Dark Canyon, Irwin, and Dyke Loop Trail
The Dark Canyon, Irwin, and Dykle Loop Trail is an exceptional excursion in the Elk Mountains of Colorado that will produce stunning views of the surrounding mountain landscape. While out hiking the trail, you will climb uphill through the forest across some rugged mountain terrain, enjoying lovely views of the surrounding landscape through the intermittent breaks in the aspen trees. You will certainly want to wear proper hiking boots, preferably a waterproof paor, as the terrain here is fairly rugged and often muddy.
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Route Description for Dark Canyon, Irwin, and Dyke Loop Trail
Featuring some absolutely breathtaking forests and incredible peekaboo views through the breaks in the tree cover, the Dark Canyon, Irwin, and Dyke Loop is a great intermediate length hiking route that can be enjoyed by seasoned adventurers and casual hikers looking to push themselves with a moderate elevation gain.
Setting out from the parking area, you will leave Horse Ranch Park behind and make your way to the north, traversing the undulating landscape of the mountains as you pass through some lovely stretches of forest. Views along this trail will be dispersed throughout and will come largely during breaks in the tree cover, so be prepared to take a few breaks in order to take in the full majesty of the Elk Mountains.
Continuing to climb uphill further into the mountains, you will pass by a series of small ponds before crossing over the waters of Dyke Creek. A bit further up the trail to the northeast, you will come to a junction with the Irwin Trail, at which point, you will make a sharp right to begin the return leg of the hike. After crossing back over Dyke Creek, you will continue across the rugged mountain landscape and begin your descent through the forest on the return into the trailhead.
Getting to the Dark Canyon, Irwin, and Dyke Loop Trail Trailhead
The trailhead for the Dark Canyon, Irwin, and Dyke Loop Trail can be found at Horse Ranch Park along CR12.
Dark Canyon, Irwin, and Dyke Loop Trail Elevation Graph
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Dark Canyon, Irwin, and Dyke Loop Trail Reviews
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