Segment 15 of the Colorado Trail leads 14 miles south from Highway 50 to Marshall Pass. The terrain on this segment remains above 8,800' so users should be cautious of lightning storms when above tree line. Water is not plentiful along the way requiring advance planning for camping on the trail. The trail intersects with Greens Creek Trail, Continental Divide Trail and Agate Creek Trail along this section. The terminus of this route, Marshall Pass, marks the intersection of the Sawatch, Cochetopa Hills and the Sangre de Christo mountain ranges.
Copyright: Chadwick Lange - Interactive Outdoors, Inc.
Hikers at Colorado Trail Trailhead
From Highway 50 the trail follows Fooses Creek Road, County Road 225, for 3 miles to South Fooses Creek. The first .5 miles of the trail is private property so users are asked to remain on the road. High-clearance 4 WD vehicles are recommended for Fooses Creek Road. After 3 miles on road 225 South Fooses Creek forks to the left heading south. The trail begins here.
Follow South Fooses Creek for 3.5 miles to its headwaters. You'll cross the stream several times before reaching the high-alpine tundra that lies beneath the Continental Divide. Two miles of travel in the tundra puts users on the Continental Divide at an elevation close to 12,000'. (This is also the Chaffee/Gunnison County line.) Follow the trail left (southeast) along the Continental Divide toward Marshall Pass.
The trail follows the Continental Divide for 1.25 miles. When it intersects with the Greens Creek Trail #1412 the Colorado Trail bears to the right down the southwestern slope of the divide. Chipeta Mountain (12,853') and Mt. Ouray (13,971') stand on the eastern side of the divide. Approximately one mile after the trail leaves the Continental Divide Agate Creek Trail crosses it. From this crossing it is almost 3 miles to Marshall Pass. The last 1.5 miles of this segment users follow an old jeep road.
Backpackers will find suitable camping along South Fooses Creek and at Marshall Pass. A 3 sided shelter exists along Greens Creek Trail at 11,480', which is near the headwaters of Green Creek.
Directions from Poncha Springs: Highway 50 Access: Travel 9 miles west of Poncha Springs to Fooses Creek Road, which is County Road 225. This road is the southern continuation of the Colorado Trail. Immediately across Highway 50 is the terminus of Section 14 of the Colorado Trail.
Directions from Poncha Springs: Marshall Pass Access: Travel 5 miles south from Poncha Springs on Highway 285 to County Road 200. Turn left (west) on 200 and drive 14 miles to the summit of Marshall Pass.
Directions from Poncha Springs: South Fooses Creek Access: Travel 9 miles west of Poncha Springs to Fooses Creek Road, which is County Road 225. Drive 3 miles southwest of Highway 50 on County Road 225 to the South Fooses Creek Trailhead. This route is recommended for high-clearance vehicles.
June through October .