Barbour Fork

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4.7/5 (44 reviews)
Idaho Springs, Colorado (Clear Creek County)
Last Updated: 12/18/2023
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Trail Information


Camping Category Icon Camping
Forest Category Icon Forest
Rock Category Icon Rock
Scenic Category Icon Scenic

If someone told you they had a day to explore the mountains in their 4WD vehicle within a stone's throw from Denver and wanted a bit of challenge and fantastic scenery, Barbour Fork definitely should be on the shortlist. This trail has just about everything you'd want in a trail. As you traverse this rolling hillside, expect heart-racing obstacles, off-camber sections, deep ruts, and big rocks. If camping is your thing, Barbour Fork provides top-notch sites with established fire pits. Since it wasn't easy to get past these obstacles, you might have the entire place to yourself. Factor in the vast swaths of Aspen trees; this trail might be your go-to high-country fall leaf-peeping zone. Either bring the tent and stay the night or leave in the morning or even afternoon and still be home in time for dinner. Barbour Fork is one of those trails close to Denver that has it all!

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Navigation

Barbour Fork is an in-and-out trail mainly comprised of packed dirt with a few sections of rough/loose rocks and boulders. The trail is an easy drive for the first mile, followed by a few moderate sections for the second mile. Beyond Waypoint 8, the terrain changes to mainly rock and becomes a slow, bumpy slog. There are a few true obstacles on this trail that will undoubtedly challenge stock rigs, with larger rocks protruding out of the ground and deep ruts that will require either suspension flex or perhaps a locker. Barbour Fork is a great trail for someone looking for relaxing campsites or a nice day trip, given its proximity to Denver. This trail is best suited for modified vehicles with larger tires.

Trail Reviews

4.7/5 (44)
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Official Crew
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Seasonal Closure
Visited: 12/15/2023

Trail is closed for the season.
Rated 5/5
Visited: 10/19/2023
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Not that hard, some of the climbs are a little difficult without lockers, but do able. I have a stock Xj on 30’s and did the whole trail.
Trail Review: Barbour Fork - Max Stragand
Trail Review: Barbour Fork - Max Stragand
Rated 5/5
Visited: 09/28/2023
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Did a nighttime trail run of Barbour Fork directly after work, spent the night, and then ran the rest of the trail the following morning. Ran this solo in my 2-door 2012 Arctic Edition Jeep Wrangler JK with a 2.5” budget boost lift on 33’s, and factory rear Trac-Loc limited slip. Had no issues running the trail and did not scrape once on the undercarriage which was awesome. Pin-striping though was another thing. That happened quite a bit here. Was in low-range the whole time. Some of the taller, steeper rock ledges required that extra lower gearing. Couldn’t imagine doing without it. This trail is definitely pretty tight in areas. Plenty of ruts, rock ledges, and off camber moments to make for a fun challenging day. My favorite part was definitely the “Trojan Hill” portion of the trail. However, there’s lots of spots on trees where you can tell full size vehicles slammed their bodies into around that waypoint. Would not recommend taking a full-size truck here. If you’re looking for scenic, there isn’t much to see here unfortunately. But if you’re looking for a closeby trail from the Metro area or are interested in a very secluded camping spot, this is it. Once again, would not recommend taking a full-size truck out here at the moment. This trail will definitely test how well you know your vehicle’s dimensions.
Trail Review: Barbour Fork - Christopher Li
Trail Review: Barbour Fork - Christopher Li
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Visited: 09/22/2023
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

The trail rating of 5 starts at waypoint #3. Most of the trail is a rocky climb up a narrow trail. It was a fun afternoon ride that took ~3.5 hours to complete the round trip comfortable. Long vehicles may find it difficult to avoid body damage and the missing bark from trees show that. 1980 Jeep Wagoneer
Trail Review: Barbour Fork - AnthonyOhio
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Visited: 08/05/2023
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Great trail, accurately rated. Some tight areas, pin striping, decent views.

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