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

Quick Facts

Cross Creek Trail

Average Time: 5 Hours
Beginning Elevation: 7,960 Feet (2481.3 Meters)
Difficulty: More Difficult
Elevation Gain, One-way: 1,400 Feet (436.4 Meters)
Ending Elevation: 9,360 Feet (2917.7 Meters)
Length: 6.5 Miles (10.83 Kilometers)
Recommended Season: June-October
Trail Number: 1855
Usage: Moderate
USGS Maps: Sweetwater and Deep Lake


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Satellite and Topo Map




General Description

This trail following the Sweetwater Canyon, quickly drops down into a lush aspen forest in its beginning 1/2 mile and crosses Lake Creek, then it climbs up a steep sagebrush and scrub oak hill. After leveling out on a ridge top, the trail continues through a large sagebrush flat. The condition of the trail in this area is a deep cut into the land with brushy overhang. At about 2 1/2 miles, the trail forks; follow the right fork heading towards the canyon. As the trail enters a large wet meadow, it becomes faint, but continues again straight across near an aspen stand. From the midpoint on, the trail is fairly level passing through spruce/fir forests with some aspen. After crossing the Dry Sweetwater Creek the trail ends connecting onto the Sweetwater Trail, #1854.

SPECIAL INTERESTS
SWEETWATER INDIAN CAVES - This small cave located on a
short steep offshoot from the trail at the Lake Creek crossing is on private land, visitors are welcome, but please no more graffiti! The cave entrance has charcoal pictographs of horses and bison made by the Utes 150 - 200 years ago.
WILDFLOWERS - Sagebrush flats at this elevation are always good places to find abundant wildflowers. Early summer is the best time to find an excellent display of lupine, white and purple peavine, flax, sulfur flowers, wild geraniums, locoweed and scarlet gilia.

Directions from Eagle: Travel 12 miles west on I-70 to the Dotsero exit. Follow signs for Sweetwater turning north onto the Colorado River Road. Go 7 miles, turn left onto the Sweetwater Creek Road. Stay on this road for 10 miles, turning left at the sign for Sweetwater campground. There is a day use parking lot with vault toilets at the campground. The Cross Creek Trail can be accessed by hiking on the Ute Trail for 1/4 mile or going on the scenic overlook trail for 1/2 mile.

Directions from Vail: Travel 43 miles west on I-70 to the Dotsero exit. Follow signs for Sweetwater turning north onto the Colorado River Road. Go 7 miles, turn left onto the Sweetwater Creek Road. Stay on this road for 10 miles, turning left at the sign for Sweetwater campground. There is a day use parking lot with vault toilets at the campground. The Cross Creek Trail can be accessed by hiking on the Ute Trail for 1/4 mile or going on the scenic overlook trail for 1/2 mile.

Directions from Beaver Creek: Travel 34 miles west on I-70 to the Dotsero exit. Follow signs for Sweetwater turning north onto the Colorado River Road. Go 7 miles, turn left onto the Sweetwater Creek Road. Stay on this road for 10 miles, turning left at the sign for Sweetwater campground. There is a day use parking lot with vault toilets at the campground. The Cross Creek Trail can be accessed by hiking on the Ute Trail for 1/4 mile or going on the scenic overlook trail for 1/2 mile.

Seasonal Information:
Recommended Season: June through October .



Current Conditions & Trip Reports
Updated: 2001-06-26 14:38:00.0


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Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Fishing
No
ICON Hiking & Walking Cross Creek Trail
Yes
ICON Horseback Riding Cross Creek Trail
Yes
ICON Hunting
No



Related Activities
Sweetwater General Forest Area - The Sweetwater General Forest Area includes the Sweetwater Creek drainage, northwest of Eagle and Gypsum. It takes in the southeast end of the Flat Tops Wilderness.

Sweetwater Lake - Sweetwater is a natural 72 acre lake at 7,709 feet , popular for fishing, boating and camping.

Sweetwater Lake Campground - This campground sits in the bottom of a deep valley at an elevation of 7,740 feet, on the edge of Sweetwater Lake.

Sweetwater Trail - This scenic trail travels up Sweetwater and Dry Sweetwater Creeks in the Flat Tops area north of Dotsero. It accesses the east side of the Flat Tops Wilderness.



More Information

Visitor Information:

Eagle Valley Chamber of Commerce , Eagle, CO, 81631, Phone: 970-328-5220

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