Bowen Gulch Trail

MODERATE 7 reviews
#79 of 140 trails in

Bowen Gulch Trail is a 15.7 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Grand Lake, Colorado that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, birding, and horses and is best used from June until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
15.7 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
4950 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

horseback riding

views

wild flowers

wildlife

Directions from Granby: Follow Highway 40 west to Highway 34. Go north on Hwy 34 to Rocky Mountain National Park's West Entrance. From the park entrance, follow Trail Ridge Road for 6.4 miles to the Bowen/Baker Trailhead parking area. From the parking area follow the signs to Bowen Gulch . Bowen Gulch can also be reached from the south on the Wolverine Trail.

hiking
1 month ago

This trail is spectacular once you emerge above the treeline. The problem is that, between the meadow at the base of the trail (full of elk when we went through it) and the treeline, you must walk about 6 miles through a not too terribly interesting stretch of trail. A long, largely straight uphill section of loose rock on the way to Blue Lake and Bowen Lake doesn't add to the appeal. But if you stick to it, the flower-filled meadow that will greet you as you emerge above the treeline is gorgeous, and the hike thereafter is truly lovely.

hiking
11 months ago

Beautiful forest views. Wonderful way to spend the day:)

backpacking
Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Trail is located in Arapaho Forest - Never Summer Wilderness but accessed via RD34 through Rocky MNT Nat Park.

Excellent loop trail with option to hike on the Continental Divide Trail. I started clockwise from the trail head at Bowen/Baker. The first night i camped at Bowen Lake (amazing lake with good tree coverage) and saw a female moose (cow) with her offspring (saw them on the trail 1 mile below the lake). The following day I hiked up the CD trail to Parika Lake and saw 3 Bull Moose hanging out like no one's business. It was amazing. I watched the moose all day just grazing around the lake. I spent the 2nd night at Parika and hiked out the following day. Plenty of water sources on trail. Only sad note is the beetle kill. No bushwhacking in these parts....too many dead trees to climb over.

Note:
The weather moves fast! I almost got caught up in a morning rain storm on the CD Trail. Not good. Kinda scary. Afternoon storms are the norm and you can set your watch to them ~~~~2pm

Completed trail middle of August 2016

backpacking
Sunday, July 31, 2016

hiking
Monday, July 04, 2016

hiking
Saturday, June 13, 2015

Very easy along a river

hiking
Sunday, September 07, 2014

This is absolutely one of my favorite day hikes in the Rocky Mountain National Forest. You do have to pay a fee to park by the trailhead but this is one of the few trails that is worth paying to park for. Absolutely gorgeous full day hike to be remembered. This trail has it all, from waterfalls to breathtaking views of the forest. Maybe we just got lucky but our group did not pass anybody on our full day hike in the middle of August.