~ The Center Ridge Trail ~
This Ridge is the middle of our three ridges. Our buildings are located on the north end, and the south half of the ridge offers a scenic hike between the two creeks. The upper trailhead is south of the Main House, and the trail traverses the ridge top, ending near the south fence at the Ruby Springs Trail junction. The east trailheads for the Dirty Dog, Phacelia, and GanderCon Trails branch west and down into Cabin Creek.
We call the south end of Center Ridge “Pinyon Point” as there are more pinyon pines here than anywhere else at Colwell Cedars. The largest old pinyon is below the trail just before it meets Ruby Springs Trail junction. Below the trail's south end you can find Adobe Milkweed in bloom in April and May— the “jewel of Delta County.”
Dirty Dog Trail Slide Show
~ Tao Trail ~
‘The Way.’ This short trail from below Jupiter House to the north boundary was an obvious Way to get from here to there. It goes past the campfire circle and is the only trail to have concrete sidewalk as part of the trail. It passes through juniper, sage, and grasses, east of the Colwell Cedars vegetable garden, before ending at the Sage Flat Trail. Deer are often seen along this trail.
This is the area where Hazel had her homestead cabin. Her root cellar was under the ancient apricot tree above the campfire area, and her four huge old lilac bushes are north and west of the apricot. This trail goes through or past a lot of the early-modern human history of what we now call Colwell Cedars. It truly is the Way.
Center Ridge Trails of Cedars
There are seven trails in this section.
Enjoy the slide shows.
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~ Ruby Springs Trail ~
Ruby Springs Creek Trail, named after Joe’s mother, begins south of the house and parallels the Center Ridge Trail, but drops east downhill. It is steepest where it joins Laughingwater Trail at the creek. The south trailhead of the Hummingbird joins the Ruby Springs Trail above Baldy Knoll—an opening overlooking the entire Ruby Springs drainage, and was named for the bald eagles soaring overhead the first time we stood here. Below and across the creek from Baldy Knoll is Colwell Cedars’ rare orchid habitat; you will need a guide to explore there due to hidden rocks, swampy ground and thickly vegetated wildness.
Ruby Springs Trail Slide Show
Center Ridge Trail Slide Show
~ Rock Boy Trail ~
This was a ‘second thought’ trail with its upper trailhead southwest of the Main House, then zig-zagging downhill through rocks, cactus and sage to meet the Lost Trail. It serves the area between the Lost and Cabin Cutoff Trails. What else can we say—Joe likes to build trails. An unusual name for a trail: the heroine in Joe’s 2000/18 novel calls the protagonist "Rock Boy."
Tao Trail Slide Show
Lost Trail Slide Show
Gimmee Trail Slide Show
~ Gimmee Trail ~
This was originally a deer trail—thus it was a Gimmee. It’s upper trailhead is below Baldy Knoll on the Ruby Springs Trail. Joe has changed the Gimmee switchbacks several times improving footing across steep, rocky and wet sections. The Gimmee is the quickest, shortest access to Laughingwater Creek Trail. The lower trailhead junctions with the Laughingwater and Wetfoot Trails. There is a seep midway down where wild buttercups flower in spring.
~ Lost Trail ~
The upper trailhead for the Lost Trail is south of the Main House. The trail zig-zags downhill to Cabin Creek— through rocks, juniper, sage and cacti—with its lower trailhead on the Sleeping Cedar Trail. When first built, Joe kept getting off the trail, unable to find it—thus the name. It is well marked now, and the Rock Boy, Jupiter, and Sleeping Cedar Trails connect with Lost. The upper Cabin Creek Trailhead is immediately below where Lost joins Sleeping Cedar Trail. Quite often near the creek crossing you may spook the Great Horned Owls, who tend to hang out there.
~ Dirty Dog Trail ~
The east Dirty Dog Trailhead is halfway down the Center Ridge Trail, and winds west through juniper, sage, cactus and boulders. It shares a short stretch with the Cabin Creek Trail, then crosses the creek, with its lower trailhead along Sleeping Cedar Trial. The lower portion of the trail is wild and weedy. The Dirty Dog honors our white spitz mix, who helped us find, settle and explore Colwell Cedars. She had long pure white hair—-a magnet for mud, briars and cockleburs.
Rock Boy Trail Slide Show
30048 North Road
Hotchkiss, Colorado, USA.
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