Grand County Backcountry Bound: Trail of the Week
July 16, 2008
Activity – Bicycle or Hike
Level of Difficulty – 3 for biking, 2 for hiking (on a scale of 1-5, 1 being the easiest)
Round-trip Mileage – 7.80 miles
Round-trip Touring Time – 1 1/2 hours (biking), 3 1/2 hours (hiking)
Altitude, GPS Reading at Trailhead – 8861′, 39°55’08″N, 105°49’59″W
Altitude, GPS Reading at High Point (5) – 9531′, 39°54’27″N, 105°51’05″W
Trail Fee Required – No
Dogs are permitted without leash
Trailhead Location – On US Hwy 40, in the town of Fraser at the Fraser Valley Shopping Center, turn south onto CR 72 for .3 miles. At the fork, CR 721 is to the right and CR 72 continues left. Stay left on CR 72 (which turns into FDR 158) for 2.0 miles to a pullout on the left (1).
Trail Description – Just beyond the pullout on the north side of the road is the Chainsaw trailhead. Head north on Chainsaw trail and climb steeply to the fork and trail marker (2). Zoom trail is on the left and Chainsaw trail continues on the right.
Remain on Chainsaw trail and climb steeply. Cross over the turnpike (raised bed of soil through wetland) and descend through the woods. At the aspen stand there is a small pond on the left. Continue to descend and circle a second pond on the left. Climb moderately to a fork and trail marker (3). Flume trail is on the left and Chainsaw trail continues on the right. Turn left onto Flume trail. Take a break at the bench and enjoy the great view of St. Louis Creek below and Byers and Bottle Peaks. Ascend gently through the woods and notice the remains of the wooden flume. The flume was originally used to transport squared logs to the lumber mill downstream.
Pass through the sage meadow and continue to FDR 159 (Leland Creek Road/Aqueduct Road) (4). Turn left onto FDR 159 and follow the road uphill. Pass FDR 162 (Fool Creek Road), which is on the right. Remain straight and continue to climb through marshes and aspen stands. Pass FDR 163 (King Creek Road), which is on the right. Remain straight and continue to climb. At to the top of the hill on the left is a buck and rail fence. Beside the fence is the Zoom trail (5). Turn onto Zoom trail and descend along the trail. Wind through the forest and descend to Chainsaw trail (2). Turn right and descend to the parking area (1).
Backcountry Tip of the Week – Beware of other cyclists and hikers on the trail. Hikers have the right-of-way over bikers. Use caution at all times and stay in-control.
More trails and information are available in “Hiking Grand County, Colorado” and “Winter Park and Fraser, Colorado Mountain Bike Map”. The book and map are available locally in many retail outlets, gift shops, sporting goods stores, and coffee shops or visit our website at http://backcountrybound.home.mindspring.com/. This column is a partnership with Headwaters Trails Alliance (www.headwaterstrails.com), who works to plan, build, preserve and maintain multi-use trails in Grand County.
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