Skaguay Power Plant is a 11.4 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Victor, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, nature trips, and backpacking.

Length11.4 miElevation gain1450 ftRoute typeOut & back
BackpackingCampingHikingNature tripsForestLakeViewsWildlife
Description
Waypoints (0)

This route starts mellow from the reservoir on a road. You can go ahead and park at the upper parking lot, to the right of the reservoir. Gorgeous views all the way through the trails, a few stream crossings that are quite fun! All scrambles are very achievable.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (88)
Photos (252)
Recordings (71)
Completed (120)
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Mike Hunn
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 5, 2020
Hiking
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Jp Deese
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarDecember 5, 2020
Hiking

This is a pretty good day hike even with snow on the ground. There was no one out there, but that's probably because I hiked this in December. The trail is a bit tricky in some areas, so be careful. Also as a side note, there was evidence of squatters at the power plant, sleep bags, tent, area where a fire was. no one was there when I got there though

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Devon James
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 30, 2020
CampingGreat!ScrambleSnow

There was a decent amount of snow, but all around it was a really fun hike. We brought our dog, and she made it through the first few rock passes, but she got to one probably a mile from the power plant and we just knew she wouldn’t be able to make it up or down the pass so we turned back. Good thing too because it got dark right as we got back to the car. Definitely a moderate hike, but I wouldn’t bring your dogs. There’s some pretty steep rock passes that they probably won’t be able to pass unless it’s summer and they’re okay with going through the water instead. Thank you to the people who have been marking the trail, the ribbons were super helpful. We didn’t get lost at all.

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Daryan Paulson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 20, 2020
Hiking
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John Mester
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 17, 2020

Definitely download the AllTrails map (and an offline google map) before driving to this trail. Cell service is non existent. I could not find the trailhead but will try again.

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Bill Oliver
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 13, 2020
Hiking

Skaguay Friends - I really appreciate all the thanks extended to me, both here and in the field, for my work on clarifying the trail to the power plant. My first visit was a day hike on 6/17/20, and I could barely follow the trail and lost it 2-3 times on the return. I subsequently made three overnight trips (one each in July, August & Sept) to place a ton of flagging tapes, to remove some that were off route, and to clear out a lot of brush obscuring a few of the creek crossings. I do want to emphasize, however, that I certainly did not create the route. It was already largely there, and we’re in debt to countless individuals for its development. I hope that not too much of the flagging will be lost to winter snows. Let me also share that I have received a message from a Matt Muller dated Oct. 5th, who had hiked the trail that weekend. He wanted to let me know that, indeed, there are still beavers in the area, about which I had become skeptical. Quoting: “I saw five of them in the big beaver pond in the flats swimming around and acting irritated at me.” Welp - one more risk to worry about on this route, I reckon. :) Let me again ask that visitors try to bring out even a little bit of the trash around the power plant, as well as adding to the flagging. Together we can all help to preserve this remarkable treasure so spectacularly built at the turn of century (1899-1901) and which operated until the big flood of 1965. [I mention some of the plant's history in my post of August 7-8, 2020.] Stay safe and well. Cheers, Bill - gnarlybill@hotmail.com

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Andrew F
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarOctober 11, 2020
HikingGreat!

Pretty epic hike. So so so helpful were those ribbons. Barely looked at AllTrails for any course correction. Definitely park in the upper lot since the trail is right there. Also recommend long pants for brush that you’ll have to go through periodically. Beautiful.

