swingdance wrote:At the same place as the Sunset trail head, this is right across the highway from the Butterfly trail head. Easy to see as there is a barrier to prevent vehicle traffic. From here it will take you to a wooden foot bridge and you will want to stay left.
Since the trail Bear Wallow Trail is only a about a mile long what we do is start at the Mt. Bigelow Road end (at the first bend in the road where the toboggan hill was/is). Hike from there to the Sunset Trail and continue on the Sunset to Marshall Gulch and up the Marshall Gulch Trail to the saddle. Return via the Aspen-Sunset-Bigelow Trails for a total distance of 8.9 miles hitting three fall color areas - Bear Wallow, Marshall Gulch Trail and the Aspen Trails. Important - When you are starting up Marshall Gulch begin your hike on the LOWER trail directly BEHIND the restroom or else you'll miss seeing many of the maples.
Another shorter (6.7 mile) and even better fall color hike is with a car shuttle. Park a car at Ski Valley and drive back to the Mt. Bigelow end of Bear Wallow. Start there and hike the Bear Wallow, Sunset and Marshall Gulch Trails to Marshall Saddle. From the saddle take the Aspen Trail up to Radio Ridge and then head down the Aspen Draw Trail to Ski Valley. This one way hike hits the three best fall color areas on the mountain. Since the 2003 Aspen Fire the fall color along the Aspen Draw Trail is usually better than along the Aspen Trail.