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Hiking & Walking: Colorado > Rio Grande National Forest > Divide Ranger District

Quick Facts

Texas Creek Trail

Beginning Elevation: 9,040 Feet (2818.0 Meters)
Difficulty: Most Difficult
Elevation Gain: 2,600 Feet (810.5 Meters)
Ending Elevation: 11,640 Feet (3628.4 Meters)
Length, One-way: 12.9 Miles (21.5 Kilometers)
Trail Number: 816
Usage: Light to Moderate
USGS Maps: Little Squaw Creek, Hermit Lakes




Satellite and Topo Map




General Description

The Texas Creek Trail is a lightly used trail which provides access to the popular Ruby Lake area and Trout Lake. From Big Ruby Lake either this trail or Red Lakes Trail (#889) will provide access to Red Lakes and Trout Lake. This trail serves as a gateway into the Weminuche Wilderness, but because it is very steep for the first 2.5 miles or more, should only be undertaken by the physically conditioned. The trail will offer a fine opportunity for solitude except where it runs through the Ruby Lake area.

Camping is not permitted at the trailhead itself since it is located within the Rio Grande Canyon, Summer Home Group. This is a group of private summer homes that lie on Forest Service land which have been authorized by Special Use Permits. Please remember to respect private property. Parking for the trail is available approximately 200 yards northeast of the trail. Trail signs along the road from the parking area point the way to the trail. Fishing opportunities exist along most of Texas Creek and at Little Ruby Lake, Big Ruby Lake, Jumper Lake and Trout Lake.

From the trailhead, the trail ascends sharply for about a half to three quarters of a mile through the spruce and then descends sharply for about a quarter of a mile to Texas Creek. Look for the trail markers at Texas Creek. More than likely, Texas Creek will have to be waded, so be prepared. Once across the creek, the trail moves into the trees again and ascends in a very difficult and steep climb for the next tow or more miles.

This trail is not for the novice and will be difficult even for the experienced backpacker. The trail tops out in a small meadow. Look for the trail markers that should be slightly to your left. From this point, the hike to the junction with Fern Creek Trail at Little Ruby Lake, approximately 1.0 mile , is easy. Follow the trail around Little Ruby Lake to the Fuchs Reservoir, or in order to find a more secluded campsite, look for the marker of the Texas Creek Trail to your right around the lake from the big cabin.

A short 20 minute hike will place you in the Texas Creek drainage and in a large meadow with campsites located at various tree line locations. At the point where the trail and the creek meet, you should be able to see two trails across the creek. Follow the one to your left (south). You should see trail markers clearly visible on a gradual sloping trail that moves in a line parallel with Texas Creek. There are excellent campsites all along this trail as it moves gradually higher. You are on the trail to Trout Lake with about six miles to go.

After approximately one mile, the trail will bend to your left over a marshy meadow and will cross Texas Creek again. The creek then bends right and heads up into the high grasslands above the trees. As you move into the high meadows, you should have a magnificent view of the northern portion of the Continental Divide. You will pass by a number of small unnamed glacial lakes. As you proceed up from the lakes in a southeasterly direction, you will follow trail markers clearly placed until you top out.

Chief Mountain will be on your right (southwest). Now proceed southeast across the grassy meadow. There is a trail marker on the other side of the meadow, off in the distance, but it is difficult to see. If you have binoculars, then use them. If you do not have binoculars, walk out into the meadow and head southeast until the marker becomes visible in front of you. Keep Chief Mountain on your immediate right. Once across the meadow, you will see trail markers going south to follow. The collection of lakes on your left is part of Red Lakes.

When you get to the edge of the Alpine valley that Trout Lake is in, you will be able to look down and see it. The trail down is tricky, with loose rock near the top. Do not miss the tumbling gardens of wild flowers and the waterfalls on your way down. If you brought your fishing tackle, you may have fresh trout from the lake for dinner.

Because the trail from Texas Creek Trailhead to Little Ruby Lake is so difficult, if you are not in very good shape, you may wish to hike up to Little Ruby Lake along the Fern Creek Trail (# 815) and then join the Texas Creek Trail at its junction with the Fern Creek Trail. The Texas Creek Trail will then go on to Big Ruby Lake.

Directions from Creede: Travel southwest from Creede on Highway 149 for approximately 20 miles to the intersection of Highway 149 and Rio Grande Reservoir Road (Forest Development Road 520). Proceed for approximately 1 mile and turn south onto the dirt road into the Rio Grande, Box Canyon and Summer Group Home. This intersection is about 1/2 mile past the road running into San Juan Ranch. Drive for approximately 1 3/4 miles to the Texas Creek Trailhead. Three gates will have to be opened (and closed) behind you. The Texas Creek Trail begins between two Forest Service permitted homes. The beginning point of the trail is signed.

Seasonal Information:
Normally Open: Late June through Late September .



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Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Cold Water Fishing Fishing opportunities exist along most of Texas Creek and at Little Ruby Lake, Big Ruby Lake, Jumper Lake and Trout Lake.
Yes
ICON Hiking & Walking Texas Creek Trail
Yes
ICON Horseback Riding Very steep for the first 2.5 miles
Yes



Related Activities
Bristol View Campground - Campground is located 22.6 miles west of Creede on Forest Road #510. 16 Campgrounds with fishing and trail access.

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.

Continental Divide - Sawtooth Mountain to Knife Ed - This trail segment begins with a 1/4 mile traverse of the cliffs that form the fable Knife Edge. From here to Piedra Pass, the trail goes up and down like a roller coaster in reasonably short, steep pitches.

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.

North Clear Creek - Four fishing access points to North Clear Creek are provided by means of primitive dirt roads, marked with white arrows, that lead off Forest Road #513 (Continental Reservoir/Rito Honda Reservoir Road).

North Clear Creek Campground - Some sites are in open, while some sites are screened with small aspen/spruce/fir. Good general area in the fall to observe and take pictures of fall aspen colors.

North Clear Creek Falls - This site is 27 miles west of Creede in a fenced area with open grass vegetation. There is a very picturesque view of North Clear Creek Falls.

North Clear Creek Road 510/Santa Maria-Seepage Roa - The route crosses open parks and rolling aspen-covered hills. Beautiful views of Bristol Head Peak and the surrounding mountains of the Continental Divide, as well as North Clear Creek waterfall are available.

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.

Road Canyon Picnic Ground - 24.5 miles southwest of Creede on Forest Road #520. Picnic and fisherman parking.

Silver Thread Campground - This facility is located adjacent to Highway 149. The area is mostly open and grassy with little screening or trees. CO Highway loops around the campground on three sides, with no screening from the campground.



More Information

Visitor Information:

Creede-Mineral County Chamber of Commerce, P.O. Box 580 , Creede, CO, 81130, Phone: 800-327-2102 or 719-658-2374, Fax: 719-658-2717

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