View Full Version : China Wall on a Wednesday

04-08-2009, 10:43 PM
So, I had an urge to get out and wheel and the forecast was calling for sunny and 70 on April 8. Time to blow off work and go wheeling. :cool:

I've been wanting to try out the China Wall trail which is South of the Tarryall Reservoir near the Lost Creek Wilderness. I had never explored this area West of Lost Creek and the Hayman fire. It's a beautiful part of the state.

Dan (MountainGoat) and I headed out from Conifer at 9:00. We went over Kenosha Pass on 285 and then down 77 towards Tarryall. It's a pretty long drive to get to the trail but there's lots of scenery along the way. We got to the trail and aired down and started exploring the area. We had a great view of Pikes Peak and the surrounding landscape.


The main trail is smooth, sandy, rolling with a few fun sections of rock to climb on. The trail goes for a few miles then ends at some great campsites down near Tarryall creek.


After a leisurely lunch break we explored some more of the side trails before heading down the second section of the trail which goes to an area along Tarryall creek called Box Canyon. There were a few more sections of fun rock obstacles and hills before we reached the canyon. One hill in particular was a challenge. It had an off camber, boulder strewn approach down a very steep, loose, rocky trail. It was a fun section. Here's a look up the hill and Dan getting ready to drop in at the top. Another of me coming down through the rocks.


The area around Box Canyon has been post-and-cabled, but there is a foot trail that goes into the canyon. The trail follows the creek and is bordered by huge rock formations and the creek forms huge natural pools between the rocks. Looks like it would be a great place to swim in the summer. Judging from the number of over-used campsites, I bet it gets pretty crowded on weekends. We picked up a lot of trash all along the trails and in the campsites. We definitely left China Wall cleaner than we found it. ;)

Box Canyon


We continued up the trail checking out more side trails. We didn't have a detailed map, but we managed to find a trail with a looong hill climb that ended up taking us back to our original trail, near the trailhead. This made a great loop. We headed back down to the trailhead and aired up. We opted to drive back up 77 rather than taking the Goose Creek road because my 40 was low on gas. I'll plan on that route next time and make sure to bring some extra fuel.

Thanks, Dan, for ditching work and wheeling on a Wednesday. :thumb: :beer:

04-08-2009, 10:48 PM
Very nice. Thanks for all the photos.

04-08-2009, 10:49 PM
Good report and pics. Martin. Glad you and Dan had fun.

04-08-2009, 10:59 PM
mmmmmm fishing

04-08-2009, 11:02 PM
mmmmmm fishing

I was wondering how that area would be? Looked good. Any insight, John? :)

04-09-2009, 07:44 AM
sections of tarryall are considered gold medal water by some. more towards the tailwater of the reservoir.


04-09-2009, 08:00 AM
Here are my pics. The weather was perfect, starting out clear and cool. Just when it started getting too warm, a nice breeze picked up and some light clouds rolled in. This was a great opening season run!

Martin's truck in front of Tarryall Resevoir. It was 50% clear of ice and there was not a single person there.
The northwest face of Pikes Peak.
My trusty 80 is nearing the quarter million mark!
Airing down at the trailhead - the Red & Green show.
Trail entrance. Overall the trail was 95% dry. No snow more than about an inch deep anywhere.
Awesome scenery from the trailhead.
The area abounds with interesting rock formations.
Between the rock formations the trail has many sandy smooth sections.
Martin clears the first obstacle.
Martin lining up for another obstacle which he crawled right up. All of the obstacles had bypasses or alternate routes.
Our lunch spot on Tarryall Creek. There were a bunch of nice campsites right on the creek here.
After lunch my 80 cleverly tried to hide behind a tree, but I found it without too much trouble.
Toward the end of the day we took a quick walk up the box canyon. Here are the posts & cables Martin mentioned in his post.
The local facilities made it just like being at home. :hill:
Here are a couple shots in the canyon. I could easily spend a day just exploring this area on foot.

Overall a perfect day. My sliders got friendly with some rocks, as did my skid plate. However no damage was incurred thanks to Mr. Slee.

Thanks for the invite Martin. Like I said at lunch: Beats the hell out of working!

04-09-2009, 08:07 AM
Looks like a great time in a great place and you had it all to yourselves. Thanks for sharing the pictures.

04-09-2009, 10:54 AM
wanna do it again this weekend and fish it?

04-09-2009, 02:40 PM
how do you get there? I've been wanting to go there for a while now but don't know exactly how or where to go once I get on the trail...

04-09-2009, 03:23 PM
how do you get there? I've been wanting to go there for a while now but don't know exactly how or where to go once I get on the trail...

It's really easy to find and the trails are all signed by the Forest Service. :thumb:

The trailhead is 13 or 14 miles South of Tarryall reservoir off 77. You'll see the Twin Spruce campground on your left, then forest road 212 will be less than a mile past that also on your left. Here's a map I made of the trails. I followed 212 till it dead ended near the creek, then backtracked to the intersection with 204 and went down the tough hill to Box Canyon, then looped back to 212 on 204A. We checked out most of the spur trails too.


04-09-2009, 03:33 PM
Also the Trail Damage page is pretty accurate: China Wall (http://www.traildamage.com/trails/index.php?id=61) :thumb: Cool place.

04-09-2009, 05:21 PM
Beautiful day. Thanks for sharing the pics!

04-09-2009, 06:57 PM
Thanks for the report looks like a great spring trail option