Why don't we do this trail all the time? It's close to Denver, not very busy (considering how close it is), and filled with fun stuff. We came off of Devil's Canyon and were were on Barbour Fork before lunchtime. The start of the trail was pretty mellow, and when we got to the loop we decided to do it in the clockwise direction because of the good lunch spots on that side.
Instead of heading for the pavilion, we took the spur to head up into the trees. There were some people camping near the start of it, but once we went up the fun, little hill we found the rest of it empty. We stopped there and had a really nice lunch. The weather couldn't have been better. We followed the spur out until we couldn't take our vehicles any farther. Then we turned around and headed back to the main trail. It was good that we didn't wait to eat under the pavilion -- it hasn't been maintained and it's a little rough around the edges.
Then the fun started. The easternmost part of the trail is a blast, with chunky, rocky sections mixed with hills. We were climbing our way up to the top, so everything was uphill for us. The long hill also had some great photo opportunities, but it was more fun than the pictures let on.
We cruised to the southern point at the intersection, and this time we decided to check out the spur. It started with a little fun on some rocks, and then it leveled out. It was almost completely smooth and flat. And then it got very narrow.
The Jeeps were fine, though we were scraping against branches and getting close to the edges. Sean connected with a rock and dented in his stock front bumper. Ken's truck was much bigger than the Jeeps and it didn't really fit. But there was no backing out and no turning around.
About a mile in, we found a spot where Ken could turn around. He hit a rock, but he made it. Ken got some scrapes, and he thinks that he pushed his front corner panel up and bowed it out a bit when he hit his rocker guard on the rock. Then we had to figure out what the rest of us would do.
Mike ran up a bit farther in his Jeep to see what he could, and it turned out the trail dead-ended soon after where we were. And Mike found out that there wasn't much room to turn around there, either. So, we each took at turn at Ken's turnaround spot to get facing in the other direction.
As we were all backing up to that spot, Sean got high on a wall and ripped a big tear in his tire's sidewall. He and Mike were at the back of the line and changed the tire on the narrow trail while the others worked their way out to the intersection at the loop. They found a car on its way in, and it had to back up a long distance to get around. It was kind of a mess, but eventually we all ended up back on the main trail. We wouldn't be doing that spur again, but it would be a good trip for someone on a bicycle.
Then we were headed downhill on the western side of the loop. It was a fun decent, and it would be fun in the other direction, too. When we got to the short hill that is almost back to the start of the loop, we played around on different lines. There is a big hole where lots of us flexed our suspensions, and Matt even got a tire a couple inches in the air. Jay was the winner, though, with his rear tire far into the air. It was awesome.
We ran into some traffic near the end of the trail, but eventually we found our way to the parking lot. People started airing up, and everyone felt done for the day. It ended up being a great time, and we'd definitely need to add Barbour Fork ("Barbour Spork") to the list of our spring trails.
Reports from Other Days: 2
Use the arrows or dots to flip through the previews of the other reports for Barbour Fork. Click one of them to read more and see all of the photos from that day.