Trail Name: Legault Mountain Trail
Location: Near Aspen Park, Colorado
Date: November 6, 2019
Time at the Trail Head: 6:30 am
Trail Length: 5.2 miles
Elevation Gain: 1,233 feet
Elev. at Trail Head: 7,850 feet
# of Hikers Passed: 27
# of Mnt. Bikers Passed: 0
# of Horses Passed: 0
I started my search in the foothills near Denver, using AllTrails, as we have recently had a 3-day snow storm and I have yet to be prepared for hikes with any significant snow. I have always loved the scenery near Aspen Park so I focused on the area around Turkey Creek Road and found the Legault Mountain Trail.
This trail is listed as moderate and is an out and back trail, starting at an elevation of 7,850 feet. I am hiking this mid week, early in the morning, and I wanted a reasonably short trail so I could get back to the office no later than 11:00 am. You can see there are several loops that you can take on the trail to vary the hike, and I will be taking the other directions on the way back down the trail.
Drive to the Trail
I left Parker, Colorado (south side of Denver) at 5:45 am in order to start my hike at day break. The sun had just started to lighten the sky in the east as I entered the foothills of the Rockies on the way to the trailhead at Turkey Creek Road and Meyer Ranch Park, near Aspen Park, Colorado.
It’s a nice drive in, early in the morning through Denver, as the traffic is light and you can see the outline of the Rockies in the distance. I always enjoy driving up US-285 from Denver because you immediately start climbing and know you’re in the Rockies and I always look forward to winding through the steep mountains as the forest of pine trees starts to thicken.
My Day on the Trail
The trailhead is right off the highway at Turkey Creek Road, so I knew I as going to have to listen to the traffic noise for the first half mile. It is a nice parking area but there are no restrooms available so make sure to stop in Denver or go on a few more miles to Aspen Park or Conifer if you need to use a restroom (Correction – there are no restrooms at the trailhead but there are some several hundred yards up the trail.
The trailhead is always full in the summers and pretty much on any nice weekend, so getting up early is nice so you don’t have to wonder if you will find a parking spot.
I immediately saw that there would be packed snow on the trail for most of the hike and I started wishing I had bought my Yaktrax and Trekking poles before this hike.
- Exclusive AERGON grip features a hollow core construction to save weight and create an edgeless, rounded grip for comfortable gripping at all angles especially for "palming" on steeper terrain. Thermo foam grip material for extra comfort, light weight and insulation in colder weather. Built in 8deg Positive Angle in LEKI grips keeps wrist in neutral position and provides more efficient pole plants.
- Air-textured "no bulk" security strap maintains design dimensions of grip; efficient wicking and fast drying; adjusts and secures strap adjustment without buckles. Extended foam grip for traversing and climbing. SPEEDLOCK 2 lever locking mechanism is simply THE strongest external locking system in the world as rated by TUV, and the only locking systems to meet the minimum holding force recommended by TUV.
- 100% High Modulus Carbon shaft sections for reliable, lightweight performance in all conditions. PE coated, Kevlar reinforced tension cord for long term reliability. ELD (External Locking Device) gives easy access to release the assembly tension of the pole for quick knock down and packing. Maximum tension between shaft sections made possible by internal (serviceable) spring in lower shaft.
- Carbon section ends are protected by machined Aluminum sleeves for extra long wear. Machined Aluminum connectors help to center shaft sections for quick, snag free assembly. LEKI's original Carbide Flextips provide secure hold on all terrain and surfaces for years of adventure; easily replaced in the field.
- Interchangeable basket system allows a variety of different sized LEKI baskets to be easily screwed on/off for different seasons/uses thanks to offset threads that keep the baskets securely in place.
There are several trail intersections on this hike so I recommend you use AllTrails to make sure you are heading in the right direction.
The trail is mostly in the woods for the majority of the hike. I love forests but I was wishing I could get an opening in the trees to see some mountain scenery. I was starting to wonder if I would get a good view when things started to open up and change.
Things were really starting to get interesting now and my hopes started rising that the hike was going to be spectacular. I had seen multiple dog tracks in the area but I also saw a lot of deer tracks and others that I am not sure of, but made me pay attention to what I might be running into.
This track made me wish I was with a group of hikers, instead of going alone.
Soon after I saw the track (which I thought may be a bear track) the scenery started becoming magnificent. I was wishing I had a more extensive vocabulary to describe what I witnessed this day.
I literally have hundreds of pictures and but I can only show you what I believe are the best ones here.
I hope you enjoy this panorama as much as I did.
This photo is looking towards the south to Pikes Peak, near Colorado Springs.
It was hard for me to come down off this mountain. This was some of the prettiest scenery I have seen in Colorado since I have moved here.
The hike back down the trail was treacherous to say the least. I fell four times due to the icy packed trail. On one of the falls, I fell on my left arm and heard a pop in my left shoulder. My shoulder still hurts a day later and I know I have injured it. Here’s a look at what I had to deal with.
Remember when I said earlier that I wished I had those Yaktrax and Trekking poles. I’m pretty confident I wouldn’t have fallen even once if I had been better prepared.
- Shoe grips designed to provide aggressive traction in winter walking conditions
- Made of case-hardened steel alloy and strung on steel aircraft cable
- Riveted to tough rubber sling that fits tennis shoes, boots and dress shoes
- Sling remains elastic even in subzero temperatures to keep grips secure
- Self-clearing design prevents snow and ice buildup
After nearly arriving back at the trailhead, you will see some nice scenery of meadows and the surrounding mountains.
This was one incredible trail and I loved every minute of it…except for sliding down the mountain and taking some nice falls.
Take a look at the YouTube video of my Hike at the Legault Mountain Trail.
I have only one thing to say about this trail. You need to see the scenery from Legault Mountain and make a plan to come and see it.
This is a painful section for me to write about, literally. I had trouble sleeping with my injured shoulder and it hurts to move it much a day later.
Here are my suggestions for things to have when hiking on a trail with snow, even if the snow isn’t deep:
- Message- exchange messages with any cell phone number or email address from virtually anywhere in the world
- S. O. S. - send an S. O. S. To the 24/7 search & rescue center, message back and forth about the nature of your emergency, and receive confirmation when help is on the way
- Tracking- Select from 21/2, 5, 10, 30 or 60 minute tracking intervals, and let family, friends and other Adventurers follow your progress with SPOT easy-to-use google maps interface
- Check in - quickly and easily let everyone know you're ok
- Post to social- Link your social accounts to keep your friends and family in the know wherever you go
These are just the minimum recommendations, besides the typical things you should take on a hike.
I had the good fortune of meeting a fun group of hikers on my way back down Legault Mountain. Of course, they all had Yaktrax on and had Trekking poles…every one of them.
They were from the Colorado Mountain Club and you can learn more about them here at cmc.org.
They actually taught me a few things in those few minutes I talked with them.
- Always have Yaktrax on a trail with snow and ice.
- Always have Trekking poles
- Never hike alone
- Know where your whistle is…mine was on my pack, in front of my face and I didn’t know it.
It’s sad to think you’re pretty good at hiking and then be told and shown some things that should have been painfully obvious.
I hope you have enjoyed experiencing this trail with me. Please leave a Comment Below or Email Me if you have any questions.
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Legault Mountain Trail
Lake or Stream Views0.0/10
Well Maintained Trails9.0/10
- Easy Access from Denver
- Magnificent Mountain Views
- Well Maintained Trails
- Multiple Trails to Choose From
- Near Conifer, Colorado
- No Creeks or Lakes
- Traffic Noise from Highway
- Parking on Weekend