Monday, August 1, 2005

Oak Flat Loop Trail (Black Canyon NP) (8/1/05)

Route Name: Oak Flat Loop Trail
Location: Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
Trailhead Elevation: 595 ft.
Trail High Point: 753 ft.
Round-trip Mileage: 2.00 mi.


Instead of piecing together my faint recollections of this hike I have instead opted to include the short blurb from describing what to expect on this hike:

Oak Flat Loop Trail
Strenuous - 2 miles round trip
The Oak Flat Loop Trail (built by Student Conservation Association volunteers) offers variety to the hiker who would like to explore below the rim without taking on the challenge of hiking to the river. Parents should be aware that the trail is narrow in places and traverses some steep slopes.

The trail begins near the Visitor Center. Go a short distance to the Oak Flat Loop/River Access sign and follow the trail which leads right. Descend through a grove of aspen to another signed junction. Turn left here to continue on the Oak Flat Loop. The trail meanders through a thicket of oak scrub (Gambel oak) passing near a rock outcrop, a pleasant location where you can relax and enjoy the view. The trail then heads west where it begins its ascent through a forest of Douglas fir, Aspen, and Gambel oak. On the return leg one encounters another unmarked overlook offering spectacular views downstream. Pets are not allowed.


I do not have a GPX track of my own from this hike so I have included a few other options to see the trail we hiked. First, I've included a snapshot of the park map from showing where the Oak Flat Loop Trail is and what it looks like on their map:

And second I've embedded an estimated track of the Trail into Google Maps for instant viewing:


My photos from this hike are included here:

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