Pets allowed
Allowed
Elevation Gain
1,500.00 ft (457.20 m)
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
4.00 mi (6.44 km)
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The section of the Continental Divide between Lake City and Creede is a spectacular region of Colorado. Far from any large towns, it doesn't see a lot of traffic on the trails. One moderately challenging day hike is this route to Snow Mesa from the Spring Creek Trailhead. The trail, part of both the Colorado Trail and the Continental Divide Trail, is popular with backpackers and day hikers alike, and the rewards more than justify the relentless climb from the valley.

The trail starts across the highway from the parking area and immediately begins climbing. The rim of Snow Mesa looms ahead, and the valley quickly drops behind. The trail doesn't have many switchbacks, and it maintains a steady grade through thin forest. The general route is just south of the Continental Divide proper. Above the treeline, the trail steepens and begins to follow a thin creek bed meandering through the talus field that makes up much of the slope of Snow Mesa. The final push lands on the mildly undulating top of Snow Mesa and offers great views in all directions. Baldy Cinco (13,383 feet) is a short distance away and is tempting to climb. The expanse of the mesa extends to the east and to the west, and San Juan peaks surround Silverton and Ouray, including the distinctive Uncompahgre Peak about 30 miles away. The hike can be extended further east into the mesa for a longer trip.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Summer
Fall

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

No

Open from

June 01 to October 31

Pros

Amazing views. Few other hikers. Wildflowers.

Cons

Fairly steep climb.

Trailhead Elevation

10,818.00 ft (3,297.33 m)

Highest point

12,317.00 ft (3,754.22 m)

Features

Vault toilet
Backcountry camping
Geologically significant
Big vistas
Wildflowers

Typically multi-day

No

Permit required

No

Location

Field Guide

Comments

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