With daylight savings behind us, longer days and warm rays have awakened the spring fever bug in many of us! While skiers are still having a blast on the slopes at Sunlight, others are looking to the local trails to get some fresh air and Vitamin D. If you are new to the area or just visiting for a few days there are plenty of local trails to walk, run, bike or hike.
A local favorite is the Red Mountain trail, officially known as the Jeanne Golay Trail. This dog friendly route offers enough distance and elevation gain to get your heart pumping yet it’s safe enough for anyone to tackle – even if just for a short jaunt. The trail follows a paved road (which later turns to dirt) up to the lighted cross and paraglider launch pad. This area was home to Glenwood’s original ski area, opened in 1938 – you’ll even see some of the old lift towers along the way. While the old ski area was defeated by lack of sufficient snowfall and competition from more modern ski areas, the road infrastructure remains. The trail offers fantastic views of the entire area with a few benches to rest and take in the scenery along the way. More adventurous folks can take hiking spurs at several intervals for varied terrain and generally steeper inclines. These hiking offshoots always reconnect to the road.
The Jeanne Golay trail is popular with locals for several reasons:
- Pet-friendly – it’s one of the few trails you can take your furry friends on.
- Popular for both hiking and biking
- Wide gravel trail (with some cars access their houses at the top, but are rarely seen) with a steeper singletrack running down the middle that is appropriate for a thrilling downhill ride or a higher intensity hike up.
- The trail is well maintained
- The trail is named after a famous Glenwood Springs cyclist, who has also helped maintain and develop the trail
The hike is just about 3.5 miles to the top overlook and approximately 1,600 feet of elevation gain. Expect spectacular views of Glenwood Springs and up-valley to Mount Sopris and the Elk Range.
Driving directions to the Red Mountain Trail from the Best Western Antlers: Go across the bridge into downtown (over I-70) and take your first right onto 8th Street, then take another right onto Colorado Ave. From here go left onto 7th Street and go over the bridge, take a right onto Midland and then take your first left onto Red Mountain Drive. Take the next right onto 9th Street. The trailhead is just ahead.
Video of a Mountain Biker on Red Mountain: