Main Elk Creek Road
We're always looking for new ways into trail systems, and the Flat Tops are no exception. We came off of Transfer Trail into the city heat in Glenwood Springs, left Walt as he headed back to Denver, and worked our way west along I-70 and Highway 6 to New Castle. There was a bit of traffic as we drove along Castle Valley Boulevard to the trailhead. The trail was paved, but we guessed it wouldn't be that way for long.
It was a nice drive along Main Elk Creek, though we followed a couple vehicles. Those two vehicles would stop in the middle of the road a few times but they wouldn't let us pass. It was still a nice drive to the top.
The pavement turned to dirt and it was time to start climbing. There were about a million switchbacks. We compared it to Coffee Pot Road as a way in -- it had more switchbacks but it was just as smooth. Coffee Pot Road was probably easier if you were towing something.
We didn't stop at Windy Point because our light was fading and we had a long way to go. We got to the top of Clinetop Mesa and the trail was less steep, though it still weaved in and out of trees. We didn't take any spurs this time.
We had a couple of options to get from where we were to our campsite at Supply Basin Campground. We decided to stay on Main Elk Creek Road as long as possible because it was relatively smooth and fast. We passed a long group of ATVs and a fence before we came to our chosen trail that would take us east to camp.
This ended up being a really quick and scenic way into the Flat Tops, but it didn't give us particularly easy access to the campgrounds. It was good to have options, though, and we were pretty happy to have found it.