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Fishing: Colorado > Rio Grande National Forest > Saguache Ranger District

Quick Facts

Upper Sand Creek Lake Trail

Beginning Elevation: 10,400 Feet (3241.9 Meters)
Difficulty: More Difficult
Elevation Gain: 2,000 Feet (623.4 Meters)
Ending Elevation: 8,400 Feet (2618.5 Meters) Along Sand Creek on private property (Baca Grant)
Length, One-way: 0.5 Miles (0.83 Kilometers)
Trail Number: 862
Usage: Moderate to Heavy
USGS Maps: Crestone Peak, Liberty, Beck Mountain

Satellite and Topo Map

General Description

Upper Sand Lake looking north to the Crestones - 7.71
Copyright: O'Rourke - US Forest Service
Upper Sand Lake looking north to the Crestones - 7.71
Access from the bottom of Sand Creek is not feasible due to locked gates on the Baca Grant, deep sand, and private property at the mouth of the Creek. Riding or hiking across the Sand Dunes National Monument is possible along the eastern foothills; however, there is no water and infrequent shade. The trail is closed to motorized traffic.

This trail is very popular due to its easy access and variety of hiking opportunities and scenery. Horseback travel is easy from Music Pass and in the upper half of the Sand Creek drainage. The lower part of Sand Creek is difficult for stock due to rock slides and brush. The trail from Cottonwood Creek to the head of Sand Creek is passable on foot only and difficult to follow. This section is steep and may require some bushwhacking but is worth the effort for the view from the Milwaukee Pass area.

Due to the heavy use in the Sand Creek drainage, it is recommended that camps be located away from the lake shores and grassy meadows along the creek. Flash floods along the creeks and lightening strikes on the open rock around Milwaukee Pass pose potential hazards.

Directions from Cottonwood Creek: From Cottonwood Creek on the Baca Grant. Stop at the Administrative and Maintenance Building for permission and directions to the beginning of the trail.

Seasonal Information:
Normally Open: May through September .

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Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Cold Water Fishing Sand Creek lakes and pools
ICON Hiking & Walking Upper Sand Creek Lake Trail
ICON Horseback Riding Easy from Music Pass, upper 1/2 of Sand Creek drainage; lower part of Sand Creek difficult
ICON Viewing Scenery The Milwaukee Pass area.

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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