Mad Creek Trail

MODERATE 96 reviews

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

8.8 miles
1,322 feet
Out & Back

dog friendly

kid friendly


horseback riding

mountain biking

trail running

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.

5 days ago

Really beautiful hike with some amazing views! Some shade but a lot of sunny parts as well. I also nearly stepped on a small garden snake on the trail, so beware!

21 days ago

The trail is actually 9.6 miles according to the app, took us 5 hours and ends at a very small creek. Beautiful views, plenty of butterflies, aspen, but I wouldn’t do the the trail after the bridge again. No shade, so carry plenty of water on a sunny day. Our dog, a regular hiker, had a very hard time to complete the hike despite plenty of water and cooling off time in the creek...

We did the full 8.8 miles. The barn is an easy hike but if you continue on make sure to keep in mind there is zero shade for the dogs and it is an unkept trail so wear long pants. Our dog ended up collapsing on the way back as there was no shade and she did a 13 mile hike a few days before with no problem. She is used to long hikes. The end of the hike ends with a small creek. Would not recommend doing the entire 8.8 miles.

1 month ago

Not a bad hike. The barn is less than 2 miles in, so not quite halfway. We made it past the bridge, about 2.6. the trail narrows and is slightly overgrown.

1 month ago

Fun and manageable hike (6 year old did most of it) out to barn and back. Early steepness is a great warm up for some moderately shaded higher trails with great views of creek and canyon below. And the payoff at the creek by the barn is refreshing and relaxing. Butterflies all over up there today. Enjoy

1 month ago

Fun hike. Cool barn.

1 month ago

Great hike easy-moderate. Just made it up to the barn and back but beautiful views, easy grade hike. Would have liked to go farther but not used to altitude, being a flat lander.

1 month ago

Great trail with spectacular views and beautiful wildflowers! Not too hard and not too easy. Really enjoyed the morning!

2 months ago

Moderate is accurate for level. The first part does get your heart pumping. Lots of wildflowers blooming now. Family of woodchucks by the homesite near the barn. I turned back after going past the barn to the bridge over the Creek, inspecting the old cabin ruins there. About 1.8 Miles up and then back in 3 hours while taking lots of photos.

3 months ago

Really enjoyed this one. Did any easy couple miles in to the bridge just past the barn and back out again earlier this week. Incline at the beginning is totally manageable. Great views and varied landscapes.

3 months ago

Good hike

4 months ago

Great time, still pretty deep snow near the end.

10 months ago


11 months ago

Great family hike. About 2.5 miles to the bridge and creek. Took the kids and the dog. Beautiful views that are super easy to get to.

trail running
11 months ago

After about the first mile and 350' of elevation, the trail flattens out into fields and tall ferns with lots of birch trees. I was amazed at how runable this trek was. we continued on making a loop of 16 miles using Elk Park Trail (downed trees, elevation, the path lass traveled) connecting that to Bear Creek Trail, a two-track road which were runable as well then through the Strawberry Hot Springs then a quick jaunt down the paved Rd back to the Mad Creek trail head. unfortunately AllTrails does not show the Elk Park Trail here because it was an interesting loop! For runability + exploration I found this loop exciting!

11 months ago

Nice walk. kids liked the barn, playing in stream and the cows on the trail. we did not go all the way to the end. turned back a little after barn.

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Awesome hiking. Well marked and beautiful.

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Great trail, did the whole loop. Roughly 6 miles around

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

awesome views. a bit challenging for me as an unexperienced hiker but in good shape. Hardest part was the last .25 miles which is quite uphill. The start is pretty steep too but you have energy.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Good hike. Went to the cabin. Had 3 kids in tow, ages 8, 6, and 3. Trail did not have much shade so would recommend doing it early. We started at 11 and finished about 2 after taking a break at the cabin and it was hot in full sun - 82 degrees at this altitude sneaks up on you. The river is not accessible till the top by cabin nor safe for kids as it was raging.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Beautiful trail, and weather helped a lot. By the time we leave will have competed close to 50 miles of trails. Hiked all the way to the Mount Zirkel Wilderness, was just going to do a loop off of 1100 1100.1 to 1140.1 but missed the switch to 1140.1 oh well got more mileage, but this trail 1100.1 was really over grown, more hikers should take this to Mount Zirkel Wilderness sign.... it is beautiful.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Nice easy hike with the dogs. Lots of river access for dogs to cool off.

Monday, May 08, 2017

Great hike and the trail is in great shape

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Light to moderate traffic. Started around 10 am on Sunday (April 23) and saw probably a dozen people total. Amazing scenery and while the first part is a little steep for beginners, it's very much worth it.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Great trail! Very very busy!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

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.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

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

Friday, September 23, 2016

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

Monday, September 05, 2016

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

Sunday, September 04, 2016

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

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