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Bard Creek Trail is a 14 mile lightly trafficked point-to-point trail located near Georgetown, Colorado that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, nature trips, and backpacking and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 14.0 mi Elevation gain 2,828 ft Route type Point to Point

Dogs on leash

Backpacking

Camping

Hiking

Nature trips

Forest

River

Views

Wildlife

Rocky

Scramble

Waypoints (0)
Contact
Getting There

Colorado Tourism Office, 1625 Broadway, Suite 1700 , Denver, CO, 80202, Phone: 800-COLORADO

Directions from Idaho Springs: Take exit 232 off of I-70 and go into Empire. Turn south onto Rd. 251 (Empire Pass Road). Follow Rd 252 for 2 miles and then park. Beyond this point the road deteriorates and requires a four-wheel drive vehicle.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (13)
Photos (279)
Recordings (10)
Completed (15)
Philip Polacek
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Cross Country Skiing

This section of mountains between I-70 and Berthoud Pass is one of the hidden gems near Denver. It's close (45 mins from downtown), easy to get to with a 2WD vehicle year round, and nobody is here! I don't know why you'd start from the I 70 side, the Empire side is closer and prettier with less road noise. Bard Creek runs down a valley in between the two highways with a forest service road running along side the creek.There's lots of wagon roads to mines that would be great to explore. I went xc skiing here on 1/1 and it was good for that. It's a steady slope uphill the whole way. You can jeep and dirtbike as well, although it's not the biggest trail system; I feel like e-biking then hiking from where you leave the e-bike would be the best way to explore this area. For hiking, I'd recommend heading up to Ruby Gulch, where you can start closer to treeline and have less private land to hike past.

don wallace
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 29, 2019
Hiking

Hiked this as an out-n-back from Herman Gulch trailhead on August 29, 2019. A wonderful hike when limited to hiking to a knoll 3-miles from the Herman Gulch trailhead at 11,905’. At that point, the trail descends 500-600’ with no added value/views. Wonder views to the south and west throughout this hike. Follow the Watrous Gulch trail until you reach the Bard Creek trailhead which is 1.4 miles from the parking lot. You’ve ascended 800’ at this point which is 50% of the elevation gain.

View don's Recording
Maddie S.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 10, 2018
Hiking

We started on the Herman Gulch side of the trail, going up towards Bard Creek on the Watrous Gulch Trail. I started the GPS tracker about a mile and 1,000 ft elevation gain in. Because we started at this end of the trail, the elevation gain was pretty consistent. This trail is difficult and very secluded, so I would highly recommend going with someone. Though the trail was difficult, it was beautiful, full of views, and very rewarding. There are multiple creeks along the trail for fresh mountain spring water (we used a water filter to fill up water bottles multiple times). Gorgeous in the fall with the aspens and ground plants changing colors. We were close to a bull moose at 13,000 feet, a hawk, what we think was a peregrine falcon, marmots, and a black bear, which was all more reason to bring a friend. Be prepared with bear spray, water and food. It took us about 6 and a half hours to complete the trail, but maybe starting on the Empire side would have been easier elevation wise. Parts of the trail are indistinguishable other than for the pink trail markers, but it is gorgeous, rolling over ridges and through valleys, with new, beautiful scenery around every turn. Most rewarding hike I have ever been on, and I would very much recommend it to hikers that are prepared for distance and elevation gain.

Catherine Fanaro
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OHV/Off Road Driving

This one is my favorite! I've been coming since high school. little obstacles, not packed (hopefully it stays that way).

Rudd Gates
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Hiking
First to Review

Had to park about 3.5 miles short of the trailhead, as CR 252 was very much 4WD only. The walk up the jeep road was interesting in its own right, with some rustic properties and mines to ogle, as well as aspen trees and the creek to enjoy. The Bard Creek trail started out an easy walk through deep pine forest, often near to the stream with occasional meadows and aspen groves. Nearing the top of the valley, it then ascends steeply to the right on a trail that needs little more definition and clearing in places. Beautiful views, with Bard Peak beckoning ahead. I stopped at a cascading creek, however, as there wasn't an easy crossing to be had with the high runoff (and an avalanche snowfield to contend with on the other side). This was about 3 miles from the trailhead.

don wallace
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Hiking
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Lindsey Baker
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Hiking
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Radka Toscova
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Hiking
Miles Dalebroux
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OHV/Off Road Driving
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Henry McLaughlin
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Running
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Henry McLaughlin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 26, 2018
Running
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Kelsey Steward
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Hiking
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Rudd Gates
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 25, 2014
Hiking
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