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Alexa F
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 4, 2020
Hiking

Moderate to difficult hike purely due to the length. It starts incredibly mellow from the reservoir on a road. You can go ahead and park at the upper parking lot, to the right of the reservoir (we didn't see that right away). Gorgeous views all the way through the trails, a few stream crossings that were quite fun! All scrambles are very achievable! Thank you again to the trail markers (again, Bill?? - we gave you credit the whole way she to the reviews thanking you along the way, thanks Bill!!!). Having bad hips but an adventurer spirit, this was one of my favorite hikes I've done the last year, however, by the end of it I was in pain. If you've had hip surgery, know that this is possible! Getting to the plant is the easy part but the way back is more challenging and you'll need energy for that. my only disappointment with the hike was how filthy the plant was at the top and how horribly people have treated the space. The decay is part of the charm however, Bill was right, grab a trash bag and help pack out the trash I'd you can. That being said BRING GLOVES to do so. We didn't pack out what we saw because it was pretty dirty, rusty and sharp. thank you for all of your reviews and trail markers. they all were so helpful!!!!

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Adam Leathers
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 28, 2020
HikingGreat!Scramble

Excellent moderate hike! Mellow but keeps things interesting. Cannot thank the person who put the flags out enough! (Bill Oliver?) We would have been so lost without them; cheers, man! Also, quick note: If your last name is Bracewell and left your hydropack; I have it. HMU and we'll figure out how to get it to you.

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Jeremy Cornelius
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 20, 2020
HikingOver grown

Trail can be hard to follow. Follow ribbons and cairns and it isn't bad. Map and compass also helpful if you lose trail.

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Jeff Ludwig
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 12, 2020
Hiking
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Jakson Locke
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 6, 2020
Backpacking

I’m so glad I got to see such an amazing place with such a beautiful trail and valley

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Matt Davidson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 23, 2020
Hiking

Very nice trail. Didn’t go all the way as my dog kinda lost interest. Big thank you to the guy who put the trail markers up. They were a big help. Would recommend wearing long pants.

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Grayson Morris
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 14, 2020
Hiking

Great hike starts out fairly easy but about a mile and a half in it gets fairly intense. Also the trail isn’t super clear so be sure to watch for the colored trail markers. But overall really cool hike with really pretty scenery, and cool power plant to explore.

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Jay Mac
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 14, 2020
HikingGreat!Scramble

First off, a huge thank you to Bill Oliver and anyone else who has hung trail markers, y’all rock. Did this hike as a one day in August 14th and was stunned by the beauty of the canyon. Have lived in Colorado my whole life and have done many cool trails but this one is for sure in my top 3. Hard rating is appropriate. First mile and a half is fairly easy. This is where the cows hang out. Once you enter the Canyon the difficulty increases dramatically. Lots of rock scrambles and loose patches but I did it in normal hiking boots and was never out of my comfort zone. Would for sure recommend this hike to anyone who wants an adventure

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Bill Oliver
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 10, 2020
HikingGreat!RockyScramble

