Meridian Trail is a 6.5 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Bailey, Colorado that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from March until October.
Directions from Bailey: From Bailey drive east on Highway 285 for 2.7 miles to the top of Crow Hill. Turn north (left) on Park County Road 43, Deer Creek Road. Drive 6.7 miles on this paved road to a fork. Bear right on to Park County Road 47 and follow this paved road for .9 miles. Turn north (left) on to a gravel road and cross a cattle guard. When you reach the Meridian Campground sign bear right (northeast). About 100 yards further bear right again at a fork. After driving .5 miles on the gravel road bear left (straight ahead) at the road junction. At .3 miles further bear right and continue .5 miles to the trailhead. Park near the horse corrals. The trailhead is accessible for all types of cars. This access road passes through private property. Please respect their property.
I've done this trail both in April and January. Both times I drove my 1996 Subaru Legacy and did not bottom out, contrary to other reviews. It snowed a ton before my January hike and I managed to make it in without high centering. I like this trail because it's secluded. The views are good at certain parts but it's all below tree line so don't expect vast landscape views. The trail merges with another at the end, so you can continue to explore once you've hiked about 3.5 miles in. The trail is much more difficult on snow shoes, partly because at certain spots it's sloped and narrow so it's easy to slide sideways. A good climb in snow shoes, my legs were burning.
I agree with the others who said you need an SUV/truck to get to the trailhead. We chose the trail to the left, which ended up being almost 8 miles. I liked how secluded this trail was but the views were lacking except for the very beginning of the hike. Didn't see any wildlife. Overall it was just okay for me. Didn't have a good view at the top, but it was a decent workout.
Awesome views of the surrounding mountains along the trail. Agree with SUV/truck to get there--would not try it after rain. Your compact will not make it. Our Acura MDX had no problems. Did not see flowers or wildlife, but views are great. Well maintained/marked parking and trail.
great hike. probably need an SUV or higher to get to the trail head; subi might bottom out in some spots. nice views. this trail leads to many other trails. the end of the trail was still covered in snow.
Really enjoyed this trail, very secluded and a decent drive to get to. 4WD/AWD may be required depending on the weather.
Pros: Great hiking, good elevation gains and drops, great scenery, not crowded, creek at the TH is nice, very dog friendly, tons of wildlife
Cons: Not terribly difficult to find, but not a ton of parking and the road may be rough/muddy/require AWD/4WD, be prepared for wildlife and don't approach it (last time I went up I encountered a bear about 100 yds off).