Beaver Creek Loop Trail is a 7.5 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Penrose, CO that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.
We consider ourselves for ppl and this was a decent hike. The trails are not well marked, so we would get lost a lot and have to double back to find the trail. You do have to cross the river, bring a lot of water, and have your phone or GPS with you!
Be prepared for a 6 hour hike. Steep grades and creek crossings. We hiked the loop counter clockwise, saving the creek for the back end. I recommend GPS and good trail sense as you may loose you way a couple times because this trail is remote and not heavily traversed. Trout fishing is good on the creek right now (5-8inch browns and rainbows). There are large animals in the area and plenty of sign. I recommend being prepared to stay or back track out (worst case scenario). We lost the trail once we reached the creek (counter clockwise loop) but found a camp site where a couple of guys were having lunch. They directed us back on the trail, which was right there next to the camp... Overall this is a beautiful hike, but may be a bit scary to the inexperienced lol. Be prepared!
Beautiful hike. Rugged, and largely overgrown. Trail is single track and can be washed out in some areas. Views are breathtaking. Bring extra water (more than you think you need), wear hiking boots, and go when the water is lower (not after rains) as we had to cross a very swift Beaver Creek twice as my mountain-goat skills are not the best in scaling the cliff. :-) I recommend this hike for confident hikers who are well prepared.
I have been wanting to explore this area for a few years now. Saturday was the perfect time. At the trail head there was one other vehicle. I never saw the owners of the truck except for their camp site on the west side of Beaver creek about 100 meters South of the West and East Beaver Creek confluence. I hiked the trail loop clockwise with my first goal of getting to the West and East Beaver Creel junction to hang out and chill. The temperature was easily in the high 90s, in not the triple digits. A lot of sun exposure. Maps, GPS and general trail instinct is a must before venturing out on this hike. There is very little foot traffic and trails have become overgrown in some spots. Take plenty of water and drink even more. There are a lot of spots to refill (water filter or boil). Of special note, I have never seen so much poison ivy in Colorado. It was growing in an abundance in the the low, wet, shaded areas of the trail. Plenty of wildlife sign throughout the hike. I actually walked up on a male black bear on my way out in the narrow, heavily vegetated Trail Gulch portion of the loop trail. Great hike, I think it would be better to hike in the fall, winter and spring time frame.
This trail can be challenging depending on how far you plan to hike. The first part of the trail is well marked. Further in, the trail is not marked. There are numerous creek crossings, thick brush and large boulders to contend with. Falling rocks are also a hazard. Planning ahead is a must. There is no cell service. Anyone planning on hiking into this area needs to be aware that if they are injured it could take hours for help to arrive. This trail is not an ideal trail for a beginning hiker or for someone who is not in shape. If you choose to hike this trail, come prepared for a challenge. Plan on creek crossings, pushing through thick and thorny brush and climbing steep hills and boulders. Know your limits. This can be a fun experience if you're prepared.
Do NOT believe that this is a well-marked trail. I just took it on August 23, and if not for a page my hiking mate save on her iPhone from anytrails, we would have had to totally backtrack out of this horrid trail. It is NOT well-marked at all. We lost our way three times, and we are both very experienced hikers. I am from Oregon and accustomed to well-marked trails, and this is the HIKE FROM HELL. It is not difficult hiking-wise, but it is very difficult to find the trail with only one sign to the Powerline cutoff. Also, the crossings are over a rushing creek that are up to your thighs. Once we got over there, we had no idea where to go. We just happened to see the continuation of the trail on the others side and had to wade back across the creek again. BEWARE!
Best hike near Canon City...bring extra shoes for river crossings. Amazing hike. Well-marked..best kept secret I know.
(Continued from prior review, which was truncated due to it's length):
Twenty-five hours after beginning the seven-mile loop at noon on a Saturday, the authors returned to the parking lot in the early afternoon Sunday.
As a result of the authors' experience, it is strongly suggested to hikers contemplating the completion of the seven-mile loop that they be well prepared for the possibility of having to retrace a large portion of the loop if stream flows on Beaver Creek make a creek crossing dangerous!
The Beaver Creek Loop HikingTrail area consists of two roughly parallel north/south drainages divided by a separating ridge traversed by the east/west Power Line Trail, which connects the two gorges approximately two miles upstream from the “lollipop” trailhead.
