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Dark Canyon, Irwin and Dyke Trail Loop

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Gunnison National Forest

Dark Canyon, Irwin and Dyke Trail Loop is a 5.9 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Somerset, Colorado that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from May until September.

Length 5.9 mi Elevation gain 1,476 ft Route type Loop
Hiking Nature trips Walking Bird watching Views Wild flowers No dogs
Waypoints (0)
Weather
UV Index
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Reviews (111)
Photos (127)
Recordings (104)
Completed (157)
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Justin Keller
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Hiking
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Amy Savin
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Hiking

Great

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Katie Walker
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HikingGreat!
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Laura Morgan
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HikingGreat!

Hiked this today and went clockwise - that seemed to be the better way to go. The last 30-45 minutes are a downward descent to the parking area which was a great way to finish the hike! The views were beautiful as well as the aspens!

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Donna Bloh
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Hiking

Gorgeous views!!!

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Maureen Parsons
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Hiking
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Jeffrey Guion
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Hiking
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Troy Krumland
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Hiking
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Becca Murdock
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If you find a blue cellphone with lightbulbs, please email beccaamurdock@gmail.com.

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Wendy Dominguez
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Hiking

We really enjoyed this trail! We hiked it clockwise as recommended and this seems to be the best approach. The aspen forests, open vistas, beaver-created lakes were beautiful. There are some long and challenging ascents and descents on this trail..not a great deal of flat hiking. We saw horses on the trail so you might need to avoid horse dung in places! We saw just a few other hikers. A beautiful day and great hike!

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Tomas Gomez
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HikingGreat!

Beautiful trail. This trail will be all the more incredible when the Aspen turn gold. Some stunning views. Not too difficult. Good for kids.

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Don Greene
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jet stigter
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Hiking

Awesome trail! After being rained out yesterday, came back today. Now I want to come back when the aspens are changing colors. Well worth the drive!

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Chris Barnes
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jet stigter
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Hiking

Unfortunately we had to abort due to incoming bad weather. What we saw though will have us come back.

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Chad Wickless
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Robert Keller
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Hiking

Amazing hike,recommended to all!!

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Heather Thestrup
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Hiking

Great hike! Go clockwise from start. Great views from cliff about 2 miles up.

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Serena Vogel
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HikingBugs

Beautiful trail. We hiked the loop clockwise. The aspen groves are breathtaking. We saw a yellow bellied marmot, a white tail doe and lots of birds and chipmunks. Not many people. The wildflowers were beautiful. We hiked with our Great Dane who enjoyed splashing in the beaver ponds. This is a mostly moderate hike with some significant difficult steep inclines. Bring food and lots of water. If you bring your dog you will need extra water for them too.

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T Jenkins
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Hiking

I highly recommend this hike. It is one of the best I have ever taken. I agree with other reviews, do the loop clockwise. The last 2 miles downhill is all loose sand/dust. Would be challenging going up. Just know you aren’t walking on flat ground much, it is mostly up or down. Do bring bug spray, there are some wet areas you pass, 2 beaver ponds among others, that have bugs. There are many amazing views of surrounding peaks throughout the hike. Lots of aspen, both in the views, but also hiking through the groves, especially toward the end. Be sure to turn around regularly or you will miss spectacular views behind you. Tons and tons of wildflowers throughout the hike (July). We saw one mule deer, only about 20 feet off the trail. It is a mix of pine forest, high alpine meadows, and aspen groves. Lots of shady areas, so not getting baked by the sun. The trail is open to mountain bikers (part of it anyway) and horses, but we only passed one group each of bikers and horse riders. Only passed 6 or 7 groups of people total, and this was on July 4th in the middle of the day (9:30-1:30).

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Mark Cox
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Hiking

We went clockwise to avoid a 2 mile climb and I’m glad we did! Epic view at mile 2, best on the trail. Coming down the last 2 miles on Irwin was challenging. Also passed by 6 bikers. All were polite though! Check our recording for photos. Great hike!!

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Lizzie Bartholomew
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HikingBugs

only about two and a quarter miles to the overlook of the largest aspen grove in north america which was pretty cool. this is the first time i’ve done the whole loop and the uphill after the overlook is all pretty steep but not too long until you get back to downhill so it’s doable. lots of horse poop and bugs because it’s right next to a horse park. overall really beautiful

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Travis Visco
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HikingMuddy

Great hike, still patches of snow and mud. Few river crossings a little higher than normal

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Lindsay Marron
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Hiking

Still some aspens left to turn, but others may be bare by the time they turn. So beautiful! Do it counterclockwise!

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Danielle Daume
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Hiking

Great trail with lots of variety. Definitely recommend going clockwise along the loop, the section along Dyke Trail is very steep. Gorgeous views of Mt Beckwith and other peaks at several places along the trail. And so many aspens! There were still a lot of green aspen (9/23), but several patches of beautiful yellow.

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Charles Seling
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Hiking

Easy loop trail that we did today (9/8/19) through rain, thunder and lightning. Can't wait for the aspens to change in a few weeks!!!

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Mindy Miller
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Hiking

Awesome!!! Flowers for days! Can’t wait til fall!

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Mitch Krauss
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HikingBugs

Hike was well worth it. Many overlooks with great views of the spectacular landscape. Mosquitos were bad lower on the trail. Wear bug repellent.

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Kim W User
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HikingBugs

We did this trail counter clockwise on July 21 based on the last two reviews. The views were absolutely stunning. Maybe it’s the time of year (we did this trail once clockwise in the fall) but the sun was always in the right direction to capture amazing photos of Marcellina Mountain, Ragged Wilderness Peaks, Ruby Peak, etc. There are some beautiful wildflowers in various locations along the trail. The trail seems much longer than the advertised 5 miles. Bring bug spray -a lot of mosquitos at the beginning and the end of the loop.

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Lindsay Marron
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Hiking

Absolutely gorgeous trail! 7/20 the wildflowers were very pretty, but I think in a week or two they’ll be really great! There are parts of the trail that are a little overgrown, so consider long pants. Counterclockwise is definitely the way to go! The views reveal themselves perfectly in that direction. Don’t hesitate to check out the view about 2 miles from the end (going counterclockwise) from the top of the rock formation. Most breathtaking part of the hike—- and there are several! Will definitely be back for fall to see the Aspens!

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