Bunce School Road
One of the most popular trails in the area, Bunce School Road is just south of Allenspark. Many of the earliest residents hoped to strike veins of gold rumored to run all the way from the town of Ward, 8 miles to the south. An 1897 news report trumpeted the growth of Allenspark, claiming there were 30 prospects, and the town was filled with stores and hotels. Some of the top-producing mines in the area were the Snowbank, the Tiger, the Bland, the Black Horse, and the Vulcan.
Residents hatched grand plans to build a mill and to build the town up into one of the largest in the state. Before these plans could be put into action, production at the mines steeply declined, and the town was largely abandoned. Today, the town has a population of about 500. The Bunce School House, which was built in 1888, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The trail passes near the Rock Creek Ski area, which operated form 1947 to the early 1950’s. Ben Hottel was a member of the U.S. Army 10th Mountain Division who managed the ski resort. The 10th Mt. Division trained principally at Camp Hale in Colorado, and many of the veterans went on to develop the ski industry after World War II. A planed expansion for the ski resort during the 1951 – 1952 ski season failed, and the ski resort closed. Much of the area has since become overgrown, and it is difficult to delineate where runs were once located.
This is always a popular trail in the area. It is popular because it is close to the Peak to Peak Highway, and it is easy enough for most 4×4 vehicles, with a some rough sections to make it fun. It is a good trail for those new to off-roading as well as experienced riders.
The north end is where the actual old Bunce School still stands, and the south end is at Camp Dick, very near to the Middle St. Vrain trailhead. There are pit toilets and campsites at this end.
Most of the trail is fairly fun with rocks and mud holes. There are a few sections that are rocky, requiring careful tire placement in anything but a 4×4 vehicle. It is a great place to experience what ATVing is all about. There are quite a few camping areas along the trail, most of them wide and flat, so you can pack a lunch and make a day of it. There are a lot of good views along the trail which include the Continental Divide, Ironclad Mountain Range, Middle Saint Vrain Valley System, and wildlife.
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