In the gorgeous Rocky Mountains in the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests and Pawnee National Grassland, you will find the Coulson Gulch Trail, which is a 5.6-mile out and back hike that you and your pooch will love. It is not as difficult as many of the others in the area, and it is more secluded since fewer people use this trail.
Start out at the Coulson Gulch Trailhead, which is on Johnny Park Road (Forest Road 118). The trailhead is to the left side right after you pass the cattle-guard. The trail starts out on a moderate drop as you cross back and forth through the dry gulch. This part of the area is pawsitively unforgettable and untamed, and sees few human visitors. There are no restrooms or water access, so you will need to bring your own water and practice the “leave no trace” principal. Be sure to bring clean up bags and snacks for you both.
The forest is thick in some areas and provides plenty of shade but in other areas, no shade at all. When you get to the first meadow of wildflowers, you may think you have crossed into Heaven as it is so beautiful and full of color. There are several of these meadows along the way. When you get to the old log cabin, take a peek inside. Others who have hiked here say there is an old bedframe leaning against the wall and that there is an antique stove outside. Be respectful, and take only photos.
This is where most people turn around and head back to the trailhead. As you take your return trip, you may find that the now upward slope going back is much more difficult. However, it is not too steep, and you should not have any problem as long as you bring plenty of water and take a break when you need one. All in all, this is a woofderful wooded trail that you and your pooch will truly enjoy.