This is a fun trail that starts climbing the north face at the Forest Service campground. The area is in recovery from a fire, and some wildflowers are beginning to grow back. If you want to picnic, you'll find a great little spot just left of Villa Grove.
In the 1870s, long before Highway 50 was built, a very different road system existed in Colorado. At that time Villa Grove was a major mining supply center linked to a network of roads created by Otto Mears. Hayden Pass was the main route to Villa Grove from the east. In 1938, one alternative for construction of Highway 50 included going over Hayden Pass. This plan was killed because the road would bypass Salida.