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Mountain Biking: Colorado > Rio Grande National Forest > Divide Ranger District

Quick Facts

La Garita - Spring Creek Pass to Rat Creek Trail

Beginning Elevation: 10,900 Feet (3397.8 Meters)
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Elevation Gain: 300 Feet (93.5 Meters)
Ending Elevation: 10,600 Feet (3304.2 Meters)
Length, One-way: 10.6 Miles (17.67 Kilometers)
Trail Number: 787
Usage: Very Light
USGS Maps: Slumgullion Pass, Baldy Cinco, San Luis Peak
Vehicle Accessibility: Multiple use




Satellite and Topo Map




General Description

The trail is not well marked at its beginning on Spring Creek Pass. No defined tread is evident along a good portion of this trail. Stock driveway signs on trees and posts mark the general area the trail follows. Start hiking by heading east from the Spring Creek Corrals. Follow the driveway signs through the trees as best as possible.

The trail provides excellent panoramic views in all directions. A feeling of vastness can be experienced while traveling across the immense open space one finds on Snow Mesa. In midsummer it is not uncommon to see a herd of elk in the upper Miners Creek and Snow Mesa areas. A band of domestic sheep graze the Snow Mesa during the summer. Camping is easily available in the upper Miners Creek area. Firewood is in very short supply on Snow Mesa.

The trail starts with a gradual 0.75 mile climb through an old-growth spruce/fir stand of timber. The gradual climb quickly becomes a steep 0.25 mile climb onto Snow Mesa. The trail meanders over the rolling grassy hills on Snow Mesa for about 4.0 miles. After passing a small lake on the east end of Snow Mesa, the trail heads northeast toward the head of Miners Creek.

The trail drops sharply into the upper north side of Miners Creek at the end of the meadow. Miners Creek Trail (#803) crosses the creek and goes down Miners Creek. The La Garita Stock Driveway enters the trees at the east end of the meadow and follows an old ski trail for about 1.5 miles. After coming out of the timber stand, the trail drops into Oso Creek and meets the Oso Creek 4-wheel-drive road. Hiking this road is a 1.5 mile climb before dropping 0.5 mile to the Rat Creek Road (Forest Development Road # 505).

Directions from Creede: Travel west from Creede on Highway 149 for approximately 30 1/2 miles to Spring Creek Pass, between Creede and Lake City. The pass is well marked.

Seasonal Information:
Normally Open: Mid-Summer through Fall .



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Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Camping Easily available in upper Miners Creek area
Yes
ICON Hiking & Walking La Garita - Spring Creek Pass to Rat Creek Trail
Yes
ICON Horseback Riding Tread is not well defined
Yes
ICON Mountain Biking Tread is not well defined
Yes
ICON Motorcycle Riding Tread is not well defined
Yes
ICON ATV Riding Tread is not well defined
ICON Viewing Scenery Panoramic views
Yes
ICON Viewing Wildlife Elk common in midsummer in upper Miners Creek and Snow Mesa areas
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 - San Luis Pass to Spring Creek - This is another scenic stretch of the Continental Divide and Colorado Trails. It is possible to see elk and other wildlife.

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.

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:

South Fork Chamber of Commerce, P.O. Box 12 , South Fork, CO, 81154, Phone: 719-873-5512

Rio Grande County - South Fork, Del Norte, Monte Vista, P.O. Box 577 , South Fork, CO, 81154, Phone: 800-571-0881 or 719-873-5512, Fax: 719-873-5693, www.southfork.org

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