Our goal was to cut through Rampart Range again to come out near Monument by the end of the day. We were hoping to find a new way by using John's Gulch, a road that paralleled Hotel Gulch. We found Hotel Gulch easily and stopped at the Manitou Experimental Forest Headquarters for a minute. Then we headed down John's Gulch.
The trail said it was a dead end, but we knew it ended at Rampart Range Road so we weren't sure. Then we came around the first corner to find an ATV going the other way. We asked them about the dead end and they confirmed that it ended where you needed to turn around and come back. We saw that on the Motor Vehicle Use Map and it turned out it was accurate. So, we headed back to Hotel Gulch. Luckily, we hadn't gotten very far.
Hotel Gulch is a nice trail through the trees, but it starts in a residential area. That means there was junk along the trail and tires on the hillside. We got through it soon enough, though, and then the scenery was really nice.
We stopped once next to some ponds in a wide spot. There were a few mosquitoes but it wasn't too bad. It was a nice break, and it was getting chilly. The weather was definitely changing.
It's a short trail relative to the others in the area, and we were soon back up to Rampart Range Road. We thought about checking out some other trails in the area, but after a vote we decided to head for home down Mount Herman Road. There's nothing wrong with ending a day in daylight!
Reports from Other Days: 7
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