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Bulwark Ridge

We ventured into Glen Haven to look for a hike this weekend. We've only done one other hike in Glen Haven, Crosier Mountain, and that hike was a lot of fun with spectacular views so we decided to give another hike in the area a try. We picked the Bulwark Ridge area because there were lots of options depending on how we were feeling. Our original goal was to make it to the Miller Fork Loop, but we decided against it after hiking up 1,000 feet and not wanting to hike down Bulwark Ridge just to hike back up to Miller Fork. And more importantly, we did not want to have a 1,000 foot ascent on our way back to the car - hikes should be easy on the way back! Instead, we stayed on Bulwark Trail and almost made it to the Wilderness Border.

The problem with this kind of hike is that we had no destination which kind of made the whole hike a little boring. The closest thing that we could have hiked to on Bulwark Ridge was Signal Mountain, which is out of our skill level (it's 3,000+ feet in elevation gain and over 10 miles long). Since there's no destination, there's no motivation to get to the "end" and you just turn around whenever you really like. Some people might like that option, but I really like hiking to a destination, be that a lake, waterfall, or top of a mountain. When you hike to a destination, it just gives you a sense of accomplishment and a good spot to rest.

There were some pretty great views early on in the hike. You start on a South-facing ridge that's pretty exposed, so you get to see all the Southern mountain ranges. It was pretty hazy, most likely from the Pine Gulch fire all the way in Grand Junction. That fire started a little over a week ago and is over 200 miles away from us. So the fact that we can see and smell it way over in Northern Colorado shows how big this 20k acre fire really is. Hopefully, they get in contained sometime soon.

We turned around after hitting the 3-mile mark, making for a total round trip distance of just under 6 miles and over 1,400 feet in elevation gain. We started the hike at about 9:30am, and the temperatures were already into the upper 70's. By the end of the hike, it was certainly into the 80's. My watch recorded a max temperature of 93°F, but that's my skin temperature which tends to be a little hotter than the outdoor temperature. The heat combined with the steep incline immediately and the lack of shade for a good portion of the hike made this a pretty difficult hike.

Trailhead Location
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5.92 mi 3 hrs 9,218 ft 1,444 ft
View Graph
Bright Moon
Blooming Grass
The Fork
In the Shade of a Tree