Published with permission from the guide book: Mellow Mountain Trails Hiking Guide to Colorado’s Upper Arkansas River Valley
by Nathan Ward.
Davis Meadow Trail
The Davis Meadow Trail winds through the upper end of the Fourmile Travel Management Area northeast of Buena Vista. It’s a beautiful trail through fir, pine and aspen forest to a serene meadow with old pioneer cabins. It’s a great hike with children and the meadow is a perfect picnic spot. Along the way you’ll get perfect views of the 14,000 foot peaks to the west across the Arkansas River Valley.
The BLM, Forest Service and Friends of Fourmile maintain this area. The Friends of Fourmile group consists of volunteer hikers, cyclists and landowners.
For a longer hike on the Davis Meadow Trail, simply keep going past the turnaround spot of this hike. Walk as far as you like and follow the same trail back. If you hike all the way to the end of the trail, it’s a 10 mile round trip.
Trailhead Access & Facilities
From the stoplight in downtown Buena Vista, drive 2.4 miles south on US 24 to the stoplight at Johnson Village. Turn left (east) on US 285 and drive 12.7 miles to CR 311 at the top of Trout Creek Pass. Turn left (north) on dirt CR 311 and drive 5.5 miles to CR 311D. Turn right on CR 311D and drive 0.6 miles to the signed trailhead. Park here.
There are no facilities at the trailhead or along the trail.
Location: Fourmile Area, just Northeast of BV
Distance: 3.6 Miles – Out & Back
Hiking Time: 2-3 Hours
Best Months: May through November
Trail Type: Singletrack
Dog Friendly: Yes
Elevation in Feet: Low Point 9,387; High Point 9,937; Climbs/Descends 602
Land Status: San Isabel National Forest
Maps: Trails Illustrated #130, Fourmile Travel Management Area brochure
Note: The access road is gated closed from December 1 to April 15, depending on snowfall.
0.0 Trailhead – Sign for Davis Meadow Trail #1413. Elevation 9,387 ft. (N38 54.87, W106 04.09)
0.1 Fence and gate to prohibit motorized travel on the trail. The trail here is relatively flat and travels through a mature aspen forest. This is a good color-viewing hike in the fall.
0.5 The trail has been rerouted from the creek to make it more sustainable. Cross the creek and start up the gradual switchbacks
0.6 The trail is marked here by cairns.
0.7 The creek is to the left as you enter a dense forest.
0.9 Pond and wetlands on the left
1.5 A view of the meadow.
1.7 Descend into Davis Meadow with a view of the cabins directly in front of you.
1.8 You have arrived at Davis Meadow and the historic log cabins. Elevation 9,887 ft. (N39 55.38, W106 05.44) This is a good place to rest, picnic and explore the cabins, the meadow and the wetlands. Beautiful spot.
If you want to hike more, continue along the trail. If not, turn around here and follow the same trail back.
3.6 Back at the trailhead.
The Colorado backcountry is popular – bikers, hikers, motorcycle riders, hunters and equestrians use the trail system in the Arkansas Valley, and everyone wants a private piece of heaven. Even if you don’t agree with everyone’s motives or methods of travel, please treat them in a courteous manner.
If you require search and rescue services, it can be costly. Buy a Colorado Outdoor Recreation Search and Rescue (CORSAR) card to protect yourself. Funds from the CORSAR program go into the Colorado Search and Rescue (SAR) Fund. If a CORSAR card holder becomes lost or injured in the backcountry, the Colorado SAR Fund pays eligible search and rescue expenses.
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