Gill Trail is a 3.1 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Sedalia, CO that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and fly fishing and is accessible from April until January.
Directions from Bailey: Drive east from Bailey on Highway 285 to Pine Junction. Turn right (south) on to Jefferson County Road 126 and travel 21.9 miles from Pine Junction to reach the trailhead. the road is pavel the entire way. There is a small parking area on the north side of the road. If the lot is full park at Wigwam Campground, 1.3 miles west.
Hiked this trail on an impromptu trip to Denver on the recommendation of some friends in the area. I found this to be an excellent day hike and not super challenging like the trail rating would lead you to believe. To put this in perspective I have a walking disability due to a stroke and had very few issues with this trail. The only one I had was where the trail narrows at higher elevation but that is probably due to my fear of heights. I would absolutely recommend this trail to anyone looking for a fun day hike!
The trail starts off with a moderate assent and levels out until you reach the river. Very vertical and a little sketchy to get down to the river, which is a little tight for fly fishing. Definitely saw the fish but had no luck. Great views of the Cheesman Dam (built in 1905) and reservoir. Easy to do in an afternoon; we hiked and fished in a couple of hours and made it back to Denver in time for some evening beers.
I don't recommend the middle third of Cheesman Canyon Trail to anyone! It is steep and full of loose gravel. Some areas have VERY narrow footing full of loose gravel on very steep rocky paths. I was truly terrified and have cuts and abrasions from hugging the hillside. A fall at one of these locations would be quite serious. The first third from the upper parking lot was safe and stunning but I would not recommend travel across the middle third. I didn't see the last third (the Gill portion) because we took the path up and over the mountains to the lower parking lot. It was safe but rigorous - took 2 hours.
Took the kids hiking on the Gill Trail up Cheesman Canyon from the lower parking lot. This hike was a little more than we expected for our children. The trail is not level, it climbs and descends several times with some steep drops offs to the river below. Very scenic hike with a lot of folks fly fishing the entire way. Unfortunately, we had to stop at the 'Peg Hole' as the trail became impassible for us with our 3 and 5 year olds do to the eroded trail with severe drops. We are going to complete the trail from the upper trailhead next weekend.