Pets allowed
Elevation Gain
1,500.00 ft (457.20 m)
Trail type
4.00 mi (6.44 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

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)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round


Open from

June 01 to October 31


Amazing views. Few other hikers. Wildflowers.


Fairly steep climb.

Trailhead Elevation

10,818.00 ft (3,297.33 m)

Highest point

12,317.00 ft (3,754.22 m)


Vault toilet
Backcountry camping
Geologically significant
Big vistas

Typically multi-day


Permit required



Nearby Lodging + Camping


Have updates, photos, alerts, or just want to leave a comment?
Sign In and share them.