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View Full Version : Hubbard's Cave trail information request


halcapron
06-15-2010, 10:21 AM
I am looking for some help on Hubbard's Cave trail from Co 120 rd outside of Glenwood Springs CO. Is it possible to get a 4x4 ford Excursion with very high clearance to the cave? Is it also possible to go from the cave to the Southeast toward the little Grand Mesa, Green Lake, Consolidated Reservoir area? Any information anyone has will be appreciated.
Thanks,
Hal Capron

simps80
06-16-2010, 08:50 AM
see this thread:

http://www.risingsun4x4club.org/forum2/showthread.php?t=13143

and also you can call:
USDA Forest Service
White River
National Forest
900 Grand Ave.
P.O. Box 948
Glenwood Springs CO 81602
970-945-2521

those guys know current conditions and will offer an opinion as well.

simps80
06-16-2010, 09:34 AM
actually it might be these guys that i called, i can't remember

Sopris Ranger District
620 Main Street
Carbondale, CO 81623
(970) 963-2266—Voice
(970) 963-1012—Fax

Crash
06-19-2010, 12:54 PM
Hal,
Suz and I got back last night from a three day trip up to Deadman Creek/Hubbard's Cave after not having been there for over five years. Wow, have things changed since then and not for the better. Those that have fond memories of great trips there during the Rising Sun adopt-a-trail cleanup runs are lucky to have seen the area back then. To answer the question about a full-size vehicle making it up there, the answer pretty much depends on how much HARD pinstripping you can handle on your truck - the kind that doesn't really buff out all that well. Even when the caves were a summer destination point for lots of folks, the trail was narrow and ready to scratch up your vehicle. That has changed dramatically, as the BLM or FS has pretty much taken the caves off the map, imo. The trailhead, where there was room for a dozen vehicles to park and set up camp, has been bypassed and you can't even tell where the access road to the old trailhead used to be. After the last little downhill with the left turn at the bottom that took you to the camp area, the road now goes directly east across the creek and starts heading back uphill immediately. You drive about a 1/4 mile to the new trailhead which is an area barely big enough for three small vehicles to park and nothing more - no room for a small tent even and it is hard to turn around in the area alloted. From the looks of the footpath leaving the "trailhead" it isn't getting much use at all. That's sad, in itself, that the caves are no longer a cool destination but the forest is in a really sad state, too. Beetle kill is rampant in the pines and the great and huge stands of majestic aspens have pretty much run their natural course of life, too, it appears. Amongst the living trees is a large portion of standing deadwood and tons of deadfall everywhere. On our way out after a night of camping without too much in the way of winds, we had to handsaw our way through two 12" diameter aspen that had fallen across the trail that night. All along the trail were large trees that had been shoved aside or the trail had go-arounds created to bypass them. If you were to go today, you would be well-advised to take along a chainsaw as we got about a mile above the creek and turned around because of the large number of trees across the trail. We could see a dozen or more trees like this in a short distance ahead so if you plan on getting to the Little Grand Mesa, make sure you start early in the day, as you could spend a large part of it clearing trees from the trail. The forest looked sad. We didn't take the time to go to the caves to see what sort of condition they were in.
I'm really glad that we have pictures from three cleanup runs and we plan to pull them out this weekend to see how beautiful this area used to be. It's still a wonderful area, just not as grand as it once was. If you have pictures of trips you made up there, check them out and be glad you were there when you were.
Steve

simps80
06-19-2010, 10:57 PM
that's pretty much what the forest service guys said, they take atv's up there only when I talked to them no trucks, then a pre-scout scout trip took place and the answer was, heck no, we're not taking a bunch of kids up there way too skinny nevermind if its wet

