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Hiking & Walking: Colorado > Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests > Taylor River Ranger District

Quick Facts

Soap Creek Trail

Beginning Elevation: 8,480 Feet (2643.4 Meters) Soap Creek Trailhead
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Elevation Gain: 1,320 Feet (411.5 Meters)
Ending Elevation: 9,600 Feet (2992.5 Meters) junction with Soap Basin Trail
High Point: 9,800 Feet (3054.9 Meters)
Length: 9 Miles (15.0 Kilometers) from Soap Creek Trailhead to junction with Soap Basin Trail
Other Maps: Trails Illustrated 133, 134
Recommended Season: Summer
Trail Number: 443
Usage: Moderate
USGS Maps: Anthracite Range, Big Soap Park

Satellite and Topo Map

General Description

Soap Creek Trail, 443, leads north from Soap Creek Road, 721, into the West Elk Wilderness. It begins at the Soap Creek Trailhead, which lies at approximately 8,480 feet. The trail parallels Soap Creek for one and a half miles before it forks. East Soap Creek Trail, 535, lies to the right at this fork, following East Soap Creek. Soap Creek Trail and Soap Basin Trail, 442, follow the left fork climbing steeply for one mile before they split.

At this second fork in the trail, 443 is the left side of the fork. It leads north along a ridge east of Soap Creek. After approximately one mile the trail begins to descend into the valley floor. It crosses the creek and leads along its western shore for almost two miles until the trail splits. The left side of the fork leads north as Kaufman Creek Trail, 852. The right side of the fork is Soap Creek Trail. It continues to follow Soap Creek two more miles, with little elevation gain or loss, to the trail ending at Soap Basin Trail.

Directions from Gunnison: Travel west from Gunnison on Highway 50. Continue past Blue Mesa Reservoir toward Sapinero. Approximately 2.25 miles west of Sapinero turn north on to Highway 92. Travel about 1.5 miles on 92 and make a right turn on to Forest Road 721. Follow this along the western lake shore and passed Ponderosa and Soap Creek Campgrounds. Travel 11.5 miles north on Soap Creek Road to the trailhead.

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

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Filed By: Tom B. (Aurora, Co)
Time of Day: 7:30pm
Length of Time: 3-1/2 days
Difficulty: Moderate
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: Great scenery(bring a camera). The recreation opportunities listed on this site are true. Enjoy our fire pits.
Conditions: Bring your rain gear. Rains everyday soimetime for 20-45mins. We even got hailed on for about 10mins.
Water Availability: Plenty of water. We brought a 1 liter bottle each and with so many water sources we never ran out.
Suggested Accessories: Hiking stick, fishing gear(creek trout) and all that's necessary on your back.

Filed By: Matt Carlson (Aurora, CO)
Time of Day: 7:30pm
Length of Time: 3 1/2 days
Difficulty: Moderate
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: This is an awesome trail. great views, good fishing, steep slopes narrow trail made it a great challenge. Be sure to turn right at the first creek crossing. the steep climb looks intimadating but it is the best way.
Conditions: there is about a three mile stretch with a lot of downed trees but there is fairly easy acsses around them.
Water Availability: lots of water, never are you more them a mile from a run off brook or creek side
Recommended Clothing: you'll want your rain gear. Each afternoon we got dumped on for about 20 to 30 minutes
Suggested Accessories: fishing was great bring your pole. no trophies but rainbows all day. great for C&R anglers.

Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Cold Water Fishing Soap Creek
ICON Hiking & Walking Soap Creek Trail
ICON Horseback Riding Soap Creek Trail
ICON Animal Identification Soap Creek Trail
ICON Bird Identification Soap Creek Trail
ICON Mushroom Identification Soap Creek Trail
ICON Plant Identification Soap Creek Trail
ICON Wildflower Identification Soap Creek Trail
ICON Backcountry Skiing West Elk Wilderness
ICON Backpacking Soap Creek Trail
ICON Viewing Scenery Soap Creek Trail
ICON Viewing Wildlife Soap Creek Trail

Related Activities
Commissary Campground - Anglers, four-wheel drive enthusiasts, hikers, equestrians and backpackers will enjoy the challenging terrain that surrounds Commissary Campground.

Soap Basin Trail - Soap Basin Trail is a good trail to incorporate into your route for extended pack trips. It connects with several other trails within the West Elk Wilderness.

Soap Creek - An inlet of the Reservoir allows both Reservoir and creek fishing for rainbow, brook, cutthroat and brown trout. The fishing is rated as good.

Soap Creek Campground - Soap Creek Campground caters to equestrians using the West Elk Wilderness Area.

Soap Creek Road # 721 - Soap Creek Road leads north from Highway 92 and Curecanti National Recreation Area. It provides access to Soap Creek and the West Elk Wilderness.

More Information

Visitor Information:

Gunnison National Forest, 216 North Colorado , Gunnison, CO, 81230, Phone: 970-641-0471


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