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Deep Creek Trail #418

Intermediate
 4.0 (1)

A challenging but beautiful trail with lovely views and giant aspen forests.


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Map Key

6.8

Miles

11.0

KM

Point to Point

10,533' 3,210 m

High

9,126' 2,782 m

Low

1,715' 523 m

Up

1,089' 332 m

Down

8%

Avg Grade (4°)

27%

Max Grade (15°)

Dogs Off-leash

Features Fall Colors · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Description

This trail can be accessed via the Mill Creek Road, Eider Creek Trail, Jud Weibe Trail, Mill Creek Waterline Trail or via Airport Road. Parking exists both at Mill Creek and at the Deep Creek Trailhead on the west side. Either way, there is a good bit of elevation gain on this hike.

Hiking west to east will yield a more abrupt and steeper ascent while east to west starts at a higher elevation from the junction with the Mill Creek Waterline Trail, which minimizes some of the climbing. Many of the loops that involve this trail end up being over 15 miles with strenuous ascents, so bring adequate food and water.

The trail is almost entirely on singletrack that ranges from very smooth to somewhat rocky. The route is highly scenic and is a great way to see the whole valley and much of the surrounding San Juans.

Starting from the parking lot at Deep Creek Trailhead, start on a gentle climb through an open meadow. As you climb this hillside, you can look back on the surrounding valley which, depending on the time of year, will be full of wildflowers. At half a mile, take a left onto a wider doubletrack trail that flattens out and runs along a man-made canal. The aspen trees along this section are massive.

The trail crosses Sheep Creek and comes to a junction with the Whipple Creek Trail - continue to the right to stay on the Deep Creek Trail. After heading through a lush meadow fed by Sheep Creek, you'll start the first steep section of climbing. The singletrack climbs steeply for about a mile before the trail starts to wind and switchback through the expansive aspen forests. The climb mellows out, and you can start to enjoy some of the views peeking through the trees.

At about 2.5 miles, you'll come to a break in the trees that offers great views of the valley and the mountains across the way. From here, the climb is much more gradual as you'll generally be traversing the hillside through the giant aspens. For the next couple miles, the trail is a well-groomed singletrack that heads in and out of aspen groves. You'll come to open areas that appear to be the work of avalanches and these chutes afford amazing views.

At about 4.5 miles, you'll descend for the first time since you started. Here the trail heads down a slope to a junction with the Eider Creek Trail on the right and shortly after the Sneffels Highline Trail on the left. After passing the junction for the Sneffels Highline Trail, enjoy the last little bit of winding trail down through evergreens mixed with Aspens until coming to the end of the trail at the junction with the Mill Creek Waterline Trail.

Flora & Fauna

The highlight of the trail is definitely the massive aspen groves. Plenty of wildflowers including columbines, corn lilies, larkspur, fireweed, shooting stars by the creeks, sweet peas, and indian paintbrush.

Contacts

Shared By:

Kristen Arendt

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 1 vote

#15

in Telluride

#13459

Overall
  4.0 from 1 vote
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Trail Rankings

#15

in Telluride

#1,172

in Colorado

#13,459

Overall
5 Views Last Month
2,552 Since Jun 14, 2016
Intermediate

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Photos

Revel in the views of Telluride Ski Resort and Mountain Village from the Deep Creek Trail #418.
Jul 5, 2017 near Mountai…, CO
Aspens along the Deep Creek Trail.
Jul 6, 2016 near Mountai…, CO
Looking south from Last Dollar Road near the trailhead.
Jun 15, 2016 near Mountai…, CO
About 90% of the trail looks like this!
Jun 15, 2016 near Mountai…, CO
Columbines.
Jul 6, 2016 near Mountai…, CO
Heading through the aspens.
Jul 6, 2016 near Mountai…, CO

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Sep 6, 2020
Amy Hartman
Happy day after day after anniversary! Great hike through Aspens. 8.1mi