Pass Creek Trail is a 8.4 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Salida, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
The trail begins near some old mine tailings and travels southwest towards a small ridge and then drops down to Pass Creek. The trail follows the creek and passes several beaver ponds that offer good fishing for brook trout. The trail becomes steeper as you begin climbing toward Pass Creek Lake. The lake rests in a small basin. Anglers report the most success with flies at the lake. This is a good overnight backpack trip with few visitors to the lake for overnight trips. There are several good campsites located well away from the lakeshore and delicate wetlands areas. All trash must be packed out and campers should build small warming fires or opt for using a small stove for cooking purposes. Motorcyclists must stay on the designated trail and avoid wet areas to lessen damage to the trail.
Single track, few times you walk near the stream
My friends and I brought our horses up to this beautiful trail. The first and last parts were rocky and steep, but the rest was gorgeous. Unfortunately we will not repeat this trail as the access road is horrible! Very rough, narrow and with tight rurns that were treacherous pulling horse trailers. What a shame as the trail is just as pretty as any we've experienced.
My wife and I did this hike when on our honeymoon. We parked our camry on the side of the road about two miles from the trail head and started from there (a gentlemen driving from the trail suggested us to do this being that the car had very little clearance. We are thankful for his advice!) What I liked most about the trail was the constant change of scenery from conifers to hard woods with plenty of green undergrowth to rock covered hillsides. About half way up the trail was the remains of some old cabins (which I think was interesting) And at the end of the trail was the secluded small lake protected by the surrounding mountains. We had a late start, but we only saw two groups of hikers coming out of the trail. I think it's a good trail if you don't like crowds.