If you and your furry buddy are interested in an extra long day hike or a weekend backpacking trip in the Colorado Rockies, the Flowers Trail may be a furfect choice for you. This trek usually takes at least 16 hours if you hike straight through with only short breaks, so most people who hike it usually end up camping. However, you could do a long day hike if you start out really early and hike at a rigorous pace.
Your adventure starts at Jacks Gulch Trailhead at Jacks Gulch Campground on Pingree Park Road (County Road 63-E) in Rustic, Colorado where you will find a small and free parking lot. There are no restrooms or water here, but you can pay to use the facilities at Jacks Gulch Campground if you wish. They are only open from May until November, and the cost is $22 to $29. You will also need to bring your own baggies to pick up after your pooch on the trail, along with containers to bring water for the journey.
The first three miles are a nice level walk that pass through several large meadows where you will see a plethora of diffurent colors of wildflowers. At the half-mile mark, you will see the lower junction of the Little Beaver Creek Trail, and you will reach the second trailhead at the Comanche Peak Wilderness boundary at the 3.1-mile mark.
You and your doggo be surrounded by aspen and pine trees of the Arapaho and Roosevelt Forests along the trail heading through the thick forest until you reach the five-mile mark where the trail drops into the Little Beaver Creek Trail above Beaver Park. This pawesome path is easy to follow with a well-worn trail and USFS blazes on the trees. The stringer bridge over Little Beaver Creek may be difficult to cross, especially when there has been rain recently, so many people choose to cross on rocks or other sturdier logs.
Continue another two miles where you will find the unsigned side trail to the 1944 B-17 crash site. It is a short walk of about 0.15 mile where there is a cairn and an American flag to memorialize the site. It's another mile to the Browns Lake Travel Zone that intersects with Browns Lake Trail. Along this section of trail, there are 12 designated campsites if you choose to spend the night.
The trail treks to the southwest for another 4 miles of alpine meadows. Continue to look for rock cairns which mark the trail, as there are about 40 of them along the way to help you navigate. After passing the Mirror Lake Trail intersection at 15.5 miles, you and your pup will come to a steep drop where you will see the best variety of vibrantly colored flowers in the Rockies. The trail ends here at the 17.9-mile mark where the Big South Trail begins.
For a pawrific and epic journey, hike the Flowers Trail with your pup!