Tags Posts tagged with "Glenwood Springs"

Glenwood Springs

By Deb Stanley,

When you think volcanoes, you probably don’t think Colorado. However, we have a volcano crater in Dotsero, a town on Interstate 70 between Eagle and Glenwood Springs. Dotsero got its name when it was listed as “Dot Zero” as a reference point on survey maps created in the late 1800s.

Dotsero Volcano erupted about 4,000 years ago creating a crater about a half-mile across and 1,300 feet deep, according to the Smithsonian. Over the years, sediment has filled the crater. Now visitors will see a crater that is about 600 feet deep.

Visitors can drive up to the lip of the crater (directions below). Hiking the area will give you a better appreciation for this place.

Park next to the sign for Castle Peak and take a look around. You’re standing at about 7,100 feet in elevation. The bottom of the crater is about 6,800 feet. The top is 7,300. Hikers can trek up the road toward the top of the crater and an old mining structure. You may also want to take a social trail closer to the lip of the crater. Adventurous hikers can pick their way down the slope of the crater to explore the bottom. However, this is not an easy trek and is not recommended for children. Just remember, if you go down, you have to hike back up the steep slope.

At the bottom, hikers will find the remnants of car wrecks and trash. Exploring through the vegetation we found numerous tires, wheels and even a car engine. You may also find a diamond. A BLM geologist told me to look for dark Basalt rocks, crack them open and if there is something sparkling inside, it’s likely a diamond. The only problem with that? Basalt rocks are hard and diamonds are even harder. We think we spotted a rock with two diamond chips, but we left it behind in case you want to look yourself.

When you’re done exploring, return to your vehicle and return the way you came.

Details: Hiking to the top of the crater, to the bottom and back to the parking area is about 1.25 miles with 650 feet of elevation gain.

Directions: From Interstate 70, take exit 133 and turn right on U.S. 6. Go a couple hundred feet and turn right on the frontage road for the highway going east. Just before the entrance to the trailer park, go left around the north side of the trailer park. This road continues east for a short distance, then turns uphill. It’s about 2.3 miles from the highway to the crater. The BLM says to park carefully because work trucks use this road and they need plenty of space.

For more information, call the BLM Colorado River field office at 970-876-9000. For more hikes in the Glenwood Springs area, visit Hanging Lake, Doc Holliday’s graveStorm King Mountain or Grizzly Creek. For more hikes in Colorado and throughout the west, click here.





By Deb Stanley,

Red Mountain is the original location of the Glenwood Springs ski area. Now it’s a place where hikers, walkers and bikers like to work out and enjoy the views. The trailhead is in town, so it’s an easy trek for residents. But the trailhead can be tricky to find, making it tough for visitors. (Directions below)

In the parking lot, signs tell visitors that Jeanne Golay trained on this trail in 1992 when she won three gold medals at the National Road Cycling Championships and took sixth in the cycling road race at the Olympics in Barcelona. The Red Mountain Trail was renamed after Golay to honor her cycling accomplishments.

Now you can hike the same trail Golay still rides. After reading the signs, head west up the trail. When you come to a road, you have options. Take the road uphill to the summit. Or stay on the dirt path which will take you up a steep hill.

No matter which option you chose, you will get to choose again. The hiking trail and the road reconnect several times. When the trail dead ends on the road, turn uphill and take the road until you find the next trail sign. Then choose again, you can take the single track dirt trail or stay on the road. Either way, the trek from the parking lot to the lookout where the paragliders launch is about 3.1 miles each way.

Along the road, you will come to a 180-degree turn with a bench in two places. The benches are great spots to enjoy the scenery. Look east into the canyon to see the Colorado River as it snakes its way to Glenwood Springs. Look north to see the Roaring Fork River where it comes from Aspen, until it merges with the Colorado River. Also to the north is the dramatic snow-capped twin peaks of Mount Sopris at 12,965 feet.

At the top of the mountain, you’ll find a lighted cross, a paraglider launch zone with wind socks and an old home of some sort. Enjoy the views and return via the road and/or the trails.

Details: While many articles say the trail is 1-2 miles each way, my GPS registered 3.1 miles to the paraglider launch spot. A sign at the trailhead said the trail was 3.5 miles. Expect at least 1,600 feet of elevation gain.

Directions: From the bridge over the Colorado River, go south, then turn west on 8th. Go one block and turn right to get to 7th Street. Turn left on 7th Street. Turn left on Midland, right on 10th, right on Red Mountain and left on 9th to get to the trailhead.

If you want to do more hiking in Glenwood Springs, try the Hanging LakeStorm King MountainGrizzly CreekDotsero Crater or Doc Holliday’s grave. For an extensive list of hikes in Colorado and throughout the west, click here.

Don’t miss any of my hiking reports. Follow me, HikingDebbie on Twitter or DenverHikingExaminer on Facebook.





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