Gill Trail

Difficulty
This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
Moderate
Duration
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.
4-6h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
15.8 km
Elevation
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.
504 m
User Ratings
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Directions to Trailhead

Intrepid adventurers will appreciate the escapade up the Gill Trail. Hike along the South Platte River, a popular fly-fishing destination up through the Cheesman Canyon. This exciting excursion doesn’t stop at the top of the canyon, challenge yourself and scramble up a rocky ridge to a stunning overlook of the Cheesman Reservoir and dam.

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Route Description for Gill Trail

Hike amongst dozens of anglers as you ascend the Gill Trail. This scenic hike exhibits the stunning Colorado wilderness and reveals the mediative sights of anglers fishing the South Platte River. Hike along the river’s edge, through aspen groves and towering pines up to the dam and ascend a rocky ridge. This trail is not for the faint of heart; make sure you are wearing sturdy footwear as you will have to scramble up the path. Furthermore, sections of this hike are more primitive than others; we suggest downloading the trail GPS to help navigate the overgrown terrain. Note this trail is challenging, but the picturesque scenery makes it well worth the effort.

Embark on your adventure up the Gill Trail from the Cheesman Canyon Trailhead. From the trailhead, track southeast on the Cheesman Canyon Trail. This path will guide you over Wigwam Creek before heading to the forested gulch. The route will curve south to the canyon and along the South Platte River. Hike the primitive trail as it weaves you between the tree shade and exposed shoreline. Ascend the river canyon and be mindful of the peaceful anglers fishing the waters. Soon the marked Cheesman Canyon Trail will come to its end. From here, use the trail GPS to help you navigate the unmarked Gill Trail.

Ascend the primitive, woodland trail north. Scramble up the steep rocky terrain to an impressive overlook of the Cheesman Reservoir and dam. Enjoy the expansive views from atop the ridge before descending the path down to the Wigwam Creek Road. From here, turnaround and retrace your steps back to the trailhead. If you are already exhausted, you can walk along the shoulder of the Wigwam Creek Road back to the trailhead, but it is not nearly as scenic as the walk along the Gill Trail.

Getting to the Gill Trail Trailhead

The Gill Trailhead is found off County Road 126.

Route Information

  • Backcountry Campground

    Dispersed backcountry camping, restrictions apply.

  • When to do

    March-October

  • Pets allowed

    Yes - On Leash

  • Family friendly

    Older Children only

  • Route Signage

    Poor

  • Crowd Levels

    Moderate

  • Route Type

    Out and back

Gill Trail Elevation Graph

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