Are you ready to climb Mt. Garfield? The weather is right, and the trails are all ready for you. If you haven't been to the parking area for the east trails leading up Mt. Garfield, a quick tour might be in order. The trailhead can be a little challenging to find.

To reach the parking area for Mt. Garfield, you'll actually have to go under I-70. Reaching the tunnel requires taking a few backroads through Palisade. While the parking area is ultimately easy to find, a little extra info can't hurt.

To begin, simply make your way to Palisade. If you come in via I-70's Exit 42, you're almost there. Shortly after getting off the Interstate, you'll find yourself on Elberta Avenue. Almost instantly, you'll see G 7/10 Road. Turn on this road heading west. After awhile, the road will turn to the north on 35 8/10 Road, leading to the tunnel under I-70, and shortly thereafter, the parking area at the trailhead.

NOTE: - Please keep in mind, as you head down G 7/10 Road, and then turn on 35 8/10 Road, these are residential areas. Those living in the area have been kind enough to share their road with enthusiastic hikers. Children can be found walking to school or playing in their yards. Please observe the posted speed limits, and take it slow.

Upon entering the tunnel under I-70, take a moment to observe your surroundings. The tunnel has a severe "low spot" in it, and in the event of any recent rainfall, water pools at the bottom. If you see standing water in the tunnel, chances are it is deeper than you think.

Once you are through the tunnel, you're almost there. After a short hill, you'll find yourself at the parking area. Signs are posted indicating the various trails available to you. No services, though, are to be found. No water or restrooms.

This time of year, the trails at Mt. Garfield can get BUSY! Last Sunday, March 20, saw a full parking lot by 10 am.

This year, make plans to hike Mt. Garfield. The hike is challenging and will require close to four hours of your time. In the event you're looking for something different, there is the Gearhart Mine trail setting out from the same trail head. Looking for a "walk" instead of a hike? There is a road following the base of Mt. Garfield heading west. It's an easy, and somewhat uneventful hike, which anyone can make.

Take advantage of Western Colorado's wide variety of terrain, and make your way to these trails the first chance you get.