Skaguay Power Plant – III, August 7-8, 2020 This was my third visit in two months, a prior backpack being in mid-July (and reported in AllTrails). I wanted to finish my Project of improving the trail flagging. Also, sawing back a lot on the branches and bushes that obscured the route, especially at some creek crossings. I spent 8 hours on the descent Friday and another 10 hours coming out Sat. [Who knew how time-consuming tying knots could be. :) ] It’s the same route, of course, but the return needs its own flagging to avoid losing the trail, especially in 2-3 places. Twice I had to redo a section when discovering that it wasn’t the way I had come in. The flagging doesn’t begin until the lower half of the route, when the canyon starts closing up. You won’t always see the next ribbon/tape in some areas where following the trail should be evident. There has been a thin rope (string) for support at the 3rd and 7th log crossings. It is now down, however, at the third. At both these crossings I found I could cross on rocks (rather than the logs) without getting my feet wet, using poles of course – sweet. I was surprised to encounter no one Friday, though a ton of people on Sat. Yes, there are now a quite a number of cows/calves (no bulls) roaming in the upper half of the canyon. BTW – has anyone ever seen a beaver near their ponds – or they’re long since gone? Beyond the suggestions to bring a bag to tote out some trash, I would also encourage folks to bring some flagging material (orange tape at Lowe’s or Home Depot) to continue improving the route; having a pair of small clippers wouldn’t hurt either. All of us who thrill in making this “pilgrimage” to the Skaguay Power Plant need to be careful and thoughtful stewards. Say, in the Pikes Peak Library District I did find a small book that provides a lot of details on the construction – “Skaguay: The Miracle of the Gold Camp Near Cripple Creek & Victor,” by Winfred Ward Clark, 1989. The reservoir was created specifically to feed water to the plant. It was carried in a large wooden pipeline (30” inside diameter) along the canyon walls (including a 1500’ tunnel); then descended steeply above the plant in a metal pipe to create the high water pressure needed to run the turbines. All the equipment was lowered from atop the wall above the plant by a small gauge rail line using a cable for lowering and raising. It’s remarkable how virtually none of this rail line or the water transport pipe remains visible today. With work done in parallel, construction of the dam, pipeline and power plant took two years, and successful operation began in May 1901. A tremendous rainstorm in 1965 washed a lot of moss and other debris into the reservoir, and the moss plugged up about 2.5 miles of the pipeline. Attempts to open the line were unsuccessful and that, plus the fact that the power then being generated could be obtained elsewhere, led to the demise of the power plant. I will try to attach five images of photo pages taken from the book. I haven't tried that before. I may need to ask for help. Be safe, have fun, and take good care of our Skaguay Power Plant. Cheers, Bill

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nate nervig
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 9, 2020
Hiking
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James Gardipee
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 8, 2020
Hiking

Fantastic and my first long distance to completion hikes in this beautiful state. The hike there took some time because I'm a waterfall fan and just needed to see the streams as often as I could. I ran into a large heard of cows. That being the most intense part of the hike was fun.... THERE IS A COW LEVEL! When I got to the plant it was surreal to try to go back in time with the buildings and see what it must have been like up there! the views were fantastic. Took me 4 hours to return because I had ran out of water....woops but slow and steady won the race. Will have to come back if not anything else than for some fishing.

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nate nervig
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 8, 2020
Hiking
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Brandon Raggette
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 4, 2020
Hiking

Great hike! Beautiful scenery. Some scrambley parts toward the power plant but nothing unmanageable. Lots of cool water crossings. Cows. Mild bushwackery. Trail pretty well marked but would have the map downloaded. Couple times it was hard to spot tape. Would be a really fun overnight.

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Will Archer
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 20, 2020
HikingRockyScramble

Awesome hike and great isolated camping. We had a camp site about .3 miles from the power plant. I made it from the parking lot to the site in 2 hours. A group of 7 of us made it back to the cars in 2.5 hours. In both cases we were pushing it and exhausted afterwards. Coming back is harder than getting to the power plant mostly due to navigating boulders and scree fields. We are a group of late 20s/early 30s peeps and moderately in shape. Just wanted to provide some context as the other reviews mentioned 5-7 hour hike times. Shouldn’t take that long but keep the alltrails map handy and be on the look out for red/purple/yellow trail markers. Typically “tape” on tree limbs. The power plant is awesome but would avoid camping there due to garbage, debris and the overall trashed nature of it. Lots of things to step on. Well worth exploring though. Pretty remarkable that they could even get the turbines to their final resting place. It would’ve been a massive undertaking - so much so that the place seems like an impossibility to even exist.

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Matthew Baca
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 19, 2020
Hiking

Second time running this trail. I ran it with a smaller ground and it was much better this time! We maintained a much better pace and ultimately had a better time.

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Troy Peters
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 11, 2020
BackpackingOff trailRockyScramble

Trail is lots of fun with some great views and spots to swim it’s definitely a tough one very rocky and the way back i would say is definitely more challenging pay attention for the makers they’re super easy to miss and get off trail. The power plant is really cool and should be treated with respect. I would bring a small trash bag help clean up some junk up there as some others recommend. Overall lots of fun will definitely be back and make it a 2 day trip.

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