Rattlesnake Gulch Trail | Colorado | 02/22/20

Rattlesnake Gulch Trail | Eldorado Canyon State Park

Eldorado Springs, CO | 02/22/20| 3.54 miles | 748′ gain


After our trip to sunny California and Arizona, it was a little rough coming back to Colorado winter. I met up with my friend Allie for a moderate hike to the Crags Hotel Ruins in Eldorado Canyon State Park. We threw our microspikes on at the trailhead and kept them on the entire hike.

Rattlesnake Gulch Trail

The trail ascends out of Eldorado Canyon into Rattlesnake Gulch. It probably wasn’t all that steep but I was really feeling it after being near sea level for a week. The trail switchbacks and then crosses a bridge. We saw something strange peeking out of the trees.

What in the world is this!?

There was nothing to indicate what we’d found and we couldn’t see inside, but our guesses included a bunker, storage building, or something to enclose a pipeline. What do you think?

There is an active train track right where the pink splotch of light is. A train came through on our way down!

The trail climbs out of the gulch and contours around the hillside to the Crags Hotel Ruins. The ruins themselves aren’t very far from the trailhead so we soon reached them only to find they were covered in snow. Well duh.

There isn’t much left to see even without a layer of snow. The Crags Hotel was built in 1908 and offered a mountainous retreat for any willing to travel to it. Patrons could come via railroad, tramway, or car on Crags Boulevard (now the Rattlesnake Gulch Trail). Sadly, the hotel burned down in 1912 and no one was ever able to figure out the cause.

The Rattlesnake Gulch Trail forms a lollipop loop, but we found the south half of the loop closed for raptor nesting. We were able to continue on to the Continental Divide Overlook, however, and it was a short and easy trek from the ruins. Not only did the overlook have views of the Continental Divide, but we were able to look down into Eldorado Canyon and even see where the hotel once stood.

You may be able to pick out a smaller hill center right. This is where the Crags Hotel once stood.
Allie & Harper
Looking towards the Continental Divide
Zoomed in

Since we couldn’t continue along the loop, we retraced our steps back to the car. A fun and quick hike to get re-acclimated to cold, snow, and altitude.


7 thoughts on “Rattlesnake Gulch Trail | Colorado | 02/22/20

  1. Love these pictures! It reminds me of home. I grew up hiking in Colorado but moved to Indiana for work last summer. Can’t wait to hit the trails next time I go back.


  2. Beautiful pictures, and the sights are breath-taking! Looks like y’alls enjoyed the hike. That thing you saw on the way up to the Crags Hotel ruins though… mysterious… nothing mentioned anywhere else online about it either. Wonder what it could be.


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