Mad Creek Trail

MODERATE 29 reviews
#2 of 43 trails in

Mad Creek Trail is a 8.8 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Clark, CO and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, trail running, horses, and mountain biking and is accessible from March until November. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.

8.9 miles 1609 feet Out & Back

dog friendly

kid friendly

hiking

mountain biking

trail running

horseback riding

Deep canyons, old mining cabins, aspen groves and great views! Hike starts out very steep and gains over 800 vertical feet of elevation within the first 1.5 miles. Hike in Spring, Summer and Fall for best trail conditions. After October 15th, expect to use snow shoes and/or crampons as ice and snow will be present above 8,500 feet. Avoid this trail during winter due to the extreme snowfall in Nov-Mar. Mad Creek Trail is beautiful with Aspen groves, bolders and deep canyon views in areas. If you are planning on camping, flat ground is at a premium on this trail. TRy campin at about 2 miles in at or near the old US Forest Service Cabin, or go on up to around 3.8 miles to a small meadow by the creek. Trail is shared with horses and bikes so be careful during summer when the trail is very crowded.

hiking
1 month ago

WOW!! What a beautiful trail! It snowed last night and during the hike which made it even more spectacular. This is a colorful, gradual ascent along Mad Creek past the Mad Creek barn (historical relic from an early 1900's dude ranch) and Mad Creek Falls to the meadow at the end. I highly recommend this hike to anyone wanting a moderately challenging hike with varied scenery not too far from the town of Steamboat.

Nice hike above MAD Creek and up to very cool Barn and beyond

hiking
2 months ago

We have kicked this trail on several occasions and have really enjoyed the view above mad Creek.
We will be hiking it tomorrow.

hiking
3 months ago

Really great trail. Very cool change of scenery throughout the trail from the hike along the river to the meadows.

hiking
3 months ago

Picturesque and relaxed hike. Great option for a short day hike.

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful! We hiked up to the intersection of the Mtn Zirkle Wilderness entrance. The trail was easy and dog friendly.

3 months ago

Pretty hike with mad creek below. Hike doesn't seem like 4 miles from TH to old cabin to TH. Once i get a bike i would love to go back

hiking
3 months ago

Dang that's so gorgeous! One of the most beautiful hikes. We went up to the barn and back. 4miles. So nice.

hiking
4 months ago

The hike to mad creek barn is not too challenging and offers wonderful views. Would definitely travel this trail again in the future.

hiking
4 months ago

A great trail for nearly all hiking abilities. This is what we call a, "Do Again" hike, and so it is the second time we hiked Mad Creek, as it was our second time in Steamboat. We tracked the mileage closer to 5 miles round trip, not the 8 written in the description. We have yet to experience horses and bikers on the trail, but certainly a decent number of hikers...and we went relatively early. We also experienced one mad mama cow. She would not let us pass on the trail. If we tried to cut through vegetation, she tried to head us off. Finally, a calf popped up through the tall vegetation and we understood what was going on. We waited for the calf to get caught up to mama, and all was good. We renamed the trail, Mad Cow Creek! Be well.

5 months ago

Excellent! Did it in the early morning just after dawn, in late June, great time to take it!

hiking
5 months ago

Wildflowers and golden dirt and beautiful views and opportunities to dip feet in the creek. Water was high mid June.

6 months ago

Great day hike. Different types of terrain throughout the hike. Short, quick, and close to steamboat!

6 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

Very beautiful, would recommend traveling light. Great place to get away for the day and so close to town!

7 months ago

1 year ago

Beautiful trail with outstanding views, all leading to an historic barn.. Excellent photo opportunities! Trail was snow covered and very manageable.. Love this hike

1 year ago

hiking
1 year ago

Great varied views with cool old cabins and creek sounds most of the way. Toddler walked 2 of 7 miles. Easy trail!

hiking
1 year ago

Beautiful, low intensity hike. As the other reviewers have said, the trail begins with an incline, but it's not overwhelming, and the rest of the hike is relatively flat, making it suitable for most fitness levels, including children. The trail provides great views the entire two miles it takes to get to the old barn, which isn't anything all that exciting but fun to go in and explore nonetheless. From there, you can continue walking 1/4 mile or so toward the old miner houses (or rather what remains of them), where you might have a chance encounter with a couple black angus who are polite enough to move off the trail to wait for you to pass before continuing on their way. Then you can go down to the creek (this is where I would recommend you take your shoes off and get your feet wet) before heading back the same way you came in. It looked like the trail may have continued if you wanted to hike a bit farther, but following the route described above ends up at just over 5 miles and took about 3 hours (hiking at a leisurely pace and stopping to explore). Go early if you want to encounter fewer people--we started around 9 am on a weekday and had the trail mostly to ourselves on the way in, but passed quite a few hikers and bikers on the way out and arrived back to an almost full parking lot. Also, there's not a lot of shade on this trail, so remember your hat and sunscreen.