Eldorado Canyon State Park – Eldorado Springs, Colorado

We had a wonderful hike at Eldorado Canyon State Park in Eldorado Springs, Colorado.

The first known visitors to this area were the Ute Native American tribes of Colorado and Utah, who would visit Eldorado Canyon, to swim in the warm springs for health and spiritual renewal. In Spanish “el dorado” means gilded or covered with gold, which might refer to the golden color of the lichen on the cliffs.

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There are 4 trails that start in the canyon:

Streamside Trail is .5 mile hike, rated very easy.

Fowler Trail is .7 miles long and runs along the South Boulder Creek. Rated very easy.

Eldorado Trail is 3.5 miles and is rated moderately difficult with an elevation gain of over 1,000 feet. This trail connects with the Walker Ranch Loop Trail.

Rattlesnake Gulch Trail is 1.4 miles and is rated moderately difficult with an elevation gain of 1,200 feet to the Continental Divide viewing area. The historic Crags Hotel ruins are also on this trail at 800 feet above the trailhead.

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The tallest peak in this photo is Shirt Tail Peak at 7,240 peak. This is where all the rock climbers enjoy their climbs.
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This is the beginning of our hike on Rattlesnake Gulch Trail. The Bastille rock is to the right. We drove into the park from the crevice.

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By the mid-1800s the Utes had lost most of Colorado to the settlers. These new pioneers established ranches and farms, sawmills and logging operations near the canyon.

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In 1902 the government gave Union Pacific land to construct a railroad. The Moffat Road rail line still operates today as the Denver & Rio Grande route from Denver west past Winter Park.
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As we climb our trail, which was the equivalent of climbing the Empire State Building, the town of Colorado Springs comes into view.
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In 1908, the Crags Hotel was built high on the cliffs overlooking Colorado Springs and attracted many celebrities. Sadly, it was destroyed by fire in 1912.

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A small part of the foundation and the fireplace are all that is left.
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Oregon Grape Holly – Mahonia aquifolium
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Yucca
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This is South Boulder Creek
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Here we are looking at the Continental Divide, the center (east/west) of the U.S.

They wouldn’t let anyone enter without a 4-wheel drive vehicle.

32 thoughts on “Eldorado Canyon State Park – Eldorado Springs, Colorado

  1. Cool! Thanks for taking us along with you on your trip! I almost forgot that’s what winter’s supposed to look like. πŸ˜‰

    Your pictures are beautiful. Good job capturing in that first photo the sort of gold hue of the rock. That’s a neat factoid! I can’t imagine “losing” those mountains to a bunch of greedy mo-fos! Somehow we manage to mar beauty everywhere…

    Btw, I like your truck photo with the glass reflection of the peak, really cool. And I wouldn’t want to trek down that road in anything other than 4-wheel drive! Be safe and thanks for sharing (I’m a bit envious of your time in the mountains. ;D)

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    • Yes, I would fight for my mountain home with my life… They brought those “fire-sticks” with them. No match for arrows.
      It was my husband that specifically noticed & requested the window reflection photo. It reminded him of the faux ones you can apply to the glass.
      It was a great hike. Sadly, it is 3F today. =P Had it been warmer, we’d have found another hiking local.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Sunday Stuff – January 4 | Travels with Choppy

    • Thanks for the plug πŸ˜‰
      I HIGHLY thumbs-up this place. I would want to come back in fall, the aspens would be golden, ahhhh. We would also bring our furchildren. As we didn’t know what we’d be getting into, we left them home. It would be fine for an active dog, it was just really cold and my boys have baby feet. This is a very popular climbing park, if you’re into that kind of rush…

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