Homer Rouse (Old Fish Creek Road)
Starting from the Trail Head off of Fish Creek road and Cheley camp entrance, take road south to Homer Rouse trail head. Sometimes you can park on the side of the road a little closer to the trailhead but there is limited parking and the locals don’t really like a lot of cars on the side of the road. The parking lot at the start of the road is a designated parking spot. Besides, it’s a great warmup to the trail head…about a 1/4 mile.
Once on the trail, it becomes a one-lane dirt road. Be looking for the Homer Rouse Trail sign pointing to the left. If you miss this turn, you will end up in private property and someone’s front yard. It’s about 200-300 feet from the trailhead is where you will turn left. Once you turn, you will see a bridge (most 36″ ORHCs fit the bridge). you can either take the bridge or ford the stream. Unless it is spring and the run-off is running really deep, I usually like to cross the stream. The trail becomes single-track and fairly technical with a small off-camber. A couple of switch backs up the small hill with a wonderful forest environment.
I have seen Bear, Elk, and occasionally a Mt. Lion in these woods. The single track will keep you ‘on your toes’ for about 3/4 mile until you popout onto the old Fish Creek Road that used to take travelers over to Lilly Lake (now Hwy 7 bypasses this road). This road is lined with Aspen groves and has a max grade of 5%. You can stay on this road all the way till it meets up with Baldpate Inn and Hwy 7. I have crossed the Highway and done the Lilly Lake loops sometimes when I have extra energy.
Watch out for alot of hikers around the lake. They get upset with us if we are too fast since they think we are on a ‘bike’ and bikes are not allowed on National Park land. Just go slow, pull over for walkers, and smile! Most peeps will be intrigued with your rig and ask more questions. Now…go back the way you came and enjoy the awesome downhill!!!!
Trail Name: Homer Rouse (Old Fish Creek Road)
Location: Estes Park, Colorado | Map
Type: Narrow trail (< 30"), Wide trail (≥ 30″), Recreation path, Start and end at the same point (Out-and-Back)
Rating: Adaptive Level 08
Length: 4 miles Round Trip
Steepest Section: Mild – under 10º
Most Off-Camber Section: Mild – under 10º
Terrain: Mostly hardpack, minimal loose sections
Obstacles: Root exposure, Brush and/or other growth, Baby heads and/or rock gardens, Drops, ledges, jumps, Water crossings
Help Needed? Nope
Directions to Trailhead
Take Hwy 7 south out of Estes Park. Turn Left (south) onto Fish Creek Road. Merge right onto dirt road and you’ll see the Cheley Camp sign. Park in parking lot just southeast of the mailboxes.
I will be hiking around with my family, and we have 3 kids – ages 6, 10 and 12. We’re from Texas, visiting the Estes Park area for a few days. Should I be worried about the bears and/or mountain lions?