Meeker is a true hidden gem in northwest Colorado. The town is located near the dense forests of the White River National Forest and home to the Flat Tops Wilderness area. There are roughly 1.5 million acres of BLM land and 580 miles of designated public trails with easy access from town, making Meeker an ideal destination for fall hiking. For this reason, many of our out-of-town patients at Colorado Advanced Orthopedics plan their surgical visit for the fall. It provides a great opportunity for your family to enjoy a beautiful weekend of hiking and leaf peeping while you prepare for surgery.
If you’re planning a fall visit to CAO, the following guide will help you navigate the virtually limitless hiking and outdoor opportunities around Meeker.
The Arthur H. Carhart Trail, also called Trapper’s Lake Loop Trail, is a 5.5-mile route that skirts the perimeter of Trappers Lake, the second largest natural lake in Colorado. With only 636 feet of elevation gain, this trail is perfect for less experienced hikers who struggle with larger elevation gains. You’ll experience the beauty of the Flat Tops Wilderness Area on this highly enjoyable hike.
The Jensen Wilderness Loop is located just northeast of Meeker. This loop trail is nearly four miles long and is considered moderately challenging. Due to the relatively low traffic volume on this trail, it’s a great option for individuals looking to see wildlife on their hike.
The Peltier Lake Trail is a 6.5-mile out-and-back trail just outside of Meeker. You’ll start along an oakbrush covered hillside that gradually shifts to aspen trees as you gain elevation. The aspens along this trail make it a great fall hike, as you’ll experience vibrant yellow colors on the trees in September and early October, along with the scenic views at Peltier Lake.
This trail is lightly trafficked, providing ample peace and quiet along your hike. However, the trail isn’t well-marked and there is roughly 1,500 feet of elevation gain, making this a challenging trail for inexperienced hikers. You can also travel an extra three miles to Bailey Lake if you prefer a longer fall hike.
Explore the beauty of the Flat Tops Wilderness along the Marvine Trail, an 11.6-mile out-and-back trail near Meeker. You’ll experience a variety of landscape, including grassy meadows, gorgeous lakes and forested areas containing aspen, spruce and fir trees. With 1,345 feet of elevation gain to go along with the extensive mileage, this is considered a moderately challenging trail.
Meeker is also a favorite destination for hunters, as the White River Valley contains one of the largest indigenous elk herds in the country. If you’re looking for big game hunting, you’ll be in heaven. Each fall, hunters regularly encounter elk, black bears, mule deer, antelopes and moose. This is a fall adventure you’ll remember for years to come.
If you’re preparing for surgery, you may not be up to hiking when you visit Meeker. Fortunately, you can still soak in the fall beauty on a drive through the Flat Tops Scenic Byway. This 82-mile drive goes from Meeker to Yampa. You’ll climb over Ripple Creek Pass which sits at 10,343 feet, providing breathtaking scenery brought to you by colorful aspens and a panoramic view of the Flat Tops Wilderness Area. Roughly half the road is paved and half is unpaved, so you will want to drive it in a 4WD or AWD vehicle. You won’t regret taking this 3–5-hour drive which offers amazing views and beautiful fall colors all along the way.
If you’re planning on traveling to Colorado Advanced Orthopedics for our world class orthopedic services, our team can help you plan activities that will be fun for you and your family while you’re in town. We can recommend the best hikes for fall leaf peeping, direct you to breathtaking scenic drives, and provide any additional information you may need to enjoy all that Meeker has to offer. Our team can also recommend suitable lodging options to address your unique needs and help you discover some of the best restaurants in town.
Contact us to learn more about our medical services for out-of-town guests.
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