Turret Trail

Scout Route
4.5/5 (5 reviews)

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The Turret Trail leads to the old ghost town of Turret, Colorado, and is the only road into, rather than around, Browns Canyon National Monument. The first few miles are a graded county road until you get to the Turret ghost town, which is privately owned and has interesting old buildings you can view from the road. Turning left on the main road through town brings you to the hiking trailhead for the Austin Trail, which goes to one of the main attractions in Browns Canyon National Monument called Railroad Gulch.

Past Turret, Forest Road 184 becomes a one-lane dirt track. Though the road remains easy, the terrain becomes more rugged as you enter Browns Canyon National Monument. The trail winds through a series of scenic hills and valleys with frequent views of towering rock formations nearby and the Collegiate Peaks in the distance. The road eventually dead-ends at a washed-out gully a few hundred yards short of where the endpoint is shown on the MVUM. Beyond that point, it turns into a scenic but seldom-used hiking trail entering the Browns Canyon Wilderness Study Area.

Dispersed camping is allowed along this trail, and there is one notable campsite up a short spur with spectacular views of the Collegiate Peaks and the Arkansas Valley. Even though it's in a national monument, this road is very lightly used and unlikely to be crowded even on holiday weekends. Turret Trail is a true hidden gem in the Salida area.