Barbour Fork

Idaho Springs, Colorado (Clear Creek County)

Last Updated: 10/04/2020
4.9 / 5 ( 13 reviews )
Information
Nearby Trails
Status: Open
Typically Open: 06/14 - 12/15
Length: 7.4 miles
Highest Elevation: 10403 feet
Duration: About 1 hour, 30 minutes
Shape of Trail: Loop
Best Direction to Travel: West
Nearest Town: Idaho Springs
Nearest Town w/ Services: Idaho Springs
Official Road Name: 194
Management Agency: Arapaho National Forest
District: Clear Creek Ranger District
Showing 0 trails within 2 miles

Highlights

Highlight: Barbour Fork
Barbour Fork is open seasonally from June 15th until December 1st. It is very close to I-70 and has a lot to offer for being so close to the foothills of Denver. This trail that has a little bit of everything- rock crawling, hill climbs and descents, twisty sections and mud. It's a lot of fun without being overly challenging, and makes a good choice for a moderate 4x4 trail that is close to Denver. It's a good trail for drivers that have graduated from beginner trails. It is worth noting that this area is popular for quick day trips and target shooting.

Video

Weather

7 day forecast for Barbour Fork

Route Information

Technical Rating:
(DIFFICULT )

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Waypoints

1. Trailhead / Trail End ( mi)
Barbour Fork (Trail #194) starts at the end of the dirt road where the seasonal closure gate is. There is a large parking lot to the left and is the best option for airing down.

Directions to Trailhead

Trailhead Coordinates: 39.715102, -105.554666

Starting Point: Denver

Take I-70 Westbound, from I-70, take exit 240 north / Idaho Springs. Follow Miner Street to Soda Creek Road, which goes under the interstate and past Indian Hot Springs Resort. Follow Soda Creek Road South for approximately 3 miles to a large parking area for hiking and trailers. The trail begins at a seasonal gate adjacent to the parking lot.

Camping

Dispersed

Land Use Issues

The area is closed to motorized vehicles from December 1st - June 14th to minimize disturbances during the elk calving season. There are quite a few illegal trails in the network and should not be used, as this mis-use can shut down trails. Please clean up all trash you may encounter so that these trails can remain open to the public.

Trail Reviews (17)

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
This will be a trail that I will definitely return to! Loved the obstacles and they definitely did test out the flex on both my rig and the rig along with me. Unfortunately, we just missed the leaves by about a week. However, this would be an awesome trail to see some fall colors if your timing is right.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Can't believe I have never done this trail until now! What an amazing trail so close to Denver. Great camping opportunities, technical obstacles, and when we went - some gorgeous bands of yellow and orange aspen trees. I highly recommend this trail if you have a lightly modified rig. A stock rig will probably do fine with an experienced driver with good tires. I can't wait to come back!!

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
First off this trail was a blast to run. Got up nice and early to go before work and between the beautiful weather and lack of people, it was almost a perfect combination. While having a couple technical spots, this trail is doable with a good line and spotter. This trail was doable in my '99 f-150 with the torsion keys cranked and 33's. Other than ending up on extremely narrow dead end roads, length and width was not a problem. Trojan hill was the only spot that open diffs became a problem, however with a better line and some velocity I was able to get through no problem. Overall an amazing trail to get out and have fun! Other vehicle was a Cherokee on 31's and he had roughly the same traction issues as I did.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
We made it to the top clearing, hung out for a while the made out way back down. Everyone had lifts and large tires (except for me, just stock tires). We had to do some spotting going up the hill. I was told we did the easy section and it was doable for sure with the correct lines, but it is not an easy trail to do by yourself. (My opinion) Lots of fun, but have a capable vehicle, not anything less than a TRD tacoma and no renegades, compasses etc..

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
This trail is a lot of fun and a bit challenging. I took the left option at Waypoint 7 and got up on three wheels in my lifted JL on 37's. The rocky climbs are no joke and stock vehicles will be challenged at Waypoints 7 and 11. We saw a group of three stock Toyota pickups get turned around after not making the climb at Waypoint 11. We only saw two other built rigs on the trail. Peaceful and quiet day on the trail.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
A pleasant surprise to see the trail has gotten more technical but I was still fine. I don't remember there being that many flexy sections in the beginning but those are my favorite, all in all a great day. Totally dry except the puddle at the fork but it was only a few inches deep.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Just went up here today with a stock Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk. It was extremely challenging. Not sure if others have lift kits, but the stock jeep cannot do this. Don't even try to do it alone. I made it about half way starting on the right side of the fork. The road was rutted out and we had to prop up a lot of rocks to make it through a few obstacles. We had to turn around after we attempted to go up the trail going up the mountain. I have 10.8" ground clearance and wish it was lifted a bit more. I would love to attempt this again with a lift and rock rails. I scraped up my right side by the tired on one of the obstacles.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
The gate is open and the trail is clear all the way through.

