Hotel Gulch – FR 346

Total Miles
3.7

Elevation

2834.06 ft

Duration

Hours

Technical Rating

2

Easy

Best Time

Spring, Summer, Fall

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Trail Overview

A fairly easy trail and could be made difficult after a snowstorm. Hotel Gulch starts at the Manitou Experimental Forest steadily climbing to Rampart Range Road. If it is open the Manitou Experimental Forest is a neat place to stop and learn about the research work that has been and is still being done on-site. One of the bigger research projects currently is regarding the rare Flammulated Owl. A lot of the trail is bordered by or intersects private land, please be sure to be respectful. From the Western trailhead, you will pass by Lower Johns Gulch Road to the right almost immediately. At 1.1 miles there is a 3-way intersection, stay to the far right, the other 2 roads are private drives. Past that intersection is easy navigation. You will pass a few dead-end spur roads before finding yourself at Rampart Range Road where you can head to many other trails and dispersed campsites

Difficulty

There are a few slight off-camber sections, but any SUV/high-clearance vehicle should have no issues.

History

In 1861, the first Homesteaders settled in the area. Manitou Experimental Forest Station was established in 1936 for the US Forest Service to study resource management in ponderosa pine lands. Along with the Fraser Experimental Forest, it is one of two experimental forests in Colorado. The Station's 6 buildings are a part of the National Register of Historic Places.

Technical Rating

2

Access Description

From Highway 67, turn East onto County Road 79 (FR 347). There is a place to meet-up and air down immediately on the right. Shortly after is the turn to Hotel Gulch on the right.