• Activities:

    Camping, Photography, Mountain Biking, Running, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Intermediate

  • Season:

    Spring, Summer, Autumn

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    8.6 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    800 Feet

Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Scenic

This is a beautiful hike that is rarely crowded and is full of scenic views of aspens, rock outcroppings, and old pioneer cabins.

This is a great hike that is very close to Buena Vista, CO. This trail is on the east side of town and is accessible in the spring. The hardest part of the hike is locating the trail-head. It is located in the northern part of Four Mile Canyon and is in San Isabel National forest. Starting in Buena Vista, take E. Arkansas ave. going east from Hwy 24. Turn left onto CR 371 going north. Take this road until you see tunnels. Immediately before the tunnels you'll make a right onto 375 which takes you into Four Mile Canyon. I highly recommend a high clearance vehicle as this part can be rocky and depending on the time of year may have some streams to pass through. Stay on 375 until you come to 376 and turn right. After 1.5 miles turn left onto 311 and continue on 311. You'll continue on 311 for 4.2 miles until you come to 311 D to which you'll turn left. You know you're close when you begin passing through private property signs. Continue on 311 D and it will take you right to the trail-head where the road will dead end. 

From here the trail will begin. The trail starts in dense woods following a creek. There will be many rock outcroppings here many of which are used for camping. After about a mile you'll come to a spot where there is a steep rock to crawl down. But have no fear! There is a makeshift log ladder if you need some help. After a little more than 1.5 miles you'll come to the old pioneer cabins. They are across a stream, and many people wade across to see them. I'd recommend going the dry route which is a little harder to find. Walk past the cabins and you'll come to an open meadow. Staying to the right side of the meadow, you'll see there is a small crossing made from logs. The trail takes you back to the pioneer cabins for an up close view with an unnamed hill in the background. There is a collection of 5 or 6 cabins that you can poke around. You'll find the trail picks up a little bit to the west of the cabins, where you'll start walking uphill again, though gradual. The next 2.5 miles are interspersed with aspen groves that get thicker and thicker as you go along. Depending on the time of year you will see any number of different flowers littering the trail-side and the aspen groves. At the end of the 2.5 miles you'll start going upward again which means you're close to your final descent. The final descent can be difficult, with it being steep and rocky. Keep your eye on your left as you go down for what I think are the best views of the Upper Arkansas Valley that this hike offers, and gives you stunning views of Mt. Princeton in the distance. After this descent you can proceed to go back the way you came, or make it a loop by walking on the road. I recommend going back the way you came as cars going by can make the road very dusty and sometimes people on dirt bikes or ATVs go by. But you can feel free to do either it's about the same distance, though the road has less elevation gain. 

This trail is open to hikers, bikes, and equestrians so be aware of other people if there are any.  

Pack List

  • Camera
  • Water 
  • Map 
  • Bicycle
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Reviews

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Recently found this hike on the map. I will agree that it can be a bit challenging to get to but you just have to keep you eyes peeled and have your map. The pioneer cabins were a great surprise! The Aspen are beautiful and would be stunning in Fall ( we were a tad early. all the undergrowth was changing but, not the Aspen themselves ). We walked off trail to get a view of Mt. Princeton and it was spectacular! Quiet, easy hike!

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

Eric Peterson

Amateur hiker, photographer, adventurer

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