Homestead Meadows: Irvin Homestead | Colorado | 08/05/19


Irvin Homestead via Lion Gulch Trail | Roosevelt National Forest

Estes Park, CO | 08/05/19 | 10.64 miles | 1,970′ gain | Class 1


Homestead Meadows is one of those places that you can return to again and again, and find something new each time. A network of trails leads to various homesteads, both near and far. This was my third visit, though on both prior visits, I only went to the closest homesteads. But if you go a few miles farther, you can access a number of other homesteads that are much less visited. There was no way we could see them all in one visit, so Nicholas picked one that looked good (the Irvin) and we made that our final destination.

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Lion Gulch Trail

The Lion Gulch Trail takes you all the way to the main meadow, and signage from there indicates which direction each homestead is located.

Wildflowers and fungi dotted the forest floor, making our walk all the more bright.

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We crossed the creek numerous times on “bridges” of varying difficulty.

We followed the creek for a few miles before we finally climbed out of the forested gulch and into the open meadow.

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Any idea what this might be from? It looks like it was washed downstream in a flood.

The meadow was a welcome sight as that means we’re getting close to seeing some homesteads!

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Almost to the meadow!

We followed the signs to the Irvin Homestead, but we’d also pass the Walker & Griffith Homesteads. Interpretive signs at each homestead site told us of the family’s history.

The first homestead on our tour belonged to Sarah Walker. She had outlived her husband and two children and moved to Colorado from England to start fresh all by herself! There isn’t much left to see here, but a few artifacts can be found if you look around.

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Site of the Walker Homestead

The Griffith Homestead is just past the Walker, and consists of a few foundations and a number of artifacts that people have placed around the structures.

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The Griffith Homestead

After leaving the Griffith Homestead, our single track hiking trail turned into a two track wagon road/Forest Service road. We followed that all the way to the Irvin Homestead, watching for signs at a few intersections.

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Two track to the Irvin Homestead

We walked along for what felt like a long time but eventually we crested a small hill and saw the Irvin Homestead in the distance!

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Irvin Homestead

The Irvin Homestead was definitely the most well preserved of the three. The buildings were used much later than the others so they were updated and maintained for much longer. Not only is there a main house, but numerous other farm buildings can be explored if you follow a short loop trail around the area.

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I guess Lady was tired

We explored every building we could find and found a ton of neat artifacts.

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They pumped springwater into this bathhouse!
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I wish I could say this was the only large appliance we found in a field, but alas, there was another. So strange!

We definitely thought it was worth the long walk to visit the Irvin Homestead, and we can’t wait to come back to explore the others!


Chelsea


 

6 thoughts on “Homestead Meadows: Irvin Homestead | Colorado | 08/05/19

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