This recently reconstructed trail has high use from both hikers and horse travelers throughout the summer months. The 3,222 foot elevation change occurs over the entire course, thus it provides good access to the Flat Tops. The first part of the trail climbs through a dry area with scrub oaks, then it begins to follow the Sweetwater Creek from above. It then crosses many small streams as it passes through stands of aspen and grassy meadows. Later, it enters lodgepole pine and at about the 4 1/2 mile mark, the trail passes through Turret Creek Meadows. From the Meadows, the trail steepens as it climbs further up the ridge of the White River Plateau. The trail ends on the east side of Shingle Peak at the Shingle Peak (#1854) and Turret Crescent (#2269) trails.
Since there are many horse travelers on the trail, it is important for hikers to give them right-of-way because the trail is narrow at times. The majority of the trail passes into the Flattops Wilderness Area. Please practice wilderness ethics to help preserve this special resource.
WILDLIFE - Wildlife of many varieties may be visible along the trail and in Turret Meadows. Some of the species that may be seen during early morning and evening hours include mule deer, black bear, elk, coyotes, grouse, beaver, ermine and mink.
WILDFLOWERS - Turret Meadows offer an incredible array of Rocky Mountain wildflowers especially during the early summer months. Lupines, sunflowers, paintbrushes, phlox and penstemon are abundant all along the trail as well.
Directions: From Beaver Creek, Travel 34 miles west of Eagle on I-70 to the Dotsero exit. Follow signs for Sweetwater turning north onto the Colorado River road. Go 7 miles, turn left onto Sweetwater Creek road. Stay on this road for 11.2 miles. Limited parking for vehicles and trailers is available near the cabins of Sweetwater Wilderness Ranch. Another small parking lot, accessible by 4-wheel drive is another 1/4 mile up at Hilltop Ranch. There are no facilities located at the trailhead.
Elevation: 8,000 feet
Ending Elevation: 11,200 feet
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White River National Forest, Colorado
Review by Wildernet Copyright © 2010 Wildernet.com all rights reserved.
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