Sunny Aspen Trail and Old Ski Run Trail (Meyer Ranch Park)by Mary Norton
DifficultyModerate (Old Ski Run Trail). Easy (Lodgepole Loop Trail)
Trail LengthOld Ski Run Trail (5 mile loop). Lodgepole Loop Trail (2.7 mile loop).
Grab a park map at the parking lot or trailhead.
For an easy trail choose Lodgepole Loop trail (approx. 2.5 mile hike roundtrip from parking lot).
For a more challenging hike, follow Owl’s Perch trail until you get to the Lodge Pole Loop trail, go left on Lodge Pole, go left on the Sunny Aspen Trail and then left on Old Ski Run trail – this loop will take you up and around the top of the mountain and back down again (Elevation gain. 375 ft. Approx. 4.8 mile hike round trip from parking lot).
This series of trails begin in the grassy meadow, through pine forest and Aspen trees, up to glimpses of the Rocky Mountains and back down to the meadow and the parking area near Hwy 285. Wildflowers bloom in the meadow throughout the summer and the trees provide a pleasant shady hike. Look for the yellow Heart Shaped Arnica flower that grows alongside the trail in the forested section.
If you want a good clear view of the mountains to the west, you can climb the rock outcrop at the top or just stop and admire the site from one of the lookout areas. This is a beautiful day hike area in lush green valley that was once ranchland. Bring a camera for this one! Restrooms available at trailhead.
Picnic Recommendations: Picnic tables are available on Owl’s Perch Trail. Another scenic picnic area is about 1 ½ mile up the trail where there is a picnic pavilion overlooking the valley below and the hills across the valley. We like to eat at the top of the mountain where there is a large rock area (it is a few yards off the trail, but it offers a great view through the trees).
DirectionsClick Map below for directions. Parking lot is on south side of Hwy 285
AttractionsNearby Aspen Park offers a variety of eateries just a couple minutes from the trails. Great for snack time or a quick bite before or after your Meyer Ranch Park hike.
About Mary Norton, Contributor of this Hike
Mary grew up hiking in Colorado, so she knows all the best places to go! With a family of 6 children and no lack of enthusiasm for the outdoors, Mary is well qualified to give you tips and hike spots that will challenge you as well as delight your whole family. Whether you have kids, dogs, or are just looking to enjoy nature by yourself, Mary will show you where to go to find what you are looking for.Check out my Google+ page