The Long Canyon Trail is a 2.8 mile trail that runs from the Wheeler Peak Trail – Trail #90 to the Gold Hill Trail – Trail #64 in the Columbine-Hondo Wilderness.
Trail Condition: Excellent
From the Wheeler Peak Trail – Trail #90, the Long Canyon Trail starts from a junction shortly after crossing to the east side of the creek. Take the sharp left to follow the Long Canyon Trail, which veers back to the creek. Staying on the east side of the stream, the trail climbs steeply above the creek for the next mile before returning briefly and leveling off just before a clearing. This is the last best place to get water for a number of miles.
Following this brief flat area, the trail resumes its steep climb, paralleling the creek, but veering away from it. It returns to a greatly reduced stream one last time before leaving it for good on the final push out of Long Canyon.
In this last mile before the junction with the Gold Hill Trail – Trail #64, the treeless ridge is visible to the west. Just after the ridge comes into view, the trail switchbacks to the right and makes a final climb. For a couple hundred yards before the signed junction, the trail enters a grassy meadow and the thick spruce and fir forest falls away.
The entire length of the Long Canyon Trail is in excellent condition and very easy to follow.
To read more about the Long Canyon Trail, see my trip report from the Gavilan Peak Loop.