North Crestone Creek Trail is a 11.1 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Crestone, Colorado that features a lake. The trail is rated as moderate and primarily used for hiking, camping, and backpacking. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
11.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
3,313 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

backpacking

camping

hiking

forest

lake

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

rocky

snow

1 month ago

Comfortable slope up to wilderness boundary where two other trails branch off to access canyons to the north and east. Huge wide valley filled with the yellow and orange fall brilliance of aspens.

backpacking
1 month ago

Great trail. The last half mile before the lake is quite steep and difficult. The lake is beautiful and well worth the effort.

hiking
2 months ago

We hiked about 3.5 miles up-for a round trip of 7 miles-on August 29. Gorgeous trail. Some aspen groves up on the mountain and on the trail starting to go golden. Saw one person starting ahead of us and one person on our way down. Puppy dog loved all the smells. Creek crossings easy.

backpacking
2 months ago

Awesome dispersed camping spot in an aspen grove about ~4 miles into the trail on the left marked by a post if you’re headed to the lake.

backpacking
2 months ago

Beautiful trip for my first time backpacking, only passed a few people and largely had the whole trail to myself! Some really nice camping spots set up for disperse camping, there were some raspberry bushes along the trail close the lake and the lake itself was gorgeous!

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful spot with very little traffic. A few camping spots along the path.

backpacking
3 months ago

This review is for backpacking the trail. It was an absolutely beautiful but challenging hike. With 3,000 vertical ft gain over 5.6 miles, expect to be going uphill most of the time. There's some strenuous uphill stretches that start about 2/3rds of the way in but you are rewarded with amazing scenery throughout. We set up camp about a half mile from the lake. The trail was pretty lightly trafficked which was nice.

This was a challenging hike with a pack on, but I can see how day hikers find this more of a moderately difficult hike without the extra 25+ pounds of weight. The trailhead sign states 12 miles roundtrip which was accurate, but the time estimate of 11 hours seemed exaggerated unless you are a beginner hiker, not acclimated to Colorado altitudes, or not in great shape. The hike up took us a little over 5 hours with frequent breaks, the return around 3 hours. I would estimate hiking with just day packs should shave off around an hour each way.

hiking
3 months ago

The trail is beautiful. It runs along N Crestone Creek and the water is in sight much of the way, making the surroundings lush and green, with plenty of mature aspen. We also encountered some interesting rock formations, and possibly the remains of an old mine.

I would say the difficulty is more like moderate+, not quite as difficult as the Willow Lake trail, but not categorically different either. Caveat: we did not make the whole trip, since we wanted a shorter hike this time. So we went in just a couple of miles before turning around.

A word about mosquitos from someone who lives here: this year has been unusually devoid of them due to the severe drought we had winter/spring. Normally, they are out in force from about the end of May to late July or early August, with the worst of it being in June. Just thought it was worth mentioning since someone said there were no mosquitos.

hiking
4 months ago

This lake is gorgeous and the vista from above is incredible. The hike isn't too hard--I'd say easy-moderate for most of it with the last half mile or so being more difficult and more rocky, but for this part you're above treeline and the views open up so I thought it was the best part of the trail. You start in a forest of mostly pines and aspens (would be phenomenal in the fall), eventually cross a meadow, break treeline, and switchback up the slope to the final stretch of rocky trail along the mountainside until you reach the overlook of the lake. You can then climb down to the shore if you want. The trail follows a brook until you reach the meadow. Bring bugspray and wear long pants--definitely some bushwhacking involved in places.

We were the first people at the lake at 10:30 AM and only saw a handful of people on our descent. Definitely recommend if you're in the Crestone area! Note that the campground fills up very early on Fridays, probably by about 9:00 AM.

The sign at the trailhead says 12 miles RT (accurate) and 11 hours of time (very inaccurate). It took us only 3 hours to reach the lake, 2 hours to descend.

hiking
10 months ago

This trail was awesome. The views were incredible a little cold but we hiked it in December no big deal. The top of the trail was definitely the hardest! If you are trying to come in the winter make sure you prepare for some cold weather and high winds up top! Loved it overall.

recorded North Crestone Creek

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

Saturday, October 04, 2014