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Hay Park Trail

Intermediate

Trail

9.3 mile 15.0 kilometer point to point
Singletrack
Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 1,113' 339 m
Descent: -1,278' -390 m
High: 9,653' 2,942 m
Low: 8,488' 2,587 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 5% (3°)
Max Grade: 17% (9°)

Dogs

Unknown
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Map Key

A taste of high country riding but close to civilization.

Mark Eller

Electric Mountain Bikes Not Allowed

Features -none-

Description

The trail quality is a mix of rocky roadbed and classic singletrack. The scenery and mountain ambiance are positively first-rate. Babyheads and loose rock create a physically challenging initial climb, but once the upper singletrack is gained, the riding improves, and the views of Capital Peak in the upper meadow are amazing.

Reach the northwest trailhead by driving up PC Rd., and then right on Dinkle Lake Rd. Although it means plenty of paved miles, some will ride this trail as a loop using Dinkle Lake Rd., Hay Park Trail, Capitol Creek Rd., and West Sopris Creek Rd.

A large, fenced-in lot makes parking a breeze. Cross the road and start climbing immediately, passing a trail marker and kiosk. When the trail bends right you'll get a short breather before the physically challenging section of babyheads and loose rock begins.

Climbing on the lower trail section is more a test of fitness than bike handling. A 180-degree lefthander (on the way up) marks about halfway through the challenges. Keep grinding until you hit the cattle gate (please keep the gate closed after passing through).

After the gate, the trail smoothes out and narrows to pleasant singletrack (often on old road bed), marred only by the cattle crossings where hooves have torn the earth apart. About half a mile from the gate, you'll encounter a trail intersection on the right. Bear left for Hay Park, not right toward Thomas Lakes and Mount Sopris (which are closed to bikes due to Wilderness Boundary).

Cross small streams and ride through stands of aspens and pine. The trail flattens and you'll enter the lower meadow, crossing a small wooden bridge. Punch through a final climb, go through a cattle gate, and prepare your senses for the upper meadow.

The upper meadow area offers mind-blowing views of Capitol Peak and other mountains. Soak it in as this is the highlight of the ride. Some will turn around at this point if only seeking a shorter ride.

To continue to the far southeast end of the trail, descend out of the meadow, wind along several more miles of singletrack, often steeper, often rooty and rocky. Before reaching the far southeast trailhead on Capitol Creek Rd., you'll encounter a couple short stretches of private road; be sure to look for signs to get you back on the proper trail. As an option, include Buzzard Basin #1957.2B as part of loop with Hay Park Trail regardless of which trailhead you start/finish from.

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Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Need to Know, Dogs Allowed, Features

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Check-Ins

Oct 3, 2019
Jeremy Jensen
Amazing ride with Frank and drone!
Sep 21, 2019
Emjay Bobinski
Sep 1, 2019
Bryan Wachs
Sep 1, 2019
Randy Baird
Jul 1, 2018
Colleen Lyon
Jun 10, 2018
Lisa Bonita
Apr 16, 2018
Arnold Nimmo
Sep 27, 2016
Sheryl Bower

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Trail Ratings

  3.7 from 7 votes

#8350

Overall
  3.7 from 7 votes
5 Star
0%
4 Star
71%
3 Star
29%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#879

in Colorado

#8,350

Overall
141 Views Last Month
6,118 Since Oct 20, 2014
Intermediate

0%
83%
17%
0%

Photos

Fantastic views of Capitol Peak from the upper meadow.  On Hay Park Trail
Oct 20, 2014 near El Jebel, CO
Fun descending on the way back from the upper meadow.
Oct 20, 2014 near El Jebel, CO
Crossing through the cattle guard into the glorious upper meadow.
Oct 20, 2014 near El Jebel, CO
Mature Aspen forest on the descent to West Sopris Creek.
Jun 11, 2018 near El Jebel, CO
Crossing a culvert on the climb toward the upper meadow.
Oct 20, 2014 near El Jebel, CO
The loose rocks and babyheads on the climb are done when you hit this gate.
Oct 20, 2014 near El Jebel, CO

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