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This Activity Has Been Canceled

CANCELED: Interpretive Hike: Fresh Air Friday - Ride & Shine/Dream On Loop (re-scheduled from 11/24) Profile Photo

CANCELED: Interpretive Hike: Fresh Air Friday - Ride & Shine/Dream On Loop (re-scheduled from 11/24)

 12/02/2023  |  09:00 AM - 02:00 PM
  Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area  |  Registration Required

Special Events - All Ages

From the parking area, we head east a very short distance to the north terminus of the Ride-N-Shine Trail and we follow this trail south past Cottonwood Gulch for 0.80 mile to where it climbs east out of the valley into the rolling Arkansas Hills. This trail ascends the Arkansas Hills south of Cottonwood Gulch via a very good new trail with an excellent set of gentle switchbacks to a plateau area with great views to the north, west, and south. On the lower portion of the ascent, we hike through extensive river rock and that suddenly changes into crustal diorite rock mixed with basalt from the Tenderfoot volcano. Across the plateau, we hike through open Foothills climate zone vegetation and resume a moderate climb up to the end of the Ride-N-Shine Trail as it meets the Dream-On Trail high above the Arkansas River in the hill country. As we hike south on the Dream-On Trail, we roll rather gently scalloping around the point ends or ridges that extend out to the west and have great views at times, especially south toward the north end of the Sangre de Cristo Range and the Methodist Mountain complex. We pass through an interesting micro-climate zone before rounding a point and begin hiking along the north summit ridge of Sweetwater Gulch and have good views of the Sweet Dreams Trail descending in the bottom of this deep gulch (where we will soon end up). At 2.9 miles, we intersect with the Sweet Dreams Trail at the south end of the Dream-On Trail (7440 feet elevation) where we have a great place to stop for lunch. From here we hike down Sweetwater Gulch on the Sweet Dreams Trail and soon find ourselves deep in the gulch, deep in crustal rock with predominantly diorite and a beautiful appearance of gabbro of the Mesoproterozoic. There are a lot of interesting rocks in this gulch and side walls of Mesoproterozoic rocks. When exiting Sweetwater Gulch at 3.4 miles, we join the Old Pole Road as it leads us north toward where the Ride-N-Shine trail departs the valley floor. But before reaching that intersection to the north, we intersect with the Labyrinth Trail at 3.55 miles. From this intersection, we hike north on the Old Pole road and intersect with the Ride-N-Shine Trail at 3.8 miles. We complete the hike by following the Ride-N-Shine Trail north to its end and the parking area.

Maximum Participants: 13

Registration is required for this activity. Click "register" to reserve your spot.

Links General Info
Jennifer R. Crawford
Administrative Assistant III
Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area

P 719.539.7289 x4707  |  F 719.539.3771
307 W. Sackett Ave, Salida, CO 81201

Registration Info

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