too bad, cause it sounded like an awesome place

halcapron
06-22-2010, 04:32 PM
Hal,
Suz and I got back last night from a three day trip up to Deadman Creek/Hubbard's Cave after not having been there for over five years. Wow, have things changed since then and not for the better. Those that have fond memories of great trips there during the Rising Sun adopt-a-trail cleanup runs are lucky to have seen the area back then. To answer the question about a full-size vehicle making it up there, the answer pretty much depends on how much HARD pinstripping you can handle on your truck - the kind that doesn't really buff out all that well. Even when the caves were a summer destination point for lots of folks, the trail was narrow and ready to scratch up your vehicle. That has changed dramatically, as the BLM or FS has pretty much taken the caves off the map, imo. The trailhead, where there was room for a dozen vehicles to park and set up camp, has been bypassed and you can't even tell where the access road to the old trailhead used to be. After the last little downhill with the left turn at the bottom that took you to the camp area, the road now goes directly east across the creek and starts heading back uphill immediately. You drive about a 1/4 mile to the new trailhead which is an area barely big enough for three small vehicles to park and nothing more - no room for a small tent even and it is hard to turn around in the area alloted. From the looks of the footpath leaving the "trailhead" it isn't getting much use at all. That's sad, in itself, that the caves are no longer a cool destination but the forest is in a really sad state, too. Beetle kill is rampant in the pines and the great and huge stands of majestic aspens have pretty much run their natural course of life, too, it appears. Amongst the living trees is a large portion of standing deadwood and tons of deadfall everywhere. On our way out after a night of camping without too much in the way of winds, we had to handsaw our way through two 12" diameter aspen that had fallen across the trail that night. All along the trail were large trees that had been shoved aside or the trail had go-arounds created to bypass them. If you were to go today, you would be well-advised to take along a chainsaw as we got about a mile above the creek and turned around because of the large number of trees across the trail. We could see a dozen or more trees like this in a short distance ahead so if you plan on getting to the Little Grand Mesa, make sure you start early in the day, as you could spend a large part of it clearing trees from the trail. The forest looked sad. We didn't take the time to go to the caves to see what sort of condition they were in.
I'm really glad that we have pictures from three cleanup runs and we plan to pull them out this weekend to see how beautiful this area used to be. It's still a wonderful area, just not as grand as it once was. If you have pictures of trips you made up there, check them out and be glad you were there when you were.
Steve

Is the trail from the cave to the little grand mesa easy to find and passable?

JadeRunner
06-22-2010, 08:58 PM
The main road takes you up passed the cave trail head right to the mesa. No route finding needed. Just downed trees to deal with as Steve reports.

JadeRunner
06-22-2010, 09:22 PM
Yea Steve it's too bad how it has changed. I had the same shock a few years ago after they re-did the whole cave trail-head area. But, I believe it gets used more than you think. It's still early in the season ya know. I know when I go up there each fall after our hunt trip there are hunters everywhere tooling around in ATV's and trucks. And it still one of the premier caves in the state. I personally hate the guano dust you get in the smaller tunnels.

Too bad about the beetle kill and all the trees falling. That's going to be a problem.

In the forest service's mind those changes must have been needed. The meadow camp area would soon to turn to dirt due to overuse and a difficult stream crossing\mud bog with various lines needed to be dealt with.

The parking lot seemed adequate to me. But, they sure didn't want people camping near the cave trail head the way they set it up. Fortunately, the camp sites up towards the mesa are sure nice.

This picture of of the parking lot two years ago. We did it after a melting snow storm had retreated. The mud was bad but not a problem if you took you time and had mud tires. I did chain up the rears. Not sure if that was needed. Good fun:( I met a jeep coming up. Although most of the hunters would only take their atv's down there that weekend.





