The Blue Bell Ridge Trail is 5.6 miles long trail that begins at Forest Road 263 and ends at the Porvenir Divide Trail – Trail #247.
Trail Conditions: Moderate/Poor
Hollinger Trail – Trail #219 to Blue Bell Trail – Trail #10
As you approach the end of the Hollinger Trail, you will hike through one large, long meadow then cross the stream and hike through slightly smaller, but still large meadow. Towards the end of this meadow, the trail steers back toward the stream where it will T into the Bluebell Ridge Trail – Trail #212. Because both trails are heavily faded, this junction can be easy to miss, especially since the trail sign is no longer standing.
However, look for the fallen trail sign on the southside of the river in a small clearing and cross the creek here. Following this crossing, you should be able to find a standing trail sign just a stone’s throw upstream. From here, the trail leading uphill, to the north, is faint but does exist. The Blue Bell Ridge Trail leading south does not appear to exist.
Turn right, to follow the Bluebell Ridge Trail uphill. After about 100 feet it becomes much clearer and easier to follow. Still, it is faint, so pay attention. Also compared to the relatively level terrain up until now, this climb is quite steep, so take your time. After a few minutes, a drainage should appear on your left. The trail will follow this drainage for about 1/4 mile until the trail reaches an opening, where the mature forest drops away and new growth aspen and other scrubby vegetation becomes dominant.
The trail is supposed to cross the drainage and climb to the adjacent ridge, but at this point, the trail disappears completely. Even so, cross the drainage where the trail disappears and make your way uphill until you’ve reached the ridge that runs to the top of the crest.
Once on the ridge, continue to follow it uphill to the crest of Bluebell Ridge. If you stay on the ridge, you should be able to pick up the trail once again as you approach a clearing toward the top of the crest. However, this will likely fade again once the trail enters a grassy meadow.
From here, trend left, northeast, passing toward the top of the crest. At this point, the trail will hopefully emerge again. In places, it really is a trail, but in others it would more aptly be described as the path of least resistance.
After 5 minutes, you will reach a junction with the Bluebell Trail – Trail #10.
For more information on the Blue Bell Ridge Trail, see my trip report from Blue Bell Ridge.