Round Trip Distance: 4.3 miles
One-way Trip Distance: 12 miles (Grizzly Cow Camp)
Elevation: 5861 - 6511 feet
Cellphone: 0 bars
Usage: Hiking - Biking - Equestrian - Dogs
Time: 2 hrs. 30 mins.
Facilities: Flush toilets, vending machines (at rest area)
Trailhead: Grizzly Creek Rest Area
Attractions: Scenic canyon and creek
View Grizzly Creek in a larger map
The Grizzly Creek trail is located about 90 miles east of Grand Junction, Colorado in Glenwood Canyon along Interstate 70. The Grizzly Creek trail stretches for about 12 miles from Interstate 70 to the Grizzly Cow Camp that is at an elevation of over 10,300 feet. There is a junction around 9 miles where the Grizzly Creek trail intersects with the a trail that runs between Broken Pig Spring and East No Name Creek. This particular post only follows the trail for just over 2 miles before we had to turn around do to the weather.
The trail begins from the north parking area of the Grizzly Creek Rest Area. There is a sign on the kiosk that warns that this is not the trail to Hanging Lake. Despite that we did meet one couple on the trail that wanted to know how much further it was to the lake. There are people that hike the Grizzly Creek trail because they got turned away from Hanging Lake due to no room in the parking lot.
Unlike the Hanging Lake trail Grizzly Creek is a much easier hike. That is as far as we went anyway.
There are numerous places along the trail where you can get easy access to the creek. Sometimes it is very peaceful to just find a boulder to sit on and listen to the sound of the water rushing by and try and forget about all those little things that you normally worry about.
There are several picnic tables within the first half mile of the trailhead.
The high canyon walls belong to the sedimentary formation called the Conglomerate of Canyon Creek. The rocky cliffs make a very pretty backdrop. There are bighorn sheep in the area and I have heard that they can be spotted through here on occasion. I have seen them along the interstate but not up any of the canyons.
A lot of the trail is very well secluded within thick stands of ponderosa pines and spruce trees.
The further up the canyon you proceed the smaller the creek becomes. While the main source of the creek is Grizzly Lake there are many small tributaries that feed.
The lush vegetation includes oak brush and ferns with various wildflowers, cranberries, chokecherries and wild grapes.
These plumes are hiding a big patch of poison ivy.
Something that you don't expect to find while hiking out hiking a trail is a fruit tree but right next to the trail beside the creek was a modest little apricot tree. Seeing how the fruit was fresh and beginning to fall off the tree I ate about a half dozen and saved the rest for the next person.
At some future date I will return and see just how far I can make it up the canyon. I really hate turning around before reaching the end of the trail when I haven't been there at least once. Other people have told me that eventually the brush gets so thick that everyone turns around before reaching the end. The Grizzly Creek trail is a great place to take the family for a picnic and a hike. The first mile or so of the trail is suitable for small children and perhaps a stroller. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.