Sunday, July 3, 2011

Hewlett Gulch (MTB)

Hewlett gulch is a great singletrack ride in the Poudre Canyon. It is an out-and-back from the parking lot with a loop at the top. It is mostly pefect singletrack with some stream crossings and a few rocky technical sections. Just after the summit there is a steep and rocky downhill section to connect back up to the start of the loop.

  GPS Track

Trail Stats
Total Distance = 8.0 mi
Total Elevation Gain = 1650 ft
Ride Time = 2 hr
Trail Type = singletrack
Start coordinates =  40°41'21.42"N, 105°18'37.29"W

From Fort Collins, drive on US287 north until the west CO14/Poudre Canyon exit (left turn). Take CO14 west 10.5 mi until the pull-off (to the right) going to the Hewlett gulch trailhead just past the town of Poudre Park. Drive over the bridge shown below and go to the parking lot.

Bridge across the Poudre River

Trail Walkthrough 
From the parking lot ride up the trail making a few stream crossings and going over a few rocky technical sections. You'll see the foundations of some old homesteads on the way up. The topo shows two mines as well (although I didn't see them). On the way up you can see evidence of a fire that came  through in 2004. The Hewlett fire also came through in 2012 (which was after these photos were taken).

 Burn area

There is a fork in the trail at about two miles up. This is the base of the loop. Stay to the right and after another mile you'll reach a nice meadow.

Meadow at the top of the loop

More singletrack

You'll reach the top at about 4.5 miles from the parking lot. If you keep going this way you'll reach a steep and rocky downhill section, otherwise turn around at this point and enjoy a nice easy downhill ride.

 The trail near the top

Steep rocky downhill option

Singletrack following the creek

Stream crossing

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