Forsythe Canyon Trail

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Trail Distance: 1.3 miles
Time Estimate: 1 hr
Elevation Gain: 400 feet
Leash Rule: On Leash
Difficulty: Moderate
Parking: Free
Route Type: Out-and-back
Restroom: Yes
Description
The Forsythe Canyon Trail is a pleasant hike for humans and their pooches, even for children! While there are a couple of places where you will have to climb boulders, the scramble is not difficult. The trailhead lies on Forest Road 359, a dirt track with about 6 miles of steep, bumpy driving. It's a good idea to keep an eye on your vehicle's mileage gauge on the approach to avoid missing the trail altogether. There is free parking, and the trail begins near the gate at the gravel lot. The trailhead features a vault toilet, but no water, so be sure to bring your own to share, as well as bags to help keep the area clean.


The trail leads from this rocky point downward through the canyon formed by the Forsythe Creek, which follows your hike until you're very close to the reservoir. Cooling shallows, and water crashing and gurgling beside you are refreshing on a hot summer day. The creek and streams are at their best from April to June when the melting snows pour downward, but even when they are all but dried up, they are lovely to look at and navigate. Dotted with many small cascades, they provide a picturesque and serene setting for a gentle walk.

Passing down the canyon through a forest of pines and aspens, you will note wildlife and above you birdsong that serenades your walk. You'll also be accompanied by many insects (bring bug spray!) and the occasional non-poisonous snake. Passing over a 20-foot long bridge at the bottom, you're soon treated to a small waterfall in a lovely, quiet setting. Climbing up and over a few rocks at the waterfall's side, you'll be treated to a furbulous view of Gross Reservoir, surrounded by trees and rocks at the water's edge. This is a great spot for a rest and picnic before starting the uphill climb back to the trailhead.

Lightly trafficked, the Forsythe Canyon Trail is slightly remote and you'll often find that you and your friend with four legs are virtually alone. If you're looking for an escape into forested wilderness, even if only for a short hike, this is the trail for you!

Trail Features
Rocky, Steep Inclines, Forest, Lake, River, Mountains
Wildflowers, Waterfall, Scenic
Cautions & Considerations
While fishing in the reservoir is permitted, swimming and wading are not. This applies to the fur-pup, too, so please keep the leash firmly in hand. Access to the trailhead via a Forest Service Road might be difficult for sedans, and 4-wheel drive vehicles are recommended.
Address
Forest Service Rd 359
Nederland, CO 80466
Hours
Mon Open 24 Hours
Tue Open 24 Hours
Wed Open 24 Hours
Thu Open 24 Hours
Fri Open 24 Hours
Sat Open 24 Hours
Sun Open 24 Hours
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Address
Forest Service Rd 359
Nederland, CO 80466
Hours
Mon Open 24 Hours
Tue Open 24 Hours
Wed Open 24 Hours
Thu Open 24 Hours
Fri Open 24 Hours
Sat Open 24 Hours
Sun Open 24 Hours