Jess Weaver/No Name Creek

Rating: 
Round Trip Distance: 6.6 miles
Difficulty: Strenuous
Elevation: 6013 - 7716 feet
Elevation change: 1703 feet
Cellphone: 0-4 bars
Usage: Hiking - Biking - Equestrian - Dogs
Time: 4 hrs. 15 mins.
Facilities: Flush toilets at Rest Area
Trailhead: Jess Weaver
Fee: none
Attractions: Scenic canyon, waterfalls
   


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The Jess Weaver trail, a.k.a. No Name trail, is located in No Name Canyon near Glenwood Springs, Colorado. No Name is a side canyon of Glenwood Canyon which is a corridor for Interstate 70 between Eagle and Glenwood Springs. The trail is surrounded by towering cliffs as it follows No Name Creek from the trailhead near the No Name rest area along Interstate 70 towards the head of the canyon and even up to the Flat Tops if one was to persevere further through thick brush. This post follows the trail as far as the bridge just over 3 miles up the canyon.


The trailhead is a short distance up a gravel road from the No Name rest area. Most people seem to refer to this as the No Name trail. Where the Jess Weaver name came from has eluded our extensive searches. We did find that a Jesse Weaver was born in Glenwood Springs in 1900 and died there in 1978 but nothing to tie him to the trail.


The hike begins by following the gravel road past a private residence. A trail on the right side of the gate that is marked by a trail sign will lead you up and around the gate but it appears many people simply walk around the gate on the road.


As you continue up the road you can see the remnants of the old wooden flume that carried water all the way into Glenwood Springs.


The trail crosses No Name Creek at the water plant where the road comes to an end.


From here it is a single track for the rest of the way. For the most part the trail is always within ear shot of the creek. That can be both good and bad if you are hoping to see some wildlife. Good because they usually can't hear you coming so you can see them before they run away and bad because they usually can't hear you coming and you end up surprising them. If you watch the trail for tracks and scat you should be able to tell if any animals have been passing through and what you might expect to come across.


The Forest Service has placed mile markers that all seem to be within a tenth of a mile or so of what a GPS might read.


The trail has been climbing at a moderate pace up to the first mile marker. Shortly after passing that point it gets a little steeper and at one point even has a long sweeping set of switchbacks that take you away from the creek a bit.


Some of the steep parts get pretty rocky. The marker at the trailhead shows that this trail is open to mountain bikes even though the Forest Services website says that it isn't. Anyway, it would be a pretty tough climb through here on a bike even though it isn't too bad hiking. With all of the noise from the creek it would also be hard for hikers to hear anyone coming toward them and get out of the way.


No Name Canyon is steep enough that the creek is almost one continuous cascading waterfall.


There is a bridge at about 3 1/4 miles where the trail crosses over to the east side of the creek. This is a good turn around point although you can press on a little further. There has recently been a lot of trail maintenance up to this point as far as clearing back the brush but as of now this is where that project ended. A small camping spot sits just across the bridge next to the creek but it usually isn't good trail etiquette to camp that close to a trail. If at all possible a camp should be made in a more secluded location so hikers don't feel like they are walking right through your camp.


Occasionally you can get a nice view of the surrounding mountains as you hike back down the trail. Be sure to look up at the mountain across from the rest area when you pull off of the interstate and imagine hiking up it. When you get to the bridge you will have climbed higher than it by a couple hundred feet.


A few different varieties of berries can be found in the late summer months. This picture is of some False Solomon's Seal berries that can be used to make jam or juice. There aren't really enough plants though to make it worth while collecting them. The same goes for the choke cherries. There are a few but not enough to make jelly with.


There are a lot of Mountain Ash along the trail that sport colorful bunches of berries. These berries can dry up and persist through the winter and provide a needed source of nourishment for birds when they migrate back into the area in the springtime.


The Oregon or Holly Grapes are also scarcely  populated but there are enough to look at and add to the enjoyment of the hike. Oregon grapes are very bitter and require a lot of sweetener when used to make jelly. The plant has medicinal purposes for stomach ailments and skin disease but it also shows up on some poison lists.


As you can see from the picture the parking area at the trailhead doesn't have a lot of room and parking at the rest area would probably be too far away. This trail gets a lot less use than the Grizzly Creek and Hanging Lake trails so it probably doesn't matter anyway. When hiking the trail earlier in the summer there will be a lot more water coming over the falls but the water also runs down the trail in a few places so you will probably get your shoes a little wet. Don't let that discourage you though because it's not that bad and the hassle is well worth it. This is also a great family hike to bring younger children on if you hike up just past the water plant where they can play around the creek. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.