Just take a few steps from your accommodations and you’ll find yourself in a Rocky Mountain wonderland. From a quick stroll to Needle Rock or an all-day excursion into the West Elk Wilderness, hiking trails for all ages and abilities will lead you from one sweeping panorama to the next.
Bike & Hike to Needle Rock
The iconic, 800-foot-tall Needle Rock is one of Smith Fork Ranch’s most lovely sights. Want a closer look? Take a mountain bike 2.5 miles out to Needle Rock, then hike up the Needle Rock trail (one mile each way) to get a good view of the valley, then bike back to the compound. A perfect morning or afternoon adventure.
West Elk Wilderness
Just beyond the ranch, lies thousands of acres of the West Elk Wilderness. With several hiking options, you can explore the vast mountains with or without one of our experienced guides. On the trails you may see predator birds, eagles, bobcats, deer, elk, and bears.
The Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
The awe-inspiring Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is just a short drive from Smith Fork Ranch, and offers spectacular viewpoints along a wide array of hiking trails. A key trail off the North Rim Ranger Station is Exclamation Point, which is about one mile each way and offers spectacular views of the canyon depths, the Gunnison River below, as well as excellent bird watching. Feel like hiking further? The North Vista Trail goes on for miles past Exclamation Point with varied terrain and a forest of Douglas Fir, Aspen, and Gamble Oak.