Avoid the crowds and catch a great view overlooking Ute Pass as you wind your way up through the pristine, privately-maintained trails of the H.B. Wallace Reserve in Green Mountain Falls 

The Basics: If you've never been to Green Mountain Falls, you're missing out! This tiny mountain hamlet, just off Hwy 24 before Woodland Park, hosts a vibrant collection of local shops and eateries around its community lake. It is also home to many lesser-known hiking trails, including the H.B. Wallace Reserve. Nearly all of the trails in this area climb up the steep canyon walls that line Ute Pass, so you can expect a lot of elevation gain to great views in just a few miles. 

The HikeThe dirt parking area for the H.B. Wallace Reserve is located at the intersection of the main road through town (Ute Pass Ave.) and Mountain Road. From here, walk up Mountain Rd. a few hundred yards until you see the gate and sign for the Reserve on your right. Just beyond the gate, there is an informative trail map and information. 

You can hike straight up the orange-signed Castle Rock trail to get to the top quickly, or you can branch off to either side on Elk Root or Peyote Pass trails. These trails ascend more gradually and add some mileage to the otherwise-quick ascent. The upper portion of the trail contains many tight switchbacks as you make your way up past the towering Castle Rock. The trail ends at the top of the rock with a great vantage point of Ute Pass, Green Mountain Falls, and Rampart Range. There are a few top-rope climbing anchors attached to the rock's summit. The granite monolith has quite a few angles and faces to climb, strewn with deep cracks and overhangs.

Note: This pristine area is privately maintained. Please stay on the trail and don't cut switchbacks! The trails are all fairly well marked with rocks and color-coded signs. If you begin to lose the path, take a moment to look for the next marker before trailblazing your own social trail.

The Area: Start your hike off with the best breakfast from The Pantry. Afterwards, relax at the town's lake gazebo while you watch ducks, wildlife, and fishermen. During the winter, the ice is thick enough to walk on. If you are looking for an all-day hike, the Kirkpatrick Trail, part of the H.B. Wallace Reserve, traverses the mountainside to a few other trails in the area, including North and South Catamount Reservoirs, Crystal Creek Reservoir, Ring the Peak Trail, and Mt. Esther. Take a day to explore the richness this area holds just out of sight of the busy highway. 

Pack List

Necessary:

  • Sturdy hiking boots or shoes
    - Waterproof if hiking in winter
  • Water & snacks
  • Top rope climbing gear (if you're climbing)

Recommended:

  • Abrasion-resistant clothing (lots of underbrush)
  • Camera
  • Gaiters and micro-spikes (winter)
  • Warm layers (the belay area is in full shade)
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RT Distance 2 Miles
Elevation Gain 800 Feet
Activities Hiking, Rock Climbing
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Year Round
Trail Type Loop
Features
Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Forest
Picnic Area
River
Scenic
Wildlife

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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