Eagle County, Colorado
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This is the most challenging trail in the area other than Holy Cross, though if the trail is very muddy it could cause just as many issues as Holy Cross can. It can be run in combination with No Name Gulch as an exit route if you wish to only travel Yoder Gulch uphill.
The trailhead is fairly easy to find, as you make a left turn to follow along some abandoned railroad tracks, with the tracks between you and Highway 24. Watch for a very steep uphill turn to the right of the trail that you must follow.
After you take the uphill turn, the trail will continue in a fairly direct southwest direction for a few miles. However, these few miles can be very difficult.
There are three sections of the trail that usually have mud in them to make things difficult. If they have no mud, they are moderate obstacles. If they have a lot of mud, winching may be necessary.
The first mud crossing has a slick section followed by a steep uphill climb on dirt and tree roots. There are two lines up this hill and each one is difficult and steep. After you get to the top of the short hill you make a tippy right turn that leans you into a tree. You could easily damage your vehicle on this tree if you don't give it enough clearance.
The second mud crossing is soon after the second, with water flowing through it. If the mud is especially sticky on the bottom this could be difficult to get through. This is probably the easiest of the three mud crossings, though.
The trail continues to be bumpy, with rocky sections here and there. If it is early in the year or late in the fall, there is mud every few yards and water on much of the trail.
The trail turns northwest and you pass by the intersection with the end of the Wurts Ditch trail. Then the trail turns into a marshy area with brush that averages around five feet tall. It may come close to your vehicle or touch it, and it can scratch your paint. It also keeps the trail very tight.
This is where the third mud crossing is, and it can be the worst one for vehicles without enough clearance. The mud is slick and the patch can be long, but the tricky part is that it is in deep ruts that can be impossible to stay out of. If you do not have enough clearance you can get very stuck here, and there are no trees to winch from. It is a good idea to have another vehicle with you here.
There are a few muddy sections after the third mud crossing, but the trail dries out as you climb. Stay to the left at the next intersection with the end of No Name Gulch to continue on just a bit farther. Yoder Gulch ends at a parking area and hiking trail.
To return, follow Yoder Gulch out the way you came in or take No Name Gulch or Wurts Ditch out if you want an easier or quicker trip out.
Information last updated on July 8th, 2008.