The Little Beaver Creek Trail rises at the northwest corner of Jack’s Gulch Campground off Colorado Highway 63E, also known as Pingree Park Road, about a mile from the campground’s entrance. This trail is accessible in the winter, but be prepared to park your vehicle outside the gates and walk, ski or snowshoe to the trailhead during that time. While there are no amenities on the trail, there are restrooms at the campground, and there’s abundant water from the crystal flow of the Little Beaver Creek, which the trail closely follows. Treat the water before drinking, or bring your own to share.
From the trailhead, the path descends slightly through the creek canyon to Beaver Park, then begins a steep climb of 1400 feet to the ridge, from which astounding views of the Mummy Range can be seen. Occasional rocks and downed trees may slow you and Fido down a bit, but in general are manageable, along with a stream crossing. The trail is surrounded by thick stands of pine and aspen, and in the spring and summer wildflowers are abundant, especially in the several meadows you pass through.
Wildlife along the Little Beaver Creek includes squirrels and deer, moose and mountain lions, along with the inhabitants of the beaver ponds you’ll come upon. Along the north side of the trail you’ll find lovely meadows and open benches out of sight of other hikers, where you and your pooch can rest in solitude, maybe have a snack. If fishing is part of your plan, the creek features many brook trout. At times, horses and even cattle share the trail so be sure to mind where you step!
The Flowers Trail begins at the end of the Little Beaver and descends southeast to the campground, making an 11-mile loop possible. Backpackers often camp near this intersection and return the next day or hook up with the Fish Creek Trail via an unmarked connector named Little Fish Trail.Whether you and your furry bestie hike the Little Beaver Creek Trail in a day, or camp and return to the trailhead the next day, it will be a satisfying and rewarding hike for both you and Fido!