DIRECTIONS: From I-70 exit at the Eagle, CO exit. Follow Eby Creek road south through the town of Eagle and turn right (west) on Grand Ave. Follow Grand Ave for about 1 mile and head south on Sylvan Lake Road. Continue on Sylvan Lake Road and turn right on Brush Creek Road. Follow Brush Creek Road as it enters the White River National Forest and becomes FR 400.2. The road then enters Sylvan Lake State Park. Stay right at the fork heading towards Sylvan Lake and Cripple Creek Pass. When you reach Sylvan Lake, drive past the entrance station (do not enter the station) staying on 400.2. The Trailhead is on the left a few feet past the entrance station. There is room for about 4 vehicles at the trailhead. If parking is full, you'll have to enter the State Park and park in the day use area (fee). If you do this, follow the road behind the cabins and look for a small trail heading up to the trailhead. It only adds a few minutes to your hike.
Sneve Gulch is a little known trail in the foothills of the Sawatch Mountains. The trail follows a gulch that starts in Sylvan Lake State Park and soon gains a ridge with great views before it enters the forrest and terminates at a dirt road. Normally, this trail is overlooked, or only hiked to the viewpoint of Sylvan Lake. However, in the fall, this trail becomes a whole different experience.
Almost immediately the trail enters a tall, old growth aspen forest that shines in late September. When you break out onto the ridge, the surrounding hillsides are a blast of color. Yellow aspen groves, red and orange gamble oaks, the brilliant blue of Sylvan Lake...this area is simply stunning. As you continue the hike the aspens contrasted with the red cliffs are another beautiful sight. Soon the trail enters a pine forest before arriving at another old growth aspen grove.
Climb through the aspen grove into a dense forest. Soon you'll come to an old dirt road, the trail continues on the far side. From here the trail crosses a number of old dirt roads before arriving at the Upper Trailhead. If you needed to cut this hike short, hiking to the first road crossing is sufficient. The return trip revisits the beautiful aspens and tremendous views.
This is a wonderful fall hike, in fact, this whole area is a wonderland in late September/early October. The drive to the Trailhead is fantastic, Sylvan Lake is amazing, and if you continue up the dirt road, past the trailhead to Cripple Creek Pass, you'll discover a tucked away autumn hotspot. Sneve Gulch is the perfect hike for a quick emersion into colorful Colorado.
HIKES BY REGION
NATIONAL PARK HIKES
- BENT'S OLD FORT NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE
- BLACK CANYON OF THE GUNNISON NATIONAL PARK
- COLORADO NATIONAL MONUMENT
- CURECANTI NATIONAL RECREATION AREA
- DINOSAUR NATIONAL MONUMENT
- FLORISSANT FOSSIL BEDS NATIONAL MONUMENT
- MESA VERDE NATIONAL PARK
- ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK
- GREAT SAND DUNES NATIONAL PARK
- HOVENWEEP NATIONAL MONUMENT
- SAND CREEK MASSACRE NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE
- YUCCA HOUSE NATIONAL MONUMENT
- HIKES BY CATEGORY
- $UPPORT GHC
- INTERACTIVE MAP
Sneve Gulch Trail
Sylvan Lake State Park &
White River National Forest
Date Hiked: September 25, 2021
Distance: 4.6 mi (RT)
Elevation Gain: 1,700 ft
Elevation Min/Max: 8,684 to 10,250 ft
Trailhead Lat/Long: 39.48015, -106.73219
Managing Agency: CO DPW & U.S. Forest Service
Fee: No (Fee for State Park if parking at trailhead is full)