The Fourmile Area is a huge network of trails, but we'd only done Chinaman Gulch and walked Carnage Canyon. We had lots of the area left to explore, but it seemed we never had the time. With only three of us on the trail we finished Chinaman Gulch in record time, and we headed to do our first trail in the area north of the highway. Matt left his truck and trailer at the trailhead and we consulted the map at the kiosk there.
We saw the easy loop we were on so we decided to start with that. We'd travel up Shields Gulch and then down McGee Gulch using part of Lenhardy Cutoff to connect the two trails. It looked like a good loop and we started up the trail.
Lots of people were out. Mike guessed that all of the hikers we saw were in a race of some sort that invoved geocaching or a scavenger hunt. It looked like they were having a great time. There were also lots of people camping in almost all of the available spots.
The first gulch was easy on a well-maintained trail. The second gulch seemed even easier on the way down. The scenery made the short trip well worth it. We would definitely recommend this loop to anyone with an SUV who wants to get off of the pavement without scratching their vehicle or getting stuck.
It wasn't long before we were done, though. We cut across the highway to the other side and took the roads on the south side of the highway for a bit. We'd need to explore those, too. The Castles -- a rock formation there -- were pretty impressive.
We soon found ourselves back on the pavement, and we headed north to check out the Sevenmile Creek trail. We hoped to make another big loop through the Fourmile Area. We were off to a great start.