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Hiking & Walking: Colorado > Pike and San Isabel National Forests > Leadville Ranger District

Quick Facts

Sheep Gulch Trail

Beginning Elevation: 9,948 Feet (3101.0 Meters)
Difficulty: Difficult due to elevation gain
Elevation: 10,000 Feet (3117.2 Meters)
Elevation Gain: 2,670 Feet (832.3 Meters) to Hope Pass
Ending Elevation: 12,580 Feet (3921.4 Meters) Hope Pass
Length: 2.5 Miles (4.17 Kilometers) to Hope Pass

Satellite and Topo Map

General Description

This is a popular trail run for participants training for the Leadville Trail 100 foot race, and is considered the "crux" of that infamous race. Hope Pass offers extraordinary views of the Collegiate Peaks with exceptional views of Missouri Mountain, Mt. Belford, Mt. Oxford and Huron Peak.

Sheep Gulch is a section of the Continental Divide Trail in the Clear Creek Drainage. The Continental Divide Trail and Colorado Trail split. Both trails follow the same route over Hope Pass from the north. At the Clear Creek Road, the Colorado Trail turns east down the drainage while the Continental Divide Trail turns south and west toward Lake Ann and the Continental Divide. From the road/trail junction, the Continental Divide Trail will travel past Rockdale and through Winfield before following the South Fork Clear Creek Road for two miles to the roads end. The trail then enters the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness. It is approximately 4 miles from Winfield to the top of the divide.

Directions from Clear Creek Road: To reach Sheep Gulch trailhead drive approximately nine miles west of U.S. Highway 24 on Forest Road #120, Clear Creek Road. The trailhead will be on the right (northern) side of the road. Clear Creek is about 19 miles south of Leadville or 14 miles north of Buena Vista, Colorado. Forest Road #120 is graveled and sometimes rough but satisfactory for most vehicles.

Seasonal Information:
Normally Accessible: May through September (NOTE: Snow may obstruct the trail at high elevations.) .

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Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Hiking & Walking Sheep Gulch Trail
ICON Horseback Riding Sheep Gulch Trail

Related Activities
Colorado Trail (Twin Lakes to Clear Creek Rd.) - This segment of the Colorado Trail leads from Twin Lakes Reservoir to Clear Creek Road. It is a popular segment that is used by many runners training for the long-distance foot race the Leadville 100.

Hope Pass Trail - Hope Pass is also the Colorado Trail that leads to Clear Creek Road. There is about 3,200 feet elevation gain up to 12,500 feet at the pass.

Parry Peak Campground - Perry Peak Campground is located west of Twin Lakes Reservoir on Highway 82. Many recreation opportunities are accessible from this campground including fishing, canoeing, hiking, motorcycle riding, four-wheel driving and mountain biking.

South Fork Clear Creek Four-Wheel Drive Road - The South Fork of Clear Creek Road begins at Winfield and ends at the road closure just south of the Banker Mine. The road is extremely rough and recommended for high clearance vehicles only.

Willis Gulch Trail - This is a moderate hike with an elevation gain of 2,400 feet. The end destination is Willis Lake and a mine just beyond the lake .

More Information

Visitor Information:

Leadville Ranger District, U.S. Forest Service, 2015 North Poplar , Leadville, CO, 80461, Phone: 719-486-0749, Fax: 719-486-0928


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