McKenzie Gulch– FDT 1869

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Difficulty:                  Moderate

Trail Use:                  Moderate

Length:                     2.6 miles

Elevation:                 Starts at 8091 ft, ends at 9527 ft, highest point 9527 ft

Elevation Gain:       +1436 feet

Open To:                  Hiking, horseback riding

 

Access :   Travel 10 miles south of Eagle on Brush Creek Rd. until you come to the fork of East and West Brush Creek.   Take a right onto West Brush Creek Rd., FDR 400 and travel for 2.4 miles to the trailhead sign on the right side of the road.   Turn right on this short, steep, 4-wheel drive road to get to the trailhead. Parking for 2-wheel drive vehicles and trailers is on the left just up the road a bit. Four wheel drive vehicles can park 100 yards from the fence where the trail begins.   

 
Trail Highlights :   This wooded trail travels from West Brush Creek up to the Powerline Road, FDR 414, following McKenzie Gulch with a moderate climb through aspen, mountain maple and wild rose.   As the elevation rises the vegetation change to aspen mixed with spruce and fir.   The trail is faint in some areas but easily found again, be sure not to follow any cattle trails.   There are a number of switchbacks to accommodate the rise in elevation.   About 1.5 miles up the trail you will come to a fork, to the right is the McKenzie Fork that leads to McKenzie Spring. This 0.8 mile trail is a slight uphill grade through aspen forest and some small grassy meadows with grazing cattle, ending at a cattle stock tank at McKenzie Spring.   This trail offers a good example of how varied an aspen forest can be. At the lower end of the trail, there is aspen mixed with dense vegetation, midway up, the aspen has some lodge pole pine with numerous clumps of lupines. At the top of the trail, there is less aspen and more lodge pole pine with spruce and fir.   This aspen forest provides an excellent habitat for a variety of forest dwelling birds; wood thrushes, house wrens, dark-eyed juncos, mountain chickadees and Northern flickers may all be seen.

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