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Pass Creek Trail is a 8.3 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.

Distance: 8.3 miles Elevation Gain: 2,168 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

camping

fishing

hiking

horseback riding

mountain biking

lake

river

views

wild flowers

rocky

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. This multi-use trail (hiking, biking, and horseback riding) is also open to motorized traffic. Motorcyclists must stay on the designated trail and avoid wet areas to lessen damage to the trail.

hiking
8 days ago

A group of us girls and a few of our dogs did the hike today. While the trailhead says 4 miles, round trip is actually over 9, so it’s more than 4. The trail is steep and rocky with a 1/4 mile section that is really steep and rocky! With that being said, it was beautiful. The last time I hiked to the lake a bear who was very interested in me cut my visit at the lake very short. Today it was perfect. Tons of wildflowers, the dogs loved the creek and beaver ponds and planted themselves in the lake. The lake still has a few snowdrifts nearby so it was simply gorgeous. While exhausting it’s totally worth it. This trail is rated moderate but you need to be in shape! The road to it sucks as bad now as it did last time I was here—you need clearance and it is definitely narrow—only room for one vehicle with nowhere to pull over. Don’t bring your car!

hiking
26 days ago

FYI as of June 2020, Apple Maps directions via AllTrails direction button is correct. Google maps will take you an hour away.

hiking
icy
muddy
snow
1 month ago

May 17, 2020. Still deep snow covering most of the trail for the last mile. Lots of post-holing. Tough hike but the lake is worth it.

Mon Jun 10 2019

Google maps took us to a different area so we added an hour to the beginning of our trip. My wife was leery of the steep Hill so we parked where all trails shows the trail starting. .8 additional miles. We were very thankful for this because we found several 2" long barbed staples presumably placed by the gentleman who has the mining rights in the area. exceptional snowfall this year made for a challenging ascent with snow the last 2 miles of the trip especially the last half mile with no trail visible walking through 2 to 3' snow drift and snow packed hillside. The Lake was awesome once we finally arrived.

hiking
Mon May 28 2018

The Sign says 4 Miles the Alltrails measured 3.5 miles. Hiked up to Pass Lake first part of the hike is the steepest then it levels off until 1/4 miles from the lake. Only snow is around the lake. Lots of downed trees but not on the trail.

backpacking
Tue Jul 25 2017

Since I found this trail on alltrails.com I feel like I should write a review. We backpacked this route with 5 teens and two adults for a 2 night out and back. First the drive was a bit tough as the road is very narrow and very rough. No place to turn around or move aside if there is another car coming at you - not sure what you would do in that case. We have an SUV and it was fine but anything closer to the ground would not work. Follow the signs for Forest Service land and go until the dirt road ends at the trail head. Whew - an experience in itself The trail is uphill for 4 miles and at one point it is all rocks for 1/4 mile - very steep and slow going. Nice beaver ponds and lots of flowers and aspens and it basically follows Pass Creek the whole way. Not a trail for novices. Once we got to the lake we found a campsite close to the trail immediately to the left with room for 3-4 tents. One other group came up with 8 people and found another campsite across the stream. During the two days there were a few day hikers and one other overnight group. Most of the day hikers were fly fishing. The lake is a typical alpine lake, shallow and cold - very muddy bottom - small trout not too difficult to catch. Coyotes were in the area and we could hear them in the evenings but never saw any. Overall a good out of the way trip with a hike that is more difficult than we expected.

hiking
Fri May 19 2017

Beautiful trail with stunning views from higher view points, yet a bit early this year for hiking. We ran into deep snow banks after an hour, without a clear sign of the trail. Since the trail does not go along the creek for the entire hike we had to carefully watch for trimmed tree branches to find our way. Very shortly before the end we had to turn around, since it was too much post holing for our old dog. Even so, it was a beautiful hike and a trail we want to experience later in the season.

hiking
Mon Sep 05 2016

Single track, few times you walk near the stream

horseback riding
Sat Aug 27 2016

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.

hiking
Fri Jul 25 2014

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.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

recorded Recording - Sep 28, 05:01 PM

hiking
9 months ago

recorded Pass Creek Trail

backpacking
9 months ago

recorded Pass Creek Trail

backpacking
9 months ago

hiking
11 months ago

Sun May 27 2018

hiking
Fri May 25 2018

hiking
Sat May 05 2018

hiking
Sun Nov 25 2012