Stout Creek Trail is a 10 mile out and back trail located near Coaldale, CO that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible from June until October.
Directions from Salida: Kerr Gulch Access: Traveling east on Highway 50 from Salida turn right on Kerr Gulch Road, BLM 6110. The turn is approximately 4 miles northwest of Coaldale. Drive about 4 miles to BLM Road 6117. Follow Road 6117 1 mile to the trailhead. At the trailhead (north edge of the meadow) follow the old logging road about .75 miles to the Rainbow Trail. Hike north on the Rainbow Trail .25 miles to Stout Creek Lake Trailhead. Follow Stout Creek Lakes Trail climbing steeply in some places 3 miles to the lake.This access is recommended for high clearance vehicles and dry weather only.
We hiked to the lake in 4 hours. The trail disappears in a couple of spots about half way up due to the numerous trees that blew down over the winter. We had to bush whack our way around the biggest blow down to the north and west then re-intersect the trail. Once we accomplished this the trail was reasonably unobstructed the remainder of the way with the occasional blockage from a downed tree. On the descent we stayed on the trail rather than retrace our ascent path around the blow down which turned out to be a mistake. This way led us into the heart of the blow down and made the rediscovery of the trail much harder and longer. We made the descent back to the Kerr Gulch Trail head in 3.5 hours.
It turned out to be a very arduous but rewarding hike with great views, grouse and turkey sightings, and an afternoon escape from the 100 deg. heat.