Threemile Creek Trail | Mount Evans Wilderness
Grant, CO | 06/20/19 | 6.33 miles | 1,370′ gain
The weekend’s weather wasn’t looking great so I switched my work days around and hiked Thursday instead. I’m spoiled in that I can do things like that to make sure I don’t miss my weekly hike!
So I set out for a Thursday morning hike, happy with the thought that I’d have the trail all to myself. I was the first one at the trailhead even though it was after 9am. I used the pit toilets quick and Lady screamed at me from the car. Apparently she can’t be out of sight of mommy for 30 seconds. It was probably a good thing no one else was around to see (or hear) this spectacle!
I was unsure where the trail actually started. My AllTrails map said I needed to cross the river but the map at the trailhead made it look like you had to walk up the road to get to the actual trail. (The Threemile Creek Trail actually starts 1/2 mile up the road from the parking area, but this lot is the only legal parking.)
I poked around a little bit and finally saw a “Trail” sign by the bridge at the trailhead. I figured this “Trail” was the trail I was looking for so we headed down it.
We followed this trail for about a half mile as it meandered along Geneva Creek, eventually crossed another bridge, and then crossed the road where we reached the Threemile Creek Trail.
This trail was pretty flat but a beautiful walk through the forest. One could absolutely walk the road instead but I always prefer a trail.
After crossing the road, I saw signs for the Threemile Creek Trail and Mount Evans Wildnerness. Now that we’d reached the Wilderness Boundary, I had to fill out a permit. These permits are totally free and you just fill it out at the station along the trail. One person and one dog for us!
Now that we were on the Threemile Creek Trail, we paralleled Threemile Creek instead of Geneva Creek. Threemile Creek is much smaller but was still VERY full. There was a lot of horse sign on the trail (tracks and manure) and I was a little worried I’d encounter a group of horses. I was unsure how Lady would act around them. She can be a bit of a B on the trail. (Thankfully we didn’t see any today!)
We were now on a more rugged trail. No more easy bridges, now we crossed on logs! And there were a LOT of them! Lady had no trouble but I had to watch my step a little.
So far, the trail had been completely forested, but it eventually became more rocky. Not only on the trail itself, but rock walls rose up around us as we climbed higher.
The creek was so full that the sounds drowned out everything else. It was nice to not have to think about anything for a while and just listen to the sound of water.
After continuing up and up, we eventually came to our first, and really only, views of the day. We had reached a gorgeous meadow. I relished the feel of the sun and enjoyed looking at the surrounding mountains.
The meadow was short and sweet, and soon we plunged back into the forest.
Signs of beaver along Threemile Creek! They’d dammed the creek and created a beaver pond. I didn’t see their lodge or any beavers, but I did see tons of signs. Can you spot them below?
The hike had been beautiful so far but I was surprised at the lack of wildflowers. I’d seen the one iris and a few dandelions and other yellow flowers here and there, but I was expecting a grand show of color like some other hikes I’d been on lately! And then I saw a flash of purple and knew I had to check it out.
I had NEVER seen these before, only in pictures! People hunt them out to photograph them because they’re so unique. I definitely wasn’t expecting to see them today! I was surprised to see such a huge group, and I was expecting them to be larger than a few inches tall. A fun surprise!
The trail continued on, but the forest was now dominated by aspen instead of the aspen/evergreen mix from the earlier sections of trail.
We saw a lot of signs of wildlife, but no animals. Walking with a dog tends to prevent that.
I’d read on AllTrails that snow blocked the trail after 3 miles, so that’s how far I’d planned on going. I went about 3.1 miles before reaching snow, and honestly it looked really shallow and patchy. I think it’d be pretty easy to finish up the last 3/4 mile of Threemile Creek Trail but I didn’t have enough time so I headed back down.
We still hadn’t seen anyone else on the trail, but did run across a few people with dogs on the way down. I’d hoped that Lady was tired enough to be calm around them by this point, but nope! She was insane as per usual, wanting new best friends.
The way back went surprisingly quick. We stopped for a few minutes to have a snack. I gave Lady an old peanut butter sandwich which she promptly threw on the ground and rolled around in pine needles before eating. This dog, I swear!
I was really happy to get out and hike before a snowy weekend, hopefully the last one for this spring!