The more westerly Beaver Creek Canyon drainage is a wild untamed valley defined by steep cliffs, dramatic outcroppings, and a fast moving creek originating from a reservoir miles upstream. The easterly drainage is a less dramatic dry ‘intermittent stream” hiking trail that gently ascends to the Power Line Trail as it crisscrosses an ancient creek bed between lesser-scale cliffs and outcroppings that abound with quartz veins and mica, and iron pyrite-bearing rock.
Along Beaver Creek there are intermittent parallel poorly marked hiking trails that originate at the upstream northerly Power Line Trail Head and follow the fast-running creek downstream along its eastern flood plain or alternately high above the creek on a trail chiseled along the eastern canon wall.
There is little trail development with regard to signage or trail markings. A GPS or detailed maps are strongly suggested for hiking in this area.
Either the entire seven-mile Beaver Creek Loop or a less challenging out-and-back hike of the eastern drainage usually begin by starting north along the easy-to-hike eastern stream bed trail that follows a mostly dry wash until it intersects the Power Line Trail roughly two miles upstream from the parking area.
For hikers intending to complete the Beaver Creek Loop, turn left, or north, at the Power Line Trail marker and hike up the steep ridge. There are 900 feet of vertical rise in a little less than one mile from the beginning of the east side of the Power Line Trail head to the summit of the ridge, before the trail descends just as rapidly to the Beaver Creek drainage to the west. Trail development consists of numerous switchbacks and stone steps. There are several “false summits” at the top of the Power Line Trail, before it heads to the Beaver Creek drainage below.
The Power Line Trail switches back many times as it courses towards the alternate Beaver creek trails either along the creek flood plain or higher along the east canyon wall. It is best to follow the upper trail along the canyon wall, as it is supposed to be continuous back to the trailhead at the lollipop.
As the authors of this article discovered, this trail is not continuous and is interrupted near the return portion of the seven mile loop with the necessity to ford Beaver Creek, perhaps more than once!
The upper trail following Beaver Creek is narrow and at times steeply drops away to the fast-moving waters below. Caution is required in hiking this trail.
Approximately one-half mile from the beginning of the entire seven mile loop the upper Beaver Creek trail suddenly ends along the eastern shore of Beaver Creek where the creek courses around a monolithic sandstone outcropping more than one hundred feet high. The outcropping comes to the creek’s edge, creating the need to ford the creek in order to return to the trailhead parking lot by hiking for some unknown distance along the creek’s western bank, and possibly even having to ford the creek a second time to return to the trail on the eastern bank, the location of which was uncertain and not visible from the authors’ vantage point by the sandstone monolith at the creek’s edge.
In mid-December 2014 when the authors of this review came to the aforementioned outcropping in Beaver Creek at 5pm, just as dusk was fast approaching, it was apparent that fording fast-moving Beaver Creek in order to finish the loop hike to the parking lot was a dangerous challenge. Losing footing in the middle of an attempt to ford Beaver Creek carried great risk of hypothermia in the cold late-afternoon temperatures.
The lack of cairns or trail markings at this point in the return loop made for a difficult decision for the authors, who did not have additional clothing, food, or water sufficient for a December overnight encampment until daylight the following morning when improved visibility would allow a reassessment of options to ford the creek.
After making the decision to wait until morning to review all options, the authors had no choice but to endure a chilly twelve-hour night with insufficient clothing and provisions. The means with which to build a campfire and keep it burning throughout the long night was the single factor that saved the hungry and thirsty authors from hypothermia, overexposure, and possibly death.
When daylight broke on the second day of what was to be a five hour hike, it became clear that the only safe alternative left to the authors was to retrace the entire loop back to the Power Line Trail Head, re-traverse the ridge, and return to the authors’ vehicle without completing the loop using the trail through the intermittent stream bed of the eastern-most drainage. Twent
It's beautiful, but most the trail is poorly marked and there are multiple un-marked forks that caused us to back track often and waste time. Getting there was hard because cr132 doesn't connect to 115 as apple maps would have you believe and then it's 11 miles On dirt road to the trail head. The water was too high and we couldnt cross it to finish the loop. This trail sucked.
Very hard but well worth. The summit is breathtaking just be prepared with tons of water. Trail is marked well for about 1/2 the trail but not so well the other 1/2 so we constantly felt lost. Water shoes would have been nice for the creek. Great hike, beautiful sights and plan on doing it again.
I loved this place. The hike was beautiful. There is a sign that directs you to a creek. This is a very well kept place. I will be going again.