Due to unprecedented and historic fire conditions, U.S. Forest Service-Arapaho & Roosevelt National Forests and Pawnee National Grassland is temporarily closing all National Forest land in Clear Creek, Jefferson, Gilpin, Boulder, and Larimer counties. The decision to be re-evaluated daily. SEE CLOSURE ORDER
Solitude Creek is situated in Roosevelt National Forest just east of Estes Park. It is a loop off of the popular out-and-back, Pole Hill. This loop offers some truly epic camping opportunities and provides some of the most stunning views the Pole Hill area has to offer. There is one notable obstacle along Solitude Creek, which is called The Notch. Like the other trails in this area, any skill level or vehicle build will have a fun day out on this trail. The obstacles you will encounter will give the lesser built vehicles a challenge and will give the more built vehicles a chance to flex out.
If you are into camping, definitely bring the tent out for this one. If you are more of a day tripper, make sure you bring a lunch as this trail provides some extremely scenic places to enjoy a bite to eat while enjoying gorgeous views of the surrounding environment. For a fantastic day of offroading, combine this trail with Panorama Peak and Pole Hill. Run all three trails for a great time close to the Front Range.
Solitude Creek begins near the end of Pole Hill. Much of the first section of the trail is through a narrow aspen grove. A brown colored US Forest Service road marker, "122A", is the only marking for the start of the trail.
Take Highway 36 east out of Estes Park approximately 2.5 miles. Turn left onto CR 122, Pole Hill Road. Follow the winding Pole Hill Road uphill for 1 mile to the trailhead for Pole Hill. Continue on Pole Hill to Waypoint 9 (1.51 miles). Solitude Creek is on the left.
Due to the Cameron Peak forest fire, The USFS has closed the entire Canyon Lakes Ranger District in the Roosevelt National Forest. This trail will likely be closed for the remainder of the 2020 season. A copy of the map for the closure area can be found here.
this loop is absolutely worth it, the views are incredible, lots of great camping sites, the smoke from the forest fires almost completely blocked out the sunset at points but it was still incredible. it was a good workout for my lifted subaru crosstrek
here is the sunset video
Me and my wife are currently camping right off the loop. It was a blast to drive, the views are stunning, and hardly any traffic today. Took just about every hard line I could find, and hit no struggles. We will be back!
I find this the most enjoyable loop in the Pole Hill area. The section of trail between Waypoint 1 and Waypoint 2 is narrow and be difficult to pass an oncoming vehicle. I have always run this trail counter-clockwise (as this guide depicts) but others do differently. The view of the Estes Park Valley at Waypoint 8, "The Notch", is picturesque and one for the family scrapbook. Bring your camera.
Absolutely love this trail. I feel like the Moderate rating holds very true for a few of the obstacles on the trail. The lookout section on Loop 2 is amazing at sunset and we have been fortunate enough to be the only campers up there 2x this year. I like the "hard lines" of the Pole Hill entrance and opting for Loop 2 obstacles vs the terrain of Loop 1... by all means do both though!
We spent the 4th of July camped off this loop. Amazingly it wasn't very busy at all, only a few campers. I suspect the fire bans and high heat this year played a major role. Didn't see any of the usual tour vehicles traveling through this time either. We did however get rained and hailed on. Which made for some great sunsets once it cleared.
Tim lives and works in Northern Colorado. He has owned and driven 4X4 vehicles his entire adult life including Jeeps, pick ups, ATVs and UTVs. After high school, Tim's first 4X4 was a 47 Willy's CJ-2A with a flat 4 and a 6-volt electrical system. Typically wheeling in Northern Colorado or Southern Wyoming, Tim loves being in the mountains and the back country. Because of a desire to enjoy and promote responsible off-roading and to keep it available for the future, he belongs to a local 4X4 off-road club. Being part of the Trailsoffroad.com community furthers that goal as well.
A love for off-road adventures, camping, fishing, and hunting keeps Tim away from pavement and always exploring. While his wife likes the comfort of a Jeep Grand Cherokee, Tim prefers the ruggedness of the Jeep Wrangler. Although most off-road time is spent in Colorado and Wyoming, an occasional trip to the Moab area is common. Tim will spend the summer going topless and enjoying the value of the great outdoors. Amateur Radio Technician license call sign: ke0npg