Round Trip Distance: 4 miles
Elevation: 4679 - 5466 feet
Cellphone: 3-5 bars
Usage: Hiking - Biking - Equestrian - Dogs
Time: 90 mins.
Trailhead: Clifton Nature Area
Attractions: Paved trail, wildlife
View Clifton Section in a larger map
The Clifton Section of the Colorado River Trail runs from Corn Lake, at 32 Road, east to 33 1/2 Road. A leg of the trail runs along the Clifton Nature Area to a parking lot on D Road. The parking area on D Road is the best place to begin if you don't have a Colorado States Park pass or don't wish to purchase one to park at Corn Lake.
Beginning at the parking area on D Road the trail travels east and then south through the Clifton Nature Area. Currently there are benches in various spots and I heard one rumor that a pavilion and picnic area may come in the future. Hopefully a set of restrooms will be included as a nice touch.
As the trail comes near to the river you can follow it on around to the west where it connects up with the Corn Lake Section or you can turn left across the bridge and hike east towards Palisade.
A large portion of the the Clifton Section passes through the property of the Ronald O. Arnett land trust.
The east section of the trail is fenced on both sides and several signs indicate that you are passing through private property and must stay on the trail. All the more reason to add some restrooms at a few key places.
There were a dozen or so horses doing a little wading to graze along the river. Blue Heron and ducks were present in some of the calmer waters.
The Clifton Section of the Colorado River Trail comes to an end at 33 1/2 and D 1/2 road. While you can access the trail from this intersection there isn't a parking area.
If you follow the trail towards Corn Lake, back at the Clifton Nature Area, there are spots where you can access the Colorado River. I caught a glimpse of a fish that appeared to be close to several pounds that had jumped not far from the opposite shore and another fish that was thrashing in the shallows of the near shore. I know of bass that have been caught near the 29 Road bridge and that's about the only fish that I know of that might be present and that jumps but who knows.
They have closed the trail connecting to Corn Lake, for about 6 months, while they build a pedestrian/utility bridge across the river where the old highway bridge used to stand. The new bridge will make a nice connection to East Orchard Mesa.
A box for every bird...
The Clifton Section is a nice addition to the Colorado River Trail System. The area is very much in need of a public restroom though. The nearest facilities are at Corn Lake State Park and they are in real need of replacement themselves. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.