Green Mountain, Gregory Canyon Trailhead, Boulder - Denver - Golden - Fort Collins - Lyons, Colorado
Green Mountain - 5.45 Miles
Gregory Canyon Trailhead
|Round-Trip Length:||5.45 Miles|
|Start-End Elevation:||5,856' - 8,144' (8,144' max elevation)|
|Elevation Change:||+2,288' net elevation gain (+2,328' total roundtrip elevation gain)|
The short but challenging hike to Green Mountain rewards visitors with rangy panoramas over Boulder County's back range, Indian Peaks Wilderness Area, and Rocky Mountain National Park. As with many Boulder-area destinations, there are several ways to get there. The Gregory Canyon and Ranger trails offer the most direct route.
The Gregory Canyon Trail rises gently to a stream crossing (.55 miles), then climbs steeply on a twisting, rocky path to milder switchbacks in the upper canyon (1.0 miles : 6,650'). The Gregory Creek corridor supports apple and plum trees that attract bear and other wildlife. It's also covered with poison ivy, so remain on the trail at all times.
The trail eases considerably as it curls southwest to the Ranger Trail - Long Canyon Trail split (1.3 miles : 6,655'). Merge left onto the Ranger Trail. The Ranger Trail remains flat to the historic Greenman Lodge (1.45 miles), past which it climbs methodically through fir and lodgepole to the E.M. Greenman Trail split (1.75 miles : 6,950').
Here the Ranger Trail steepens on a series of tight switchbacks. Gaps in the forest offer a glimpse of snow-capped peaks to the west, a welcome sight along an otherwise business-like climb. Remain vigilant as lingering snow may obscure unpredictable turns and lead you astray.
The Ranger Trail climbs to the Green-Bear Trail - Green Mt West Ridge Trail split along a narrow ridge below the summit (2.5 miles : 7,860'). Turn left toward Green Mountain. The final 300 yards weave quickly through faint and rugged terrain to the summit. Tree markings offer guidance on the final approach.
Scramble up the rock pile on Green Mountain's summit to reach a peak-finder that identifies peaks across a 100 mile panorama (2.7 miles : 8,144').
Gregory Canyon is named for John Gregory, an ambitious miner who in the 1860s built a road up the canyon to gold mines in the Black Hawk area. Though serviceable for several decades, the road's rudimentary construction and canyon's steep pitch were prohibitive, and eventually Flagstaff Road was completed in 1906 to replace it. The Ranger Trail's origin is often attributed to Martin Parsons, a dedicated local ranger in the early 1900s. Apple trees in lower Gregory Canyon were likely planted by Ernest Greenman, who's credited with planting hundreds of apple trees throughout the Boulder foothill canyons.
GPS Coordinates - DATUM WGS84View these GPS points on a Google Map
- N39 59.845 W105 17.572 — Gregory Canyon Trailhead
- N39 59.860 W105 18.024 — Cross stream over bridge
- N39 59.780 W105 18.273 — Switchbacks lengthen and ease
- N39 59.849 W105 18.345 — Switchbacks end in upper canyon; bear southwest
- N39 59.746 W105 18.494 — Ranger Trail - Long Canyon Trail junction
- N39 59.610 W105 18.493 — Greenman Lodge
- N39 59.409 W105 18.315 — Ranger Trail - EM Greenman Trail junction
- N39 59.082 W105 18.229 — Ranger Trail 2.3 mile mark
- N39 58.970 W105 18.229 — Ranger Trail - Green Bear Trail junction
- N39 58.915 W105 18.095 — Green Mountain Summit
- Steep sections, especially on north-facing slopes, can be snow covered through mid-spring. Hiking poles or traction devices are recommended during this period.
- Poison Ivy grows along the beginning of this trail system.
- Bears and other wildlife rely heavily on fruits and berries in Gregory Canyon. Avoid going off-trail, and leave fruits and berries to the local wildlife.
Rules and Regulations
- Bikes and motorized vehicles are not permitted on the Gregory Canyon Trail or Ranger Trail.
- There is a parking fee at the Gregory Canyon Trailhead if your car is not registered in Boulder County.
The Gregory Canyon Trailhead is located at the West end of Baseline Road in Boulder, Colorado.
Directions to Trailhead (from Boulder): Take Baseline Road West past Chautauqua Park to the Gregory Canyon Trailhead access road and turn left. Park when you reach the dead-end. Parking is limited at the trailhead; arrive early to secure parking.
City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks