You know that you are going to do it. That's right, you're going to make some highly questionable food and beverage choices later in the day. Choices that may leave you feeling sad and conflicted. Well, here is your chance to work off some of those bad calories, before you even begin the "eat, drink and be merry" part of the 4th of July.
2,000 vertical feet in 2 miles, following the traditional trail. The other two routes vary a little as Gearhart is said to be slightly easier.
Stroll it, run it, trudge up the trail .... everyone has their own opinion and style when it comes to hiking this local peak. I know people who go up the 2nd ridge over to the left of the main trail, rather than the more often used trail. I know others may want to go who prefer the more round-about route that takes off to the right (Gearhart Mine Trail) from the parking lot. Obviously, there is also the main route as well. Pick your route and let's go!
This is a self paced hike. Many attendees will push the pace in order to prepare for future events (i.e. 14'ers). You can show up early or late but don't expect anyone to assist you with the route or a group type "Tabeguache Stroll."
West Ridge: steeper climb, but no rock ledges/stairs.
Main Trail: steep in parts with plateaus and many rock ledges.
Gearhart Mine Trail: Detours eastward then winds back to the peak, passing near antique mining equipment at the top
Meet at 6:30 a.m. in the Mt. Garfield parking lot. It can be tricky to get to, but take a look at the map and give me a call if you would like. It's a great hike so please don't get scared away if you don't know how to get there. We will probably wait between five and ten minutes but if you arrive after 6:40 we will be on the trail...
Plan to be out 2.5-4 hours depending on your route selected and your personal pace.
Depending on where you're starting, there are several ways to get to the trailhead. Mt. Garfield is a destination recognized by google, so you can check it out by getting directions from your current location.
These are the directions I use: From Grand Junction take I-70 East to Palisade Exit #42, and turn right on Elberta Ave (37 3/10 Rd). Immediately after crossing an irrigation canal, take the first road to the right (G 7/10 Rd). The road will make a sharp right turn after 1.5 miles so follow it and drive through the small tunnel (I-70 underpass) to the trailhead. Welcome!
- Solid shoes or light hiking boots
- Trekking poles (recommended for both the up and down, especially if your joints give you trouble)
- Dress in layers because this hike will warm you up
- Wind shell, hats for warm & cool, light &/or medium weight gloves
- Rain shell due to "slight chance for rain (20%)" on Sunday
- Water & snacks. Maybe even lunch if you'd like to eat on the way down and watch the horses