South Boulder Creek Trail is an out and back 8.4-mile round trip hike through the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forest and Pawnee Grassland in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. If you and your pupster are looking for a new trail to explore in the James Peak Wilderness area around the Rollinsville, Colorado area, this hike may be just what you are looking for. However, this is a pretty good workout since the elevation goes from 9,200 to 11,860 in just 4.2 miles.
You and your pawesome pup will start out at the East Portal Trailhead on East Portland Road (County Road 16) where you will find a large parking lot where you can park for free. Your adventure begins at the northwest corner of the parking lot and continues through the furrific fir and aspen forest, which keeps you protected from the harsh sun during the summer.
At about 1.2 miles, you will see the sign where the Forest Lakes Trail intersects with the South Boulder Creek Trail. In this part of the forest, you are going to see a lot of wildlife including mule deer, elk, and moose so keep your canine companion on a leash. There are also rabbits, squirrels, prairie dogs, pikas, mountain goats, sheep, and even antelope. You'll also see many different varieties of birds including birds of prey like eagles and hawks.
The Crater Lakes Trail intersects with the trail at about two miles in, but you will stay on your path following the South Boulder Creek for about 2.5 miles where it reaches a small pond and the Rogers Pass Lake. There are some beautiful wildflowers and grasses here in all dif-fur-ent colors and varieties. Traverse the north ridge of the lake to get to Heart Lake about a quarter mile further or Rogers Pass where it intersects with the Continental Divide Trail, which is the turnaround point.
On your way back to the East Portal Trailhead, the trail will be much easier since it is mostly downhill, and you are already familiar with the trail. However, be sure to take the time to look around and see things that you may have missed on the way up. Be sure to bring anything you may need, including water and clean up bags for the journey.
You and your pooch can visit this pawsitively perfect path several times at diffurent times of the year to see how the seasons change the area.