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Distance: 2.5 miles
The Poplar Gulch Trail is a well-marked trail that ascends well into the mountains that is lesser known in Chaffee County. The views at the high point of the trail (12,400 feet) are majestic, with grand views of Mt. Yale to the north and a variety of other 13ers and 14ers in the distance. For those seeking to summit a mountain, an unnamed 13er (13,078’) sits at the pass directly to the east. Also, a trail does exist that descends down Green Timber Gulch and finishes at CR 344 in South Cottonwood Canyon. All told, the hike is approximately 2.5 miles (one way) to the top with an elevation again of about 2,500 feet.
Directions: From Nathrop, travel west for eleven miles on CR 162 to St. Elmo. Go through the stop sign, and then make your first right. Cross the bridge and make your first left. Then take that road as if you’re traveling to Tincup Pass. At this point, the road becomes very rocky and requires a 4WD high clearance vehicle. But the trailhead is only 0.2 miles on the right on this road. Either park in St. Elmo and hike to the road or continue if your vehicle can make it.
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