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Hiking & Walking: Colorado > White River National Forest > Blanco Ranger District

Quick Facts

Pagoda-Snell Creek Loop Trail

Beginning Elevation: 8,310 Feet (2590.4 Meters)
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation Gain: 2,090 Feet (651.5 Meters)
Ending Elevation: 10,400 Feet (3241.9 Meters)
Length: 17 Miles (28.33 Kilometers)
Usage: Moderate

Satellite and Topo Map

General Description

This motorized trail loop links County/Forest Road 8 (near Ripple Creek Pass), the Pagoda Peak Trail and the Snell Creek Trail. Begin by climbing the dirt road (Forest Road 8) from the Snell Creek Trailhead to the parking lot just south of the Ripple Creek Pass summit. The Pagoda trail heads northwest out of the parking area. It stays mainly in open parks with short stretches through mixed dead spruce and spruce-fir forests. The mostly hard packed ATV trail has some technical "rock garden" sections and creek crossings. To the north, Pagoda Peak rises 11,120 feet, getting it's name from it's unusual shape. After 5 miles of rolling hills and overall elevation drop, the double track takes you into a large open park with the junction of Snell Creek trail at the southwest end. The junction is not marked as of this writing. Continue to follow the snowmobile markers (on posts), that run along the left edge of the park. Following the signposts, you will find the trail becomes singletrack to the left of Snell Creek. The first of several ankle deep stream crossings is just a few hundred yards down the trail. Snell creek trails is a fast single track trail punctuated by technical rock sections. The trail winds in and out of open parks, aspen, spruce-fir and lodgepole pine stands giving you breath taking views of the valley you are descending into, eventually dropping you back to your vehicle along County Road 8.

Directions from Meeker: Take State Highway 13 east out of Meeker for one mile; turn right on County Road 8 for 37.2 miles. Snell Creek trailhead is marked by a sign reading "Pagoda Lake 6 miles" and "Pagoda Peak 6 1/2 miles". The parking area is .2 miles west (before) the trailhead on the right side of the road outside of the stock corral. Follow the directions posted on the sign as the corral is in use during certain parts of the season. From there continue up County Road 8 for another 6.5 miles to the Pagoda trailhead on the west side of the road 4/10 mile from the summit of Ripple Creek Pass. Parking is available at Pagoda trailhead for those who want to use a car shuttle to avoid riding up the mountain.

Seasonal Information:
Normally Accessible: Mid-June through August (NOTE: This loop is open to motorized travel between June 15th and August 31st.) .

Current Conditions & Trip Reports
Open Updated: 2000-05-26 17:48:00.0

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Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Cold Water Fishing -Fisheries can be found in Pagoda Lake and Snell Creek
ICON Hiking & Walking
ICON Horseback Riding Be aware, this trail is open to motorized use.
ICON Motorcycle Riding

Related Activities
Long Park/Lost Creek General Forest Area - The Long Park/Lost Creek area offers access to four-wheel drive roads, hiking trails and hunting. It is located in the northern portion of the Blanco Ranger District, northeast of Buford.

North Fork Campground - North Fork Campground is located 35 miles east of Meeker close to the North Fork of the White River, at an elevation of 8,000 feet. In addition to single sites, the campground has a group site for up to 50 people.

Pagoda Lake - Pagoda Lake offers Rainbow and Brook Trout fishing.

Pagoda Trail - Pagoda Trail begins west of Ripple Creek Pass. It offers motorcycle/ATV access to Snell Creek, Pagoda Lake and Pagoda Peak. It can be followed to Forest Road 230 or linked to the Snell Creek trail.

Snell Creek Trail - The Snell Creek Trail connects County Road 8 with the Pagoda Lake Trail 5.5 miles to the north. It is open to motorcycle use.

Vaughn Lake Campground - Vaughn Lake campground is located in the Dunckley Pass area northwest of Yampa along the Flat Tops Trail Scenic and Historic Byway.

More Information

Visitor Information:

Yampa Ranger District, 300 Roselawn Ave., P.O. Box 7 , Yampa, CO, 80483, Phone: 970-638-4516, Fax: 970-638-4635


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