Easy Rider Hike: A Perfect Colorado Weekend Hike Awaits
Western Colorado is home to a very user-friendly, and extremely underutilized trail. It's time you pay it a visit. The next time you want to enjoy the great outdoors, Easy Rider is the trail for you.
Normally, when someone says the words "Easy Rider" they're referring to either a very cool 1969 movie starring Peter Fonda and Jack Nicholson or a male prophylactic available at a gas station bathroom near you. In this case, Easy Rider refers to a top notch trail in the Bangs Canyon Recreational Area, just off Little Park Road.
What's so great about Easy Rider? The trail is very well laid out, offers incredible scenery, and plenty of privacy. The last time I hiked it, a Sunday, I didn't encounter a single person.
As you can see in the photo of the sign post, the trail is open to hikers, bikers, motorcyclists, horseback riders, and ATVs. For the most part, anything short of a car or truck can use the trail.
The majority of the trail is simple and is accessible to just about anyone. There's only one truly challenging area, and you can get a look at it in the photos above. The website gjhikes.com rates the trail's difficulty as "strenuous," but that seems a bit harsh.
The elevation at this trail comes in at 6,417, making it slightly higher than the surrounding trails. As a result, the views are fantastic. Be sure to bring your camera. Come to think of it, this would be an excellent place for your senior or family photo sessions.
Start to finish, hiking this trail is a little more than three miles and about a two-hour investment of your time. Whereas hikes are concerned, that is just about perfect.
To access the trail, head to the parking area on the east side of Little Park Road. Turn off at the sign reading "Bangs Canyon Recreational Area." If you reach the parking area at the Mica Mines, you've gone too far.
Please note, vegetation on this trail is slightly above norm for the area. With vegetation comes shade, and with shade, mud. If the region has seen snow or rain recently, there's a chance you'll encounter some slippery, muddy ground.
This trail is fantastic. Not that it's a competition, but you may find it to be superior to surrounding trails in a number of ways. Easy Rider is just up the road from the valley, easily accessible, and offers plenty of parking. You don't need a Parks Pass, and there's no cost to use it. Make Easy Rider your next hike.