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

Quick Facts

McKenzie Trail

Beginning Elevation: 8,800 Feet (2743.1 Meters) Junction of Shallow Creek Road 508 and Miners Creek Road 507
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation Gain: 3,300 Feet (1028.7 Meters)
Ending Elevation: 12,100 Feet (3771.8 Meters) Table Mountain
Length: 6.6 Miles (11.0 Kilometers)
Trail Number: 804
Usage: Light to Moderate
USGS Maps: Creede, Bristol Head, Baldy Cinco




Satellite and Topo Map




General Description

The main attraction of this trail is the access to Crystal Lake. Fishing is reported to be excellent at Crystal Lake and the scenery along the trail is good. Decent camping areas are generally not available until reaching the McKenzie Park area, approximately 3.5 miles from the Miners Creek Road. Good camping spaces are available at Crystal Lake. 4 WD vehicles can get to Crystal Lake via access from the Bristol Head Road 532.

2 WD vehicles are advised to park and start hiking immediately after Shallow Creek Road 804 crosses Miners Creek. From this point, the road/trail will junction within 200 yards. Hikers should keep to the right. After proceeding approximately 300 yards, the road will again fork. Both forks will take hikers to the same point. The road/trail to the left will have less steep climbs. but is a longer route to the beginning of the foot trail. The road to the right (straight ahead) has one long, steep climb but is a shorter route. 4 WD vehicles must turn left, as the shorter, steeper route is closed to motorized vehicles.

Shortly after the foot trail begins, the hiker must climb up a series of switchbacks before entering the scattered patches of of spruce-fir timber and small open parks at the east end of McKenzie Park. The trail will meander through McKenzie Park for about one mile. Toward the west end of the park, the trail will be somewhat undefined. Continue northwesterly through the alpine meadows for about 1/2 mile and you will either cross the Crystal Lake 4 WD access road or be able to see Crystal Lake. If you find the 4 WD access road, head north and in less than 1/2 mile you will be at Crystal Lake.

Directions from Creede: Travel southwest from Creede on CO Highway 149 for approximately 3 miles to the intersection of CO Highway 149 and Forest Road 507 (Miners Creek Road), then north on the Miners Creek Road for approximately 1.4 miles. Turn west onto the Shallow Creek Road 508. The next 1.5 miles can be driven by 4 WD vehicles. Those in 2 WD cars should park and start hiking immediately after crossing Miners Creek.

Seasonal Information:
Normally Open: Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day Weekend .



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Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Backpacking Crystal Lake, McKenzie Park
Yes
ICON Cold Water Fishing Crystal Lake
Yes
ICON Hiking & Walking McKenzie Trail
Yes
ICON Viewing Scenery Nice scenery
Yes



Related Activities
Miners Creek Trail - Scenery and solitude are available along this trail. Excellent views of white chalk like cliffs are present at the head of Miners Creek.



More Information

Visitor Information:

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

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