Poplar Gulch Trail

Length of Hike: 7 miles RT to Timberline Meadow
Optional: 11.6 miles RT into South Cottonwood Canyon

Difficulty: Difficult

Most treks in the summer and winter go to the meadow area, 3-4 miles to the south above St. Elmo, with spectacular views across the basin of Grizzly Lake and Grizzly Gulch. An elevation of 2,500 ft. means the views from the meadow are well earned. The aspen groves here make this is one of the most beautiful hikes in the area. This trail is open to hikers, mountain bikes, and dirt bikes.
This particular hike has the option of extending past the timberline meadow, climbing to 12,250 ft. over a pass and down the other side (Green Timber Gulch) into South Cottonwood Canyon. An elevation gain of 4,307 ft makes this hike an excellent choice for elevation adjustment training.

Directions to Poplar Gulch

From Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort, take CR 162 12 miles west to St. Elmo. Across from CR 267A (Tin Cup Pass sign), take a right and park there. You will find the trailhead .5 miles from the parking area. 

10 Hiking Essentials

  1. Water (1.5 Liters per person per 5-6 hours)
  2. Snacks (Beef Jerky, nuts, power bar)
  3. Navigation (map and compass and/or GPS)
  4. Sunscreen
  5. Extra clothing (hat, socks, gloves)
  6. First aid supplies
  7. Light (headlamp or flashlight)
  8. Fire starter and matches/lighter
  9. CD Rom or mirror, whistle, mosquito repellant
  10. Emergency shelter (Biffy Bag)



*****Please Remember*****

You are starting your adventure at roughly 8,000ft.

You are likely going to an even higher altitude – hydration is key.

Water, Water, Water!

This activity is an extreme test of a person’s physical and mental limits and carries with it the potential for property loss, serious injury, and even death.  The risks include, but not limited to:  actions of other people, lack of hydration, weather, and/or other natural conditions.  Princeton Holdings, LLC DBA Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort is not liable for any injury, property loss, damage, death, etc. occurring due to any activity outlined by any information sheet provided by the property.  Guests are participating in these activities on their own merit and assume all liability, with no liability to Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort or its agents.


Surrounding Towns

Buena Vista, Colorado

Buena Vista, Colorado

Buena Vista, Colorado is just 9 miles from Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort. This unique mountain town is located on the Arkansas River. There are many shopping opportunities along with restaurants, a brewery and a distillery. LEARN MORE

Salida, Colorado

Salida, Colorado is 21 miles from the resort. This is Colorado’s largest National Historic District. Dine on the banks of the Arkansas River and explore the many art galleries in this historic downtown. This area was named Colorado’s first Creative Arts District. LEARN MORE


Call: 719-395-2447