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Backpacking: Colorado > Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests > Sulphur Ranger District

Quick Facts

Baker Gulch Trail

Beginning Elevation: 8,940 Feet (2786.8 Meters) at trailhead
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation Gain: 2,313 Feet (721.0 Meters)
Ending Elevation: 11,253 Feet (3507.8 Meters) at Baker Pass
Length, One-way: 5.5 Miles (9.17 Kilometers)
Other Maps: Arapaho Roosevelt National Forest Map
TI Topo Maps: #115, Rand, Stillwater Pass; Never Summer Wilderness
Usage: Moderate
USGS Maps: Bowen Mountain; Mount Richthofen

Satellite and Topo Map

General Description

The Baker Gulch Trail is located north of Granby. It begins in Rocky Mountain National Park and leads up Baker Gulch to Baker Pass in the Never Summer Wilderness. This trail forks to the Parika Lake Trail, and can link to the Baker Pass trail from either the Parika Lake Trail or at Baker Pass. At Baker Pass, the trail also links to the South Fork Michigan Creek Trail or the Jack Creek Trail, both on The Parks District of the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest.

The trail crosses over the Grand Ditch. It offers spectacular views of the Kawuneeche Valley. Baker Pass offers a beautiful view of the surrounding mountains.

Directions from Granby: Follow Highway 40 west to Highway 34. Go north on Hwy 34 to Rocky Mountain National Park's West Entrance. From the park entrance, follow Trail Ridge Road for 6.4 miles to the Bowen/Baker Trailhead parking area. The Baker Gulch Trail can also be accessed by hiking the Parika Lake Trail from Fairview Mountain to Baker Pass.

Seasonal Information:
Normally Accessible: Summer through Fall (NOTE: Accessibility depends on snow depth and weather.) .

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

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Time of Day: late afternoon
Length of Time: 5 hours
Difficulty: Moderate
Number of People Encountered: 11-25 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: Took longer than it should have, we made two wrong turns- the Baker Gulch Trail is not marked at the fork with Bowen Gulch Trail. Take a right into the forest at the locked gate. Also, at the junction with the service road for the Grand Ditch, use the log crossing, do not follow the road! Keep an eye out for moose in the low-lying meadows, we spotted one!
Conditions: Nearing Parika Lake, the trail is extremely muddy due to runoff. Mosquito repellant is a MUST- they are rampant. Saw bear scat (not fresh) but none sighted. The low, scrubby trees do not provide a place to hang food or trash out of bears' reach!
Water Availability: Plentiful water, trail follows creek.
Recommended Clothing: Temps in the 70's from sunup to sundown, in the low 40's at night. Sunscreen is necessary, afternoon thunderstorms very likely.
Suggested Accessories: Trekking poles are very helpful in steep areas. There appear to be plenty of fish in Parika Lake. Be kind to the delicate alpine tundra!

Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Backpacking Baker Pass, Baker Gulch, Parika Lake and connecting trails.
ICON Hiking & Walking Baker Pass, Baker Gulch, Parika Lake and connecting trails.
ICON Horseback Riding Baker Pass, Baker Gulch, Parika Lake and connecting trails.
ICON Viewing Scenery Kawuneeche Valley and Baker Pass

Related Activities
Baker Pass Trail - The Baker Pass Trail, #29, is located north of Granby in the Never Summer Wilderness. It is accessed by the Baker Gulch Trail beginning in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Parika Lake Trail - The Parika Lake Trail is located north of Granby. It starts from the Baker Gulch Trail, leads past Parika Lake then over the Continental Divide.

More Information

Visitor Information:

Sulphur Ranger District, 62429 US Hwy 40, P.O. Box 10 , Granby, CO, 80446, Phone: 970-887-4100, Fax: 970-887-4102, TTY: 970-887-4101


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