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Backpacking: Colorado > Rio Grande National Forest > Divide Ranger District

Quick Facts

Squaw Creek Trail

Beginning Elevation: 9,400 Feet (2930.2 Meters)
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation Gain: 1,400 Feet (436.4 Meters)
Ending Elevation: 10,800 Feet (3366.6 Meters)
Length, One-way: 9.9 Miles (16.5 Kilometers)
Trail Number: 814
Usage: Moderate to Heavy
USGS Maps: Little Squaw Creek, Weminuche Pass




Satellite and Topo Map




General Description

The trail primarily parallels Squaw Creek from Thirty Mile Campground to the Continental Divide. Good fishing is possible along Squaw Creek and nice camping areas are easy to find along the trail. Squaw Creek provides nice, pan-sized fish.

The upper 4 miles of the trail wanders around and through numerous boggy areas. Wet feet can only be prevented with care. Elk can often be sighted in the evening or early morning in the open, wet meadows below Squaw Pass.

With binoculars one might also be able to spot bighorn sheep grazing on the rugged, rocky slopes below Hossick Peak. Domestic Sheep graze at various times during the summer months in the grassy meadows in the upper 1/2 of the Squaw Creek Drainage.

The Squaw Creek Trail meanders up the Squaw Creek Drainage at a very gradual grade. The trail begins with a short climb away from Thirty Mile Campground, drops quickly down to the Squaw Creek bridge and within a mile, begins to wander through grassy meadows adjacent to the creek bottom. The trail continues to make a long, gradual climb until just before reaching the Continental Divide Trail (Forest Development Trail 813). The final 1/2 mile to the Divide is somewhat rocky and slightly steeper than the previous 7 miles of the trail. The trail is well defined and easy to follow.

Directions from Creede, Colorado: Travel south on Colorado Highway 149 for 20.1 miles to Forest Development Road # 520 (Upper Rio Grande River Road). Go approximately 9.0 miles to Thirty Mile Campground. The trail leaves the campground about 100 yards south of the amphitheater area. Trail is signed as it leaves the West Campground Loop Road. A backpacker/fisherman parking area is located within Thirty Mile Campground a short distance from the trailhead. Horse and pack stock are not allowed in the campground except to follow the road to the trailhead. Two unloading and packing areas for saddle and pack stock are located immediately along Rio Grande Reservoir Road (Forest Road 520) just 0.25-0.5 mile below the campground. The unloading and packing horse trailhead area that lies 0.5 mile from the campground has hitching rails and loading ramps.

Seasonal Information:
Normally Open: Late June-Early July through September .



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Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Backpacking Easy to find along the trail
Yes
ICON Cold Water Fishing Squaw Creek
Yes
ICON Hiking & Walking Squaw Creek Trail
Yes
ICON Horseback Riding Some boggy areas
Yes
ICON Mountain Biking Some boggy areas
Yes



Related Activities
Continental Divide - Knife Edge to Weminuche Pass - Opportunities for many beautiful panoramic views exist along this segment of the Continental Divide Trail. Fishermen will find some short side trips can be made to Trout, Williams, and Squaw Lakes.

Fern Creek Trail - The Fern Creek Trail is primarily used for access to the popular Ruby Lake Area. Beyond the Ruby Lake Area toward Little Squaw Creek and Big Squaw Creek is often used very lightly in the summer months.

Reservoir (rio Grande) Picnic Ground - This site overlooks Rio Grande Reservoir and has 4 picnic units, each with tables and fireplaces.

Rio Grande Reservoir - This is a scenic high mountain reservoir with access to wonderful outdoor recreation opportunities. There are five campgrounds, picnic areas, many trails leading from the area and a jeep road with a historical site.

River Hill Campground - This campground has good screening with trees on many sites and remains full from mid-June through August. It is adjacent to Rio Grande River and Little Squaw Resort.

Squaw Lake Trail - Squaw Lake Trail lies deep within the Weminuche Wilderness. Good access to the Continental Divide is available on this trail. Pleasant camping areas are available.

Thirtymile Campground - Campground and trailhead are located 31.1 miles southwest of Creede on Forest Road #520. Adjacent to Rio Grande River and Thirty Mile Resort.



More Information

Visitor Information:

Alamosa Visitor Information Center, Cole Park , Alamosa, CO, 81101, Phone: 719-589-4840, bluskys@alamosa.org

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