Snowshoe Hare Trail
Golden Gate Canyon State Park
Date Hiked: July 3, 2014
- Distance: 3 mi (RT)
- Elevation Gain: 726ft
- Elevation Min/Max: 8,748 to 9,113ft
- Managing Agency: Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife
Snowshoe Hare Trail Map (Google Maps)
Directions: From Golden, head west on Golden Gate Canyon Road for approx. 16 miles to the park entrance. From here bear left at the the fork and then make a right onto Mountain Base Road towards Panorama Point. Make a right onto Gap Road and in a few miles turn right into the Aspen Meadows Campground. Follow the signs to Dude's Fishing Hole and park at the Dude's Fishing Hole Trailhead. The trail starts to the left of the Trailhead sign.
The Snowshoe Hare Trail is short but tough. The trail drops steadily from the trailhead down to a dirt road (follow it downhill to the right) and down to Dude's Fishing Hole, a nice pond with great views. The trail picks up again along the western shore where it continues to descend through pleasant pine and aspen forest to a creek crossing. After you cross the bridge the trail climbs steeply and steadily for about 700 ft of elevation gain. You climb through the forest until the trees get a bit shorter, the ground gets a bit rockier, and the views open up. You'll pass various off-shoot trails leading to campgrounds but stay on the Snowshoe trail until you cross another two footbridges and pop out at the Aspen Meadows Campground. From here follow the dirt roads, always staying left, back to the trailhead.
Just before you pop out at the campground, in the late spring/early summer there is a fantastic display of Columbine flowers, I've never seen so many in one spot, keep an eye out.