Author:
Status: Seasonal Closure
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Went here hoping to at least get to the first open field area. Unfortunately trail is still closed, even though it seems much of it is doable now with little snow. I also did this trail Nov 2018 and will say it was definitely a good trail to test your 4x4. Had to use lockers to make it over the tougher obstacles.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Always a good time. This trail is true to the description with a little bit of everything. It is close enough to the metro area that I run it after every build change as a shakedown. If you don't have time to run the full trail, turnaround after WP 7. This gets you to the best part!. Notes: Trojan Hill is getting a bit dug out (WP 11) at the base. I had to wait while a JKU stacked rocks and eventually winched up. Definitely watch your line on the backside of the loop (WP-15,16) if you run a smaller lift/tires. I dented my oil pan this last trip. There is a creepy camper parked at the cutoff (WP-8) this season. I have never seen anyone there and usually don't stop to check it out.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Gates are open! great little loop not too far from town. Just enough of a challenge to keep things interesting, happy to have recently added a small lift but our group included a stock Rubicon who made it without issue. Waypoint #17 left a little trail kiss on my hitch. Im not sure I would try this with a full size rig, plenty of tight areas in the trees and you can tell those particular trees have been rubbed for years.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Fun loop that's not too difficult, but has some fun spots.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
My family relocated to Littleton, CO a few weeks back, and we finally were able to do a little trail exploring this weekend in our 2015 JK. The drive from south Denver to this trail was an easy and enjoyable one. And the trail did not disappoint for a newcomer to off-roading. The upwards climb, beautiful scenery (from open vistas to tight tree paths), and a few challenging rocky sections made this a blast for the whole family! Definitely worth the drive.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Fun ride today on Barbour Fork. I followed the guide (thanks!) in a stock JL Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon today with no issues. It was quiet, which was unexpected on a Saturday afternoon. I saw a total of 4 other vehicles. We'll be back.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
This is a fun little loop with easy accessibility from Denver. We had the trail to ourselves. I found it to be challenging in a stock vehicle but not unpassable. Having a bit more clearance and flex is helpful. The middle section, a rocky climb through a narrow forest, was my favorite. The descent down the back side of the loop is easy.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Trail was very easy to get to from Denver. When I was there it was very dry. On the trail, follow the directions in the primary trail description as they are spot on. I was able to have cell reception for nearly the entire trail. Great scenery changes going from tight wooded trails to open meadows. I wouldn't recommend anything wider than 85" because of some narrow tree sections. A lot of low traction areas - good test for modern traction control systems, may be a challenge for open diffs without flexy suspensions.

Questions & Answers (6)

Q: Any idea when this trail opens back up?
–Steven Salinas (05/15/2020)
–John (05/15/2020)
Q: any body know currant trail conditions 12/25/18?
–michael pitts (12/25/2018)
–Todd (12/26/2018)
Q: Does anyone know the condition of the trail since the snowfall we got a week or two ago?
–William (10/20/2018)
–William (10/22/2018)
Q: In the description in mentions camping a few times but then says that camping is not allowed. Is there camping allowed just not in certain areas or is it completely banned?
–Ryan Mitchell (08/23/2017)
–Ryan Boudreau (11/15/2017)
–Andrew Dixon (08/24/2017)
Q: Are there designated target shooting areas or can you find a suitable back stop anywhere on the trail?
–Terry (06/17/2017)
–Andrew Dixon (06/20/2017)
Q: Do you think a stock vehicle with about 8.5" of ground clearance at the lowest point but with lockers could make it through this trail?
–Chris Li (01/21/2017)
–Ryan (08/05/2018)
–Kyle Judson (07/14/2018)
–Kyle Judson (07/14/2018)
–rovermp82 (07/05/2017)
–Andrew Dixon (01/22/2017)

Writer Information

Andrew Dixon

Mapping Crew - Colorado

Andrew is native to Golden, Colorado. As he was growing up he became very fond of the outdoors while mountain biking - he would get on his bike to escape real life and get into the wilderness. This habit never left his system and after high school, he was dragged out to Moab with some buddies, and that's when he ingested the 4wheeling bug. Driving a stock '99 4Runner, he ran Fins n' Things, and his second trail was Hell's Revenge. Needless to say - Andrew was hooked. After building eight Toyota trucks over the last 9 years, exploring the trails of Colorado and Utah quickly became his #1 favorite thing to do. He joined TrailsOffroad.com in September 2016 with the motivation to help others along journeys of their own. It is this passion that drives him to share knowledge about the trails he knows very well, and to make sure everyone knows exactly what they are getting into, before they get there.
For individual use only, not to be shared.