Trailridge Runners 4WD Club
Hubbard Cave Trip

by Ray Comeau

I need to tell one story before another, Two years ago Gene King took a few of the Trailridge Runners on a much different outing to Glennwood Springs CO. to view a cave called Hubbard Cave. It would be a trip like no other. The group drove the 4 mile dirt road to the cave, hiked the 1/4 mile hike to the entrance only NOT to find the cave location. After a disappointing hike we left the area and went down the 4 mile dirt road and most everyone went on to do other trails in the area over the two day stay.

My wife Wanda and I parted from the group and went to visit family who lived in the area. We learned from this visit, after a nice talk to one of the locals we were very close to the cave if we had walked just a little bit farther around the trail on the mountain. So the next day we returned, Wanda and I found the cave and spent about 1-1/2 hours in the cave exploring.

Fast forward two years, I scheduled another return trip to Hubbard Cave to share our finding with our TRR friends to show how great the cave is. Hubbard Cave is a self guided cave located on top of cliffs overlooking Glenn Wood Canyon.

Saturday morning started out like most all other TRR trips, up early to meet friends in Golden at 8:00am for the drive up I-70 heading west threw our gorgeous Colorado mountains. Like most of us, I have driven this highway many times but never get tired of the views and scenery along the way. We are blessed to live in such a gorgeous state.

With us this morning, traveling with Wanda and I, is Roger and Linda, Larry McGimsey, Gene Francis and Vic Walter. We drove the 3 hour trip to Glennwood with no issues, the weather could not be any better, blue skies and the traffic was great. On this trip I decided to leave the Jeep at home and take the Suburban, so the ride was great. Vic decided to leave his Jeep at home and ride along with Wanda and I.

We arrived in Glenn Wood Springs at 11:00am, other TRR members had traveled to the area the day before and we all met at a local restaurant for lunch.

The second TRR group is Brian, Jamie, and Lilly Gilgren, Gail Straty and friend Laura, Rich, Cathy, Aaron and Jordan Horiuchi.

It was time, belly's filled we hit the road, the trip to the trail head was quick, after a GPS error (my excuse anyway) and having to back track some we started up the 4 mile 4x4 road to Hubbard Cave, with Wanda remembering the correct pathway we traveled along the narrow Colorado pin stripping road, yes this trail had many bushes that scrape along a bus size suburban like finger nails on a chalk board. Brian had borrowed his parents Jeep for this trip, due to the Jeep only being one year old, and not his Jeep he decided to turn around and head back down the trail so not to damage the borrowed Jeep.

I should mention we had seen a very large sign along the 4x4 road about the Hubbard Cave Closure, I had done some research days before the scheduled trip and new caves in Colorado where being closed for public access due to White Nose Syndrome, but found nothing that Hubbard Cave was closed in 2012 due to this. WNS is a disease that effects bats, I will not go into it in this write up.

Along the trail, it seemed like it had not been traveled much and we had some trail maintenance to do. Three trees had fallen over the trail, Larry and Richard had saws and we took turnes cutting. After a few minutes of sweat and moving logs we headed down the trail. After about 1-1/2 hours we reached the small pull out area where we parked our rigs.

After reading the large sign at the entrance of the trail head, we thought we would go ahead and walk to the cave but not go in, it was disappointing to know we could not enter the cave, but we come this far so why not take the 1/4 mile hike to see the cave entrance and the view from the top of Glenn Wood Canyon.

At this point I felt like Walt Grizwald played by Chevy Chase in the 1983 movie vacation and after a long drive Wally Park was closed. The group packed water and snacks in back packs and off we went, well we walked around a corner for about 40 yards. Another large sign and a buck and rail fence had been built to keep foot traffic off the trail. After some arrived Friday evening and those of us who traveled this day, it all came to a standstill. We came close but could not go any further. The sign mentioned a $5,000 fine per person who were caught entering the area or $10,000 per group. Well we all looked in our wallets and just come up short of paying the fine. So with great regret, we took a few pictures of the group at the nice sign and headed up the long 40 yard walk to our rigs.

There MIGHT be a blessing in this sad story. Above us the blue sky was turning dark, the rain clouds looked like huge giant mushrooms or bombs that went off. This 4 mile 4x4 road is not one to be very friendly when it gets wet. Even with lockers and good tires one would not be able to climb the steep hills we encountered. The dirt in this area turns into a giant greasy, slimy, slick muddy mess. And we had a 8500 lb 3/4 ton suburban to drive out with no lockers or winch. So if there is a silver lining, we did get out before any rain, but if we had entered the cave, spent 2 or 3 hours exploring we may still have been there trying to get home.

Roger and Linda made plans to continue the stay in the Glenn Wood Springs and return the next day. Richard, Cathy and the boys decided to stay a few more hours and take the Tram Way to the top of a mountain to make something out of the day with the boys. The rest of us headed east on I-70 to Dillon to do what we TRR members to best, eat. The Ruby Tuesday's restaurant was the choice for this days dinner.

I must admit, after spending a long day driving, I'm not at all disappointed. Again Wanda and I spent the day with great people friends enjoying each others company playing in our gorgeous back yard in the Colorado Rockies. IF there is a 3rd attempted to take the TRR group to see Hubbard Cave, this time we will ALL drive in the day before, be on the trail by 9;00am. I do have a phone number to the FS in the area to be sure the cave is open before attempting to visit Hubbard Cave.

Oh, and guess what, no break downs on this trip.

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