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

Quick Facts

Wason -Wheeler Trail

Beginning Elevation: 8,900 Feet (2774.3 Meters)
Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult
Elevation Gain: 2,300 Feet (717.0 Meters)
Ending Elevation: 11,200 Feet (3491.3 Meters)
Length, One-way: 10.7 Miles (17.83 Kilometers)
Trail Number: 789
Usage: Light
USGS Maps: San Luis Peak, Halfmoon Pass




Satellite and Topo Map




General Description

Excellent views of Creede and several historic mines provided along the first 2.0 miles of this trail. Breathtaking scenery is enjoyed while standing at Inspiration Point. Be sure to carry water for the tongue-dragging climb from Creede to Inspiration Point. Water is scarce across the 1.0 mile open area of Wason Park.

Good camping opportunities are generally not available until one reaches the Wason Park Area. The trail is easy to follow, with a well defined tread. Access to the Wheeler Geologic Area and the La Garita Wilderness is possible via this trail. Large, open alpine meadows with scattered patches of spruce/fir timber are a common part of the landscape once hikers reach Wason Park. Mining activity may obliterate sections of the trail from Creede to Inspiration Point. Intense lightning storms occur in this area during the summer rainy season.

Beginning at the trailhead just below the Baptist Church property in Creede, the trail begins with a steep, hard climb to Inspiration Point. The climb includes a number of switchbacks and upon entering tree line above Creede, traverses numerous loose rock slide areas. From Inspiration Point, the trail follows the ridge between the Dry Gulch and East Willow Drainages. At the head of Dry Gulch, the trail enters an open burn area.

The trail passes through the burn area and begins a short climb onto the west end of Wason Park. After wandering for about a mile through open parks and scattered patches of spruce and fir, the trail enters the vast openness of Wason Park. The trail traverses the rolling meadows of Wason Park for about 2.5 to 3.0 miles. The La Garita mountains rise to the north of Wason Park and as one approaches the junction of the Farmers Creek Trail (# 801), the Wheeler Geologic Area can be seen in the distance.

After meeting the Farmers Creek Trail, the Wason-Wheeler Trail will cross several of the upper tributaries of West Bellows Creek. The trail goes a short way and then enters a fairly dense stand of old-growth timber. After a distance of approximately 0.5 mile, the trail meets with the trail that travels through the Wheeler Geologic formations.

Winter Activities:
Although several excellent possibilities exist for cross-country skiing or snowshoeing in the Wheeler/Wason area, few people take advantage of the opportunities. The foot and horse trails in this area offer limited skiing opportunities for those who may desire to take a look at this winter wonderland. Inspiration Point/Wason Park Trail (Forest Road 789) has problems with snow and terrain at lower elevations, similar to Farmers Creek Trail.

La Garita/Wason Park Trail (Forest Road 787) is a beautiful area to ski tour. Rolling hills, large open, tree-lined parks, and plenty of winter solitude. Only accessible if several overnight stays are planned. Severe weather very possible.

Directions from Creede: Creede Townsite, 100 yards south of the Baptist Church.

Seasonal Information:
Normally Open: Late May through Early September .



Current Conditions & Trip Reports

Add your own trip Report! Newly re-released feature. One of the most popular features on Wildernet, trip reports allow you to share your experiences with others. This is an invaluable resource for determining what to expect on your outdoor adventure, so please participate! To prevent spamming, you must be a registered user of Wildernet in order to submit a trip report

Filed By: Rocco (Santa Fe, NM)
Time of Day: Early morning
Length of Time: Spent approximately 1 hr. 15 minutes exploring
Difficulty: Moderate
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Neutral
Report: A couple of things to know: 1) There seems to be no clear trailhead in Creede; you have to make your own way up the hillside in the area between the Baptist church and the Snowshoe Lodge Motel. 2). A large house has been constructed in the middle of the trail on someone's inholding, perhaps 3/4 mile from the start of the trail. The ranger at the Divide Ranger station in Creede was discouraging about getting around the house and said that he was going to pull their flyers with the trail desription. He said the only way of accessing the trail beyond the house was to bushwhack from a road in back of the nearby rifle range; I didn't try this. 3. The trail is not signed, although easy enough to pick out once you've climbed the initial slope, as it is in an open area. All this notwithstanding, you get pleasant enough views from the part of the trail before the house, and there is an informal trail network following the slope leading to and beyond the cliffs above Creede. I was told that one can eventually follow these informal trails to North Creede, but I didn't make it that far.



Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Backpacking No good camping until Wason Park Area
Yes
ICON Cross-country Skiing Excellent possibilities
Yes
ICON Hiking & Walking Wason -Wheeler Trail
Yes
ICON Horseback Riding Well defined and easy to follow
Yes
ICON Mountain Biking Creede to Inspiration Point is tongue-dragging
Yes
ICON Snowshoeing Excellent possibilities
Yes
ICON Viewing Scenery Inspiration Point
Yes



Related Activities
Farmers Creek Trail - Only a few decent camping places exist along the lower portion of the trail. Good scenery and access to Wheeler Geologic Area, La Garita Wilderness and the vastness of Wason Park.

Marshall Park Campground - This site is located near Colorado Hwy. 149 and is the closest forest campground to Creede. There is very little screening or trees, so heavy vehicle traffic along Colorado Hwy. 149 is visible.

Palisade Campground - Some sites are open, while other sites are screened with cottonwoods/aspen/spruce/fir. Campground is located adjacent to Colorado Highway 149 for easy access to travelers passing through.

Palisade Trail - This trail goes north towards Blue Park and Long Park and is mostly used by hikers and hunters.



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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