Hal,
Suz and I got back last night from a three day trip up to Deadman Creek/Hubbard's Cave after not having been there for over five years. Wow, have things changed since then and not for the better. Those that have fond memories of great trips there during the Rising Sun adopt-a-trail cleanup runs are lucky to have seen the area back then. To answer the question about a full-size vehicle making it up there, the answer pretty much depends on how much HARD pinstripping you can handle on your truck - the kind that doesn't really buff out all that well. Even when the caves were a summer destination point for lots of folks, the trail was narrow and ready to scratch up your vehicle. That has changed dramatically, as the BLM or FS has pretty much taken the caves off the map, imo. The trailhead, where there was room for a dozen vehicles to park and set up camp, has been bypassed and you can't even tell where the access road to the old trailhead used to be. After the last little downhill with the left turn at the bottom that took you to the camp area, the road now goes directly east across the creek and starts heading back uphill immediately. You drive about a 1/4 mile to the new trailhead which is an area barely big enough for three small vehicles to park and nothing more - no room for a small tent even and it is hard to turn around in the area alloted. From the looks of the footpath leaving the "trailhead" it isn't getting much use at all. That's sad, in itself, that the caves are no longer a cool destination but the forest is in a really sad state, too. Beetle kill is rampant in the pines and the great and huge stands of majestic aspens have pretty much run their natural course of life, too, it appears. Amongst the living trees is a large portion of standing deadwood and tons of deadfall everywhere. On our way out after a night of camping without too much in the way of winds, we had to handsaw our way through two 12" diameter aspen that had fallen across the trail that night. All along the trail were large trees that had been shoved aside or the trail had go-arounds created to bypass them. If you were to go today, you would be well-advised to take along a chainsaw as we got about a mile above the creek and turned around because of the large number of trees across the trail. We could see a dozen or more trees like this in a short distance ahead so if you plan on getting to the Little Grand Mesa, make sure you start early in the day, as you could spend a large part of it clearing trees from the trail. The forest looked sad. We didn't take the time to go to the caves to see what sort of condition they were in.
I'm really glad that we have pictures from three cleanup runs and we plan to pull them out this weekend to see how beautiful this area used to be. It's still a wonderful area, just not as grand as it once was. If you have pictures of trips you made up there, check them out and be glad you were there when you were.
Steve

Crash
06-22-2010, 10:37 PM
Scott, your pic shows what I was seeing as a place for maybe three vehicles to park and certainly nothing like the old area in regards to camp-friendliness. You are correct about the former creek crossing being a muddy mess most of the time and the FS or BLM had to make some sort of change, which they did, just too bad that camping near the caves trailhead is no longer an option. Having been up to the area in mid-september before, I'm well aware of how much traffic it gets during the various hunting seasons and my comment about lessened use these days was solely in reference to the day trippers going up to the caves during the summer months which helped keep the brush somewhat at bay. The trail is really overgrown now and it was bad enough before. If you want to get to the camp areas above the caves trailhead that Scott mentions, you really must take a chainsaw for trail clearing. Also as Scott points out, once you are on the correct trail to to get to the caves, you are on the trail to Little Grand Mesa. Still great rewards for your efforts should you go, just not the same as it used to be, but, what is?

Hulk
06-23-2010, 01:11 AM
Ah, that's a shame. I always enjoyed that trail. I wonder if the local Glenwood Springs club that adopted the trail from us is actually doing any trail maintenance.

JadeRunner
06-23-2010, 09:23 AM
I believe the Glenwood Club who adopted it after us worked with the FS to make the changes soon after they took over. I think I remember the FS contacting me about it and I referred them to the new club who Perry and I were in contact with at the time.

Crash
06-23-2010, 10:18 AM
Here's a pic of the local club's sign where the Rising Sun sign used to be, right up the road from the bottom trailhead by the gravel road. The trail itself was clean and fairly free of trash, especially when compared to most trails in our forests these days. I take that to be another sign, however, of the trail not getting much day use. The cattle crossings were clean and free of mud and the hunters' camps were free of big trash like we found every year during our cleanup runs, indicating the local club is doing it's part. The trail could stand a serious makeover with chainsaw wielding crews to widen it up, but, as we experienced, trees falling on a regular basis would keep those crews busy.