Nature’s Paradise on Interstate 70: The Grizzly Creek Trail in Glenwood Canyon

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Nestled in the heart of Glenwood Canyon on I-70 lies a hidden gem for outdoor enthusiasts, nature lovers and those just looking for a rest stop along the highway. The Grizzly Creek Trail winds its way through a picturesque landscape that offers breathtaking sights, lush vegetation, and overall the prettiest views any rest area could offer.

One of the many reasons why I love Colorado is the accessibility for all to enjoy the beauty of nature. On the day we discovered this trail, we happened to have our dogs with us while we ran errands from Costco in Gypsum to Marshall’s in Glenwood Springs. Since the pups were getting restless, we decided to stop mid-way so everyone could get a little exercise. We took the Grizzly Creek exit, 26 miles west of Eagle, and parked at the upper lot on the north side of I-70. As soon as we stepped out, we realized this is the perfect spot for everyone to enjoy!

We grabbed the dogs, a water bottle and set foot on the Grizzly Creek Trail. We were immediately captivated by the sheer beauty that surrounded us. Towering cliffs through the rugged canyon and the soothing melody of the creek created a peaceful atmosphere. We quickly discovered that the Grizzly Creek Trail offered something for hikers of all skill levels. Whether you’re an experienced trekker or a casual walker, you’ll find sections of the trail that cater to your abilities and interests. There were even picnic tables at the beginning of the trail taken by travelers enjoying an afternoon lunch.

Typically, the trail spans approximately 7 miles round trip, but with current conditions (May 2023) only the first 2 miles of the trail are currently open. Regardless of the current closure, there is still ample opportunity to immerse yourself in the beauty of the surroundings and encounter gentle inclines on the dirt and rocky terrain for a little exercise. This unexpected stop made our day of running errands way more fun and exciting.

If you plan on embarking on a Grizzly Creek adventure, even if you’re only making a pit stop from the interstate, it’s essential to come prepared. Wear sturdy footwear suitable for hiking (luckily I had extra shoes to change out of my sandals) and carry plenty of water. Remember to follow Leave No Trace principles, respecting the environment and leaving it as pristine as you found it. There is a poop bag station at the beginning of the trailhead so your pups are covered if they’re stopping for a bathroom break too!

Next time you find yourself in Glenwood Canyon, I encourage you to escape into a natural wonderland and embark on a memorable journey along the Grizzly Creek Trail. This trail offers a slice of paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, nature seekers, and even the non-outdoorsy folks who just need a break from the road. Let the trail guide you through breathtaking landscapes, providing moments of tranquility, adventure, and connection with the wonders of the Rocky Mountains.

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