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

Quick Facts

Nellie's Trail

Average Time: 2-3 Hours
Beginning Elevation: 8,320 Feet (2593.5 Meters)
Difficulty: Most Difficult
Elevation Gain, One-way: 1,520 Feet (473.8 Meters)
Ending Elevation: 9,840 Feet (3067.3 Meters)
Length, One-way: 1.9 Miles (3.17 Kilometers)
Recommended Season: May-October
Trail Number: 1839
Usage: Moderate
USGS Maps: Sweetwater Lake




Satellite and Topo Map




General Description

This very steep trail, beginning off of the Turret Creek Trail, #1852, and ending on the Johnny Meyers Trail, #2067, is seldom used by hikers, but is popular for horse travelers. The trail first crosses Sweetwater Creek and passes through aspen forests, then it becomes a steep uphill climb through open meadows. The trail eroded easily and has large protruding rocks. At about the 1 mile mark, the trail goes around a small conical hill, commonly known as Nellie's Nipple. The trail then becomes a more gradual climb to the Johnny Meyers Trail.

SPECIAL INTERESTS
SCENIC VIEWS - On the way up the slope, hikers are treated to incredible panoramic views of the Sweetwater Lake, Sweetwater Canyon, Shingle and Turret Peaks and the snowcapped mountain ranges beyond. There are excellent photography opportunities.

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 11.2 miles. Limited parking is available near the cabins of the Sweetwater Wilderness Ranch. Another small parking lot, accessible by 4-Wheel Drive is another 1/4 mile up at the Hilltop Ranch. There are no facilities at either parking lot. At the trailhead follow signs for Turret Creek and Nellie's for 1/2 mile, then take the Turret Creek Trail for another 1/2 mile until the trail forks again. Take the right fork across the creek.

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 11.2 miles. Limited parking is available near the cabins of the Sweetwater Wilderness Ranch. Another small parking lot, accessible by 4-Wheel Drive is another 1/4 mile up at the Hilltop Ranch. There are no facilities at either parking lot. At the trailhead follow signs for Turret Creek and Nellie's for 1/2 mile, then take the Turret Creek Trail for another 1/2 mile until the trail forks again. Take the right fork across the creek.

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 11.2 miles. Limited parking is available near the cabins of the Sweetwater Wilderness Ranch. Another small parking lot, accessible by 4-Wheel Drive is another 1/4 mile up at the Hilltop Ranch. There are no facilities at either parking lot. At the trailhead follow signs for Turret Creek and Nellie's for 1/2 mile, then take the Turret Creek Trail for another 1/2 mile until the trail forks again. Take the right fork across the creek.

Seasonal Information:
Recommended Season: May through October .



Current Conditions & Trip Reports
Updated: 2001-06-26 14:44:00.0


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Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Hiking & Walking Nellie's Trail
Yes
ICON Horseback Riding Nellie's Trail is used most commonly by people traveling on horseback.
Yes
ICON Hunting
Yes



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

Turret Creek Trail - Beginning in the Sweetwater Lake area, this trail provides good access to the Flat Tops Wilderness, and is popular for foot or horseback travel.



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