Black Powder Trail | Colorado | 04/01/20

Black Powder and Seaman Reservoir Trails | Gateway Natural Area

Bellvue, CO | 04/01/20| 3.23 miles | 527′ gain


Just four days after our first trip to Gateway Natural Area, Kyle and I returned to complete the trail we’d missed, the Black Powder Trail.

Lady practicing for a successful career in trailhead modeling.

From the trailhead, we crossed the Poudre River and walked a short ways down the dirt road before reaching the Black Powder Trail sign (pictured above). From here, the Black Powder Trail heads up a ridge and offers views of the surrounding foothills. Portions of the trail travel through burn areas: the Picnic Rock Fire of 2004 and the High Park Fire of 2012.

There were many new springtime beauties. I saw my first pasqueflower of the year! (Finally a flower other than a dandelion!) Pasqueflower are always the first sign of spring in the Colorado foothills!

Pasqueflower (Pulsatilla patens ssp. multifida)

After the first big switchback, we came upon an intersection. Summit or scenic view first?

We took the short scenic view trail first, and although we found a very cool trail along a rock wall, we found the view to be underwhelming.

On our way to the Scenic View
Scenic View

Even though we weren’t yet high enough to get a great view, we never regret checking out a short side trail. Once we were back on the main trail, we hiked up a few more switchbacks before we came to a viewpoint overlooking Seaman Reservoir. Four days prior, the spillway was completely dry, but today the water was flowing!

Seaman Reservoir, you can just see the spillway right of center.

Now that we were nearing the top of the ridge, the trail leveled out. The trail forms a small loop at the end, ensuring views in all directions.

Kyle and Lady travel around the summit loop.
An airy outcrop at the far end of the loop overlooking the Poudre River.
You may be able to just make out the Overlook ridge in the foreground (in front of the taller mountains in the back.) This is one of the trails we’d hiked four days prior! We were a little higher today.
Beautiful lichen along the trail

Since the Black Powder Trail was so short, we decided to walk back to the Seaman Reservoir spillway to get a closer look. Now that it had water in it, it looked a little different. Amazing the difference just four days can make!

A watery spillway on 4/1/20
A dry spillway on 3/28/20, four days prior.

Another great day in our local foothills, happy to see spring finally arrive!


2 thoughts on “Black Powder Trail | Colorado | 04/01/20

    1. We could hike every day for the rest of our lives and still not see everything in Colorado. I hope that you’re able to come back one day! I would love to visit Oregon as well (never been!). Looks like there is much to explore there too 🙂


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