Directions: From Denver take I70 west to C470 east (south) to 285 south. Just before you reach the Aspen Grove shopping center look for the sign to the open space on your right. The exit is on the right and you curve around under the highway to the Meyer Ranch Parking Lot.
The Sunny Aspen Trail provided a quick loop, longer than the Lodgepole Loop, through aspen groves and evergreen forest. The aspens are really taking hold in the park and visiting in the fall is highly recommended. While the hike has few viewpoints it is a relaxing hike through the forest shade, but just tough enough to get the blood pumping.
From the parking area start out on the main path to the trailhead kiosk and then to the restrooms at the start of the park loops. There are three possible loops in the park; the Owl’s Perch Loop, the Lodgepole Loop, and the Sunny Aspen Trail. Start off straight uphill from the restrooms on the Owl’s Perch Trail to the start of the Lodgepole Loop. I prefer to hike counterclockwise so turn left at the junction. Head uphill through aspen forests and enter the dense evergreen forest which is the backdrop for most of the hiking at Meyer Ranch. After .2 miles, turn left onto the Sunny Aspen Trail. The trail continues to weave through the evergreens to the Shelter .5 miles away.
The Shelter marks the highpoint of this hike, so continue straight past the shelter and start heading back downhill again weaving through the forest. Turn left on the Lodgepole Loop, and left again on the Owl’s Perch Loop to return to the parking area.
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
Sunny Aspen Trail
Date Hiked: June 9, 2015
Distance: 2.4 mi (RT)
Elevation Gain: 466ft
Managing Agency: Jefferson County Open Space