Cross Creek– FDT 1855

 

Difficulty:                  Moderate

Trail Use:                  Moderate

Length:                     6.43 miles

Elevation:                 Starts at 8000 ft, ends at 9367 ft, highest point 9367 ft

Elevation Gain:       +1330 feet

Open To:                  Hiking, horseback riding, motorcycles, mountain biking

 

Access :   From Eagle, travel west on I-70 for 13 miles to the Dotsero exit.   Follow the signs for Sweetwater, turning north onto the Colorado River Rd., follow this road for 7 miles.   Turn left onto Sweetwater Creek Rd., and travel for 10.5 miles until you get to the Sweetwater Campground.   The trail can be accessed by using the Ute Trail, FDT 2031 for a 1/4 mile.

 
Trail Highlights :   This trail runs parallel to Sweetwater Canyon and quickly drops down into a lush aspen forest in the first 1/2 mile and crosses Lake Creek, before a steep sagebrush and scrub oak hill.   At the Lake Creek crossing there is a short steep offshoot from the trail that takes you to a small privately owned cave where visitors are welcome. The cave entrance has charcoal pictographs of horses and bison made by the Ute Indians over 150-200 years ago.   At about 2 1/2 miles the trail forks, follow the right fork heading along the same direction as the canyon, to the left is Prospect– FDT 1867, this will lead you back to the Ute- FDT 2031.   As the trail enters a large wet meadow, it becomes faint, but continues again straight across near an aspen group, from this point on the trail is fairly level passing through spruce/ fir forests with some aspen.   After crossing the Dry Sweetwater Creek the trail ends connecting onto Sweetwater– FDT 1854, this trail can be utilized to return back to the Sweetwater Lake area, about 2 miles northwest of Sweetwater Campground.   Early summer is the best time to find excellent displays of lupine, white and purple pea vine, flax, sulfur flowers, wild geraniums, locoweed and scarlet gilia.

 

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