Williams Creek Trail

MODERATE 18 reviews
#34 of 90 trails in

Williams Creek Trail is a 6.1 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Lake City, Colorado that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until October. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.

6.1 miles
1,204 feet
Out & Back

dog friendly

kid friendly





horseback riding

nature trips

trail running



wild flowers






7 days ago

Just did (7/6-7/8) Williams Creek Trail (587) to Williams Lake Trail (664) ending at Williams Lake (returned same way total 24 mi). Lots of deadfall trees (125 trees and i did count them) on trail, but crew clearing trail should be done by now. Crew said they cut and move 50 trees/d. Hats off and thanks. Heading up you pass a nice campsite on left with large meadow and creek access at about 3.5mi. Trail crosses Williams creek twice on way up. Can rock hop across this year with relatively low flow (years past you get wet feet). I camped at last large meadow on right before the steeps at about 6.2mi. This site has good terrain for camping and the creek is close, but lots and lots of black flies. Trail surface is good to excellent all the way to the lake. Intersect Williams lake trail at 8.2 mi. Lots of fair camping locations in this area. Lake at 10.6 mi and is above tree line. This year lake is green with high temps and low flows. Monsoon season has begun with high probability of afternoon and evening rain, hail, and lightning. If you can get beyond the abundant dead blue spruce trees, this is a very nice hike with excellent exposures of varied volcanic geology. Trail offers possibility of connection to Continental divide trail (beyond Williams lake about .8 mi) and a return hike via Squaw Pass and Cimarrona Creek Trail.

13 days ago

In the end, it was an amazing weekend (6/29 - 7/1/18) There were 194 downed logs on the trail which added hours having to climb over/under, go around them. We ran into a horse crew on the way down that said a crew was going to be there 1st or 2nd week in July. Wouldn’t do it again unless clear.

There was an upside; didn’t see another soul at the lake the entire weekend. Beautiful spot in the world. GREAT fishing so take your fly rod. Day hiking was accessible and the divide trail only 30-1hr from lake. Wildflowers were going off. Smoke was varying all weekend due to fires.

9 months ago

Pretty. We only took it for 2 miles and turned around due to dark clouds overtop.

10 months ago

Beautiful day to hike William's Creek Trail! We forgot to download the map and of course there is no service in the valley. Even if we'd had the map, I don't think it would have helped us. The All Trails app says that at 6.1 miles, the trail stops but backpackers said that you could take it to the Continental Divide Trail. And our Gazetteer map shows that we could have gone as far as a lake just below the CDT if we had gone about 2 miles further. As it was, I think we went in about 6 miles - crossed two pretty good-sized rivers and passed through three large, gorgeous meadows. Great day!

11 months ago

Hiked on July 28. Steep uphill climb at first 1.5 miles. Gets easier after that thru nice meadows. At split between two trails we stayed left. At 3 miles nice Creek that my group played in. We turned around and went back at that point.

Friday, July 08, 2016

Great hike with some beautiful views. The look down the canyon at about 1.5 miles in on the switchbacks is great! About 3.5 miles in there was a pretty deep creek crossing, getting shin deep was unavoidable. Went about 4.5 miles in before turning around for the out and back.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

This is one of our favorite trails. It is great for out-and-back hikes, or your may connect to Alpine Gulch on top and go down the other side of the mountain.

WARNING: Many hikers will tell you to "just follow the cairns" to connect to Alpine Gulch. We tried this last year and ended-up bush-wacking off the mountain until we finally found the Alpine Gulch trail. Our error was not taking a map, and the map on our Garmin GPS did not connect the two trails. Thankfully the GPS did allow us to plot a course that connected to a portion of Alpine Gulch which allowed us to get off the mountain. Local Search and Rescue guys say that this is a common trail where hikers get lost on top of the mountain. This would be a bad place to be lost when a storm rolls-in, as there is no quick and easy escape.

The view above the tree line from Williams Creek is FANTASTIC. Several gulch crossings were steep and covered with snow when we went, but we managed the crossings without incident. We saw the largest coyote ever... or possibly a black wolf... but everyone says that there are no wolves in this area.

There are numerous creek crossings along the Alpine Gulch side, so be prepared to get wet or cross with care.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Great trail. Beautiful views. Easy walk but there are a loud of downed trees from the bark beetles. It's still a great hike.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Nice, easy trail overall. Babbling brook along side - wonderful to listen to while walking. We went May 11, 2013 - no snow but ice still in creek. Dogs allowed. Great vistas of surrounding terra.

8 days ago

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8 months ago

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Sunday, September 20, 2015