Phoenix Falls Hike

San Juan Mountains, Colorado

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Phoenix Falls Hike


  • Blue bells along the hike to Phoenix Falls.- Phoenix Falls Hike
  • The Creede area has plenty of diverse geology.- Phoenix Falls Hike
  • Traces from the fall storm the previous night.- Phoenix Falls Hike
  • Marmot.- Phoenix Falls Hike
  • Unidentified mushroom (help us identify it by providing feedback).- Phoenix Falls Hike
  • Forest road provides hiking access.- Phoenix Falls Hike
  • The trail to the waterfall.- Phoenix Falls Hike
  • Multiple creek crossings along the trail.- Phoenix Falls Hike
  • Creek crossing.- Phoenix Falls Hike
  • Scarlet bugler.- Phoenix Falls Hike
  • Access road and the trail.- Phoenix Falls Hike
  • Phoenix Falls.- Phoenix Falls Hike
  • Trail posting.- Phoenix Falls Hike
  • Old mining settlement at the base of the waterfall.- Phoenix Falls Hike
  • Perfect backdrop after a mild hike.- Phoenix Falls Hike
Overview + Weather
Beautiful views. Low traffic.
San Juan Mountains, CO
Pets allowed: 
Net Elevation Gain: 
600.00 ft (182.88 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
5.00 mi (8.05 km)
Trail type: 
Trailhead Elevation: 
8,850.00 ft (2,697.48 m)
Current Local Weather:
Hike Description

Hike Description


One of the many day hikes near Creede, trail to the Phoenix Waterfall is a nice retreat during the summer months. From East Willow Creek Road, the trailhead starts at the first switchback before the road starts gaining elevation. The trail begins via a four-wheel drive access road VW2. 

The trail meanders through a thick grove of quaking aspens along the East Willow Creek heading north.  The trail gradually ascends up the valley where it clears to a large open meadow at the base of the La Garita Mountains. There are several creek crossings along the route, so keeping your boots dry becomes a challenge if you are not using the makeshift log crossings. Along the way you'll see beautiful wildflowers if you hike in the summer, and an old mining cabin is worth a peek. The last 300 feet up toward the waterfall are steep and rocky, but the cool mist is a nice reward after a hot summer hike. Views of the valley below are accessible via the base of the waterfall. Round trip this hike is an easy 5 miles.

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Field Guide

Field Guide

Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(2 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(4 within a 30 mile radius)

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