Your Guide to Hiking in Garfield County Colorado | Rocky Mountain Health Plans Blog



Your Guide to Hiking in Garfield County Colorado

5 of the Best Trails in Glenwood Springs, Carbondale, New Castle & Rifle

Hanging Lake in Glenwood Canyon is the best-known (and most crowded) hike in Garfield County, but it’s not your only hiking option in the area.

In fact, Garfield County is home to some excellent hiking. Take a break from the crowds with one of these 5 hikes, and be prepared to fall in love with the stunning scenery.

1. Grizzly Creek Trail, Glenwood Springs

Hike the best of Glenwood Canyon and avoid crowds at the same time on the Grizzly Creek Trail. It’s located in between Glenwood Springs and Hanging Lake, so it’s also a perfect way to break up a long drive on I-70.

You’ll walk along the creek via a gradual incline, with gorgeous cliff views all around. The round trip distance is 7.9 miles, but you can continue into the Flat Tops Wilderness for a longer hike. Due to the amount of shade and water, this is a great summer hike.

2. Avalanche Creek Trail, Carbondale

For anyone looking for a longer hike, this trail won’t disappoint. Depending on the distance you cover, this 11-mile round trip journey will range from easy to moderate. If you’re game for a 5-mile round trip hike, you’ll reach Hell Roaring Creek and a series of waterfalls.

3. Colorow Trail West and East Loop, New Castle

This short loop on BLM land clocks in at 3.1 miles, and you’ll get amazing views of the Colorado River Valley. It’s a moderate trail, but expect a steep climb to get to the overlook plus you’ll likely have plenty of peace and solitude.

The trail is closed from December 1 through April 15, so be sure to add it to your spring/summer hiking list. Bring plenty of water, too — this one can get toasty when the weather is warm.

4. Coyote Trail, Rifle Falls State Park

There are three official trails in Rifle Falls State Park, including the stunning Coyote Trail. The roundtrip distance is approximately one mile, with wheelchair accessibility to the base of the falls.

As you hike, you’ll snag fantastic views of the falls from above and below. There’s even access to limestone caves, so pack a headlamp if you want to explore. As the park’s website notes, the trails in the area are the “closest you'll get to hiking in the tropics in Colorado.”

5. Rifle Arch Trail, Rifle

If you prefer fee-free hiking, look no further than the vast BLM lands near Rifle. Rifle Arch is one option, with nearly 3 miles of round trip hiking and 875 feet in elevation gain.

You’ll see expansive views of the high desert landscape as the trail weaves through sagebrush and juniper trees, but the best part is approximately 1.5 miles from the trailhead. The trail leads to a large natural arch, which you can scramble up for even more impressive vistas.