topaz Road (upper right) and back.
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Bob Falcone
About 3.2 miles after turning off of County Road 77, look for the wide parking area on the left.

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