Rawhide Trail Loop
Starting Elevation: 7505 Ft
Ending Elevation: 7505 Ft ( Highest point at 7558 Ft Total Elevation gain approx 865 ft)
Trail Length: 4.7 miles according to the trail map, my fitbit said 5.5miles. It took us just under 3 hours to complete
Trail Uses: Hiker, Biker, Horses
Degree of Difficulty: Moderate/Easy
Bathrooms: At the Trailhead and then at the camping sites a little over halfway through.
Pets: Dogs welcome, I think they are supposed to be on a leash….
My sister Mary came into to town for a visit this past week, she spends her life at sea level but she is insanely active. She runs or walks 5-6 miles a day and teaches aerobics a couple of times a week. She has been doing this since I was 11, although running for as long as I can remember and she did as much of it as she could through every pregnancy until the day she gave birth. So really I just needed her to get used to altitude for the trip I had planned on this visit. The first step was this easier front range hike, it has been one of our favorites since my good friend Karin told me all about it. While it doesn’t gain altitude overall, it does go up and down at a nice easy incline. The trail itself is pretty clear and very well-kept. When we got there we were greeted by this awesome, clear view of Denver….the first such view we have seen in months after all the fires in the west. The other thing we were greeted by, 4o-50 miles an hour winds which was so NOT awesome. Fortunately my hubby is a super over-preparer and we were ready for any type of weather, we even over-outfitted my sister!
We like to start this path on the East end of the loop, it seems like first incline/decline is the hardest I think it is good to of the whole trail we think it is good to get out of the way in the beginning, Aaron and I have done this hike 4-5 times already so we had a good feel for the trail. It was another staple trail we would hit in the beginning of our journey, I am glad to say it is now a piece of cake for me to do:
It is not too far before we hit the first trail break with the Longhorn trail:
The next trail break is just .6 miles from here and it is all down hill from here:
This is the first opportunity to cut short your hike and make it a nice easy loop back to the parking lot, Wranglers run trail is just .5 miles but it cuts this 4.7 mile loop into a 2.2 mile loop. Once you pass this sign it is back uphill to the Princess Anne’s View & Bench, it is just .7 miles up.
This isn’t the halfway mark but it is my favorite spot so we considered this our victory lap. From here it is a nice easy climb up to the top of the mountain which is just a little higher than the parking lot. At the top is one of the 2 camping spots and the trail break from the Waterhole trail which is a more direct route to the other part of the camp site, a bathroom and water pump. We stayed on the Rawhide trail.
There is a little bit of a gap here and it could be confusing, but follow what looks like a road ( which it is) and you will see the Rawhide Trail continue on next to that emergency access road.
It’s a little flat for a short stretch and then, we went down…..and then up ….down…..up…..down….and finally up! The final intersecting trail is the Belcher Hill Trail and it comes in not too far from the parking lot. I think Aaron and I will be doing this Belcher Hill trail soon, as you have to climb up from the east entrance it was once so intimidating to me but I think now I would have no problem doing it!
My sister was a real trooper through the whole hike, she was great at telling us when altitude was too much and had no problem keeping up. Plus the wind was a real challenge for us all and she smiled the whole way, I was so proud of her! This is a great trail that is not too far from Denver, it gives beautiful views of Denver itself as well as the foothills all around. The up and down is a nice workout for your butt, while not too hard if you aren’t exactly in shape ( aka me 7 months ago). I will put the directions after a few good shots of the trail oh and some my most favorite people in the world.
East Access 5611 Glencoe Valley Road, Golden CO 80403 Take Colorado Highway 93 north from Golden 1.7 miles to west 56th Avenue. Turn left (west) on Pine Ridge Road and travel about 1 mile to the east parking lot.
*West Access (Spring Road Work Intermittent) 25303 Belcher Hill Road, Golden CO 80403 Take Colorado Highway 93 north from Golden approximately 1 mile to Golden Gate Canyon Road. Travel west approximately 4.1 miles to Crawford Gulch Road (Highway 57). Follow the signs to White Ranch Park.