Little French Flume

Salida

Hike along a forested ridgeline that follows a historic flume and other mining relics.

Hiking Moderate

Distance
9.1 km
Ascent
301 m
Descent
301 m
Duration
2-3 hrs
Low Point
3.2 km
High Point
3.4 km
Gradient
Little French Flume Map

One of several good trails along French Gulch Road, Little French leads up into quiet forest with historic ruins and can be used to make a loop along a ridgeline and back to the road. It begins as a 4WD road (County Rd 569 on some maps) that branches off French Gulch Road about a mile east of Sallie Barber Trailhead.

Description

Follow this road as it heads steeply up a narrow drainage through trees and small meadows. You will pass a cabin after about a mile. The wide trail continues up this valley to eventually reach an old mine in the north slopes of Mt. Guyot, which makes an interesting side trip. To complete the loop, however, you will want to take the singletrack that branches off about 0.2 miles south of the cabin and crosses the wash to head back north. The wash is often dry but may require getting your feet wet during early season.

The steep climb is now over, as the trail contours the hillside to gain the top of a ridgeline, where it follows an old flume for about a mile and a half. This section stays mostly level along the forested ridge. You can catch glimpses through the trees of the verdant valley below.

At 2.75 miles you’ll reach a 5-way trail intersection at a saddle. Go left to take the Humbug Hill Trail downhill to French Gulch Road, which completes the loop. Go straight to stay on Little French and gain the top of Humbug Hill (11,100 ft) in another ½ mile. From the summit you can backtrack to go down the Humbug Hill trail or continue over the top to make a longer loop with Forest Queen and Yellowbrick Trails back to French Gulch Road.

Sources: https://www.mtbproject.com/trail/5949014/little-french https://www.alltrails.com/explore/trail/us/colorado/little-french-gulch-trail

Difficulty

Moderate

Hiking along trails with some uneven terrain and small hills. Small rocks and roots may be present.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.

Remoteness

1 out of 4

Close to help in case of emergency.

Best time to visit

January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

Features

  • Wildlife
  • Historical
  • Dog friendly
  • Wild flowers
  • Family friendly
  • Forestry or heavy vegetation

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area