- 1.7 Distance
- 5 Difficulty (1-10)
- 350 Total Ascent
- 9483 High Point
With a substantial flow of traffic, the new Hippo trail is meeting expectations daily. This new reroute is just as friendly on the up as it is on the way down. With 350 feet of climbing over 1.7 miles from north to south, it will make the trek from the Soda Creek trail up to the Colorado Trail fun and exciting. If you are on your way down, you can navigate the narrow line with very minimal effort.
The bottom line is this: The new Hippo Trail is super fun! You will no longer find yourself hefting your bike through the bog at the south end of the trail. You will NOT be turning your lungs inside out, trying to make it up to the Colorado Trail once you're through the meadow.
I know what you are saying; it is not long enough! And I tend to agree. It is three-quarters of a mile longer than the old trail, and even with the quarter-mile descent on the Campion trail to the Soda Creek trail, you will find yourself wanting more! You are in luck as there are several ways to extend your mileage with this trail.
Starting at the Horseshoe dredge parking area, you could ride this long loop. Note: The GPX file is old, and your mileage will increase a little over a mile. You could also use a short challenging or short easy loop from the Horseshoe Dredge parking area.
Ride up the Colorado trail left where it intersects with the Horseshoe Gulch Trail to the trailhead, ride down the Hippo Trail to the Soda Creek trail and turn right towards the homestead. The hard way is riding up Horseshoe Gulch at the first sign to your right. The easy way is turning right on the Hey trail when you reach the homestead. Make another right at the Blair Witch trail and ride awesomeness to the Colorado Trail. The loop using the Colorado, Soda Creek, Hey, and Blair Witch trails is 6 miles long, give or take.
Add it to Additional Routes
From Dredge Boat Parking lot
Ride the Road up to Muggin’s Gulch, the first dirt road to the left a little over a mile up. Climb up the dirt road through the gate and turn left at the first intersection. Continue climbing the switchbacks, and near the top, you will see a trail sign to the left. This trail will take you to the Colorado trail, where you have two great options. Both will require a little more climbing.
Turning left on the Colorado Trail will take you back to the Horseshoe Gulch trail with some of the nicest, albeit busy, descending around. Once you get down to the Horseshoe trail intersection, you can use a loop from above.
A left Turn on the Colorado trail will take you through the trees and up a steep climb to one of the most incredible views in the area. There is a permanent bench installed for you to use while admiring Dillon’s views to the north or Mount Guyot to the south. From here, you will also see the Red Trail Junction to the north. Ride down the Red Trail to the Homestead and the Soda Creek Trail. The Soda Creek trail will take you to the Hippo trail Junction sign, where you will make a left to start your climb up the hippo trail. The first quarter-mile passed the crescent bridge is steep but not terrible. This is part of the Campion Trail. Once you hit the Hippo, enjoy the climb to the top. A right turn at the top will take you down an incredible section of the Colorado Trail down to Revett Drive. Turning left on Revett Drive will take you back to Tiger road, where you can get back to the parking lot at the Dredge Boat. Turning left at the top of the Hippo will take you to a mostly downhill path back to the Dredge Boat.
If you are in Dillon, you could use the West Aquaduct and the Soda Creek trails to extend the route as well. I live near Tiger Road and have used all the Tiger Road and Dredge Boat suggestions above. I haven’t hit it from Dillon yet, but if I did, I would start with the West Aquaduct and ride out the Soda Creek trail afterward. Although you could always climb up Red to the Colorado Trail, that is a local favorite.
Either way, you include this trail into your plans will be killer. I like riding down It as most everyone else does. Keep in mind that with all new trails, stay center where possible and avoid the soft shoulders around corners. Yield to uphill riders, runners, and hikers and enjoy this new trail; you are going to love it!