Length: 1.25 miles out-and-back
Elevation Gain: minimalThe Estes Gulch Trail is a short hike into a Hogback canyon with cool rock formations and fantastic mining ruins. We won’t post pictures here to leave the surprise for your trip. Biking or hiking the dirt road from the highway turnoff can make this a longer excursion if so desired.
Directions:Google maps calls this the “Hogback Ridge Trail” which is strange because the trail ends well before it reaches the ridge line. The trailhead can be reached by driving Hwy 13 north from Rifle. After passing the turnoff for Rifle Gap (Hwy 325), drive two more miles to the first turnoff on your right. This is the Hogback Ridge Trail. It follows Estes Gulch as the dry creek bed winds up into the Hogback. Follow this road uphill for 2 miles to reach the trailhead. At 1.5 miles it intersects another dirt road from the right that leads close to Rifle Creek Golf Course and back to Hwy 325. This is a good place to park your car and hike the last .5 miles to the trailhead.
The Trail:Hike straight into the canyon for about 2/3 of a mile until you find the mine ruins. Its that simple.
Bonus points:Some of the rock ridges and peaks to the left of Estes Gulch look fun to climb. Let us know if you have tried it!