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

Quick Facts

Colorado Trail (Highway 50 to Marshall Pass)

Beginning Elevation: 8,840 Feet (2755.6 Meters) Highway 50
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation Gain: 3,340 Feet (1041.1 Meters)
Ending Elevation: 10,880 Feet (3391.5 Meters) Marshall Pass
High Point: 11,950 Feet (3725.1 Meters) Continental Divide
Length: 14 Miles (23.33 Kilometers) 23K
Other Maps: San Isabel National Forest
Recommended Season: Summer
Trail Number: 1776
USGS Maps: Quads: Maysville, Garfield, Pahlone Peak, Mount Ouray




Satellite and Topo Map




General Description

Hikers at Colorado Trail Trailhead
Copyright: Chadwick Lange - Interactive Outdoors, Inc.
Hikers at Colorado Trail Trailhead
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.

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.

Seasonal Information:
Normally Open: June through October .



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Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Backpacking Colorado Trail
Yes
ICON Dispersed Camping Colorado Trail
Yes
ICON Hiking & Walking Colorado Trail (Highway 50 to Marshall Pass)
Yes
ICON Horseback Riding Colorado Trail
Yes
ICON Stock Packing Colorado Trail
Yes
ICON Animal Identification Colorado Trail
Yes
ICON Bird Identification Colorado Trail
Yes
ICON Mushroom Identification Colorado Trail
Yes
ICON Plant Identification Colorado Trail
Yes
ICON Wildflower Identification Colorado Trail
Yes
ICON Viewing Scenery Colorado Trail
Yes



Related Activities
Colorado Trail (Chalk Creek to Highway 50) - Segment 14 of the Colorado Trail extends 20 miles south from Chalk Creek Road to Highway 50 west of Maysville. This portion of the trail is open to foot, horse and bike traffic.



More Information

Visitor Information:

Heart of the Rockies Chamber of Commerce, 406 West Rainbow Blvd. , Salida, CO, , Phone: 719-539-3591

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