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Gross Reservoir rests in the South Boulder Creek drainage and is an easy-access Front Range destination for paddling and fishing. This short hike begins at Osprey Point and follows the first 0.25-miles of the well-worn Inlet Trail. You’ll climb a small hill and drop into a ravine where this route turns right and off-trail to cruise above rock lined beaches. Depending on the level of the water, it’s either easy-going along the beach or a cross-country traverse of the hillside above the shoreline. Deer trails criss-cross the pine and juniper-covered slope, but even if you’re on the beach most of the time, expect to pick your way up over fallen trees when you turn uphill.
The northernmost end of this route rounds a peninsula and climbs a steep hillside to a hilltop overlook of the creek inlet. Cruise the forested ridgeline south and re-connect with the trail headed east. Trail markers and rocky steps lead to a shaded picnic area and a few hundred feet further to gentle rapids and lounging rocks along the creek.
While there are a few rough sections and steps on the trail itself, most hikers use it as an out-an-back rather than taking this route’s cross-country approach.
-Mapped and photographed by Kristy Holland