Black Powder Trail

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Very Easy
This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
2.4 km
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
131 m
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Directions to Trailhead

The Black Powder Trail is an epic family-friendly nature hike in the Gateway Natural Area. Hike along the Cache La Poudre River, past historic mines and to a scenic meadow overlook. Leave the hustle and bustle of the city in the rear-view mirror and escape into the wilderness.

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Route Description for Black Powder Trail

The Black Powder Trail is the perfect family-friendly nature hike. Get your legs moving as you trek along the dirt path to a scenic overlook of the Poudre Canyon. Note this route is almost entirely exposed, so lather on the sunscreen on a sunny summer’s day. There have also been snakes spotted in the area, be mindful of your footing and keep your distance from wildlife.

Begin your adventure around the Black Powder Loop from the trailhead. Take the bridge across the river, and trek northeast. At the junction, veer right up the Black Powder Trail. Navigate the switchbacks up the steep terrain. Notice the bristlecone pines that dot the surrounding wilderness and the remnants of historic mines. Trek up the route and from the next intersection, you can complete the loop in from either direction. We headed clockwise around the circuit. Hike around the path and enjoy the impressive vistas of the Cache La Poudre Canyon and river below.

Complete the loop, then take the Black Powder Trail back to the trailhead and parking lot.

Getting to the Black Powder Trail Trailhead

The Black Powder Trail is in the Gateway Natural Area off Poudre Canyon Highway.

Route Information

  • Backcountry Campground


  • When to do


  • Pets allowed

    Yes - On Leash

  • Family friendly


  • Route Signage


  • Crowd Levels


  • Route Type


Black Powder Trail Elevation Graph

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