Fall hikes in and Winter Park Trails in Grand County are some of my favorites…. cooler weather, less people, beautiful colors… it is a time to enjoy the last few days before the snow flies.  One I do every fall is the Bench Trail in Fraser.  It is a super short trail from the Fraser River Trail up to the ridge line.  It takes me about 30 minutes to stroll to the top and about half that to make my way back down to the Fraser River Trail.  Sunset is the best time to go.  Take some wine or champagne in your pack to pop at the top.  There are 2 benches at the top, make sure to go to the second one – it is not much further and is worth the extra effort.  

How do you get to the Bench Trail in Fraser?  I usually walk from Fraser on the Fraser River Trail behind Safeway (about 1.5+ miles from Safeway to Rendezvous Rd, be sure to bring your headlamp for the walk back).  Or park off Rendezvous Road on the left just after the bridge.  Then hike up Chickadee Trail, left at the “T,” stay left on Hawk Trail and then left again on Bench Trail in Fraser to the top.  Keep your eye out for deer, moose, coyotes, fox and the occasional bear.  And there’s a red tailed hawk that hangs around here, too.  Hope you like this one – short and sweet!

View from Bench Trail (taken in 2012)