Deep Creek Overlook Trail

 

Difficulty:                  Moderate

Trail Use:                  Moderate

Length:                     200 yards

Elevation:                 40 feet, 120 feet

Open To:                  Hiking

 

Access :   Travel 13 miles west of Eagle on I-70 to the Dotsero exit and follow the signs for Sweetwater/Burns by turning north, right, onto the Colorado River Rd. Stay on this road for 1 3/4 miles and then turn left onto Coffee Pot Springs Rd., FDR 600.   Follow this road for 15 miles until you see the sign for the Deep Creek Overlook and make a right.   The trails are at the end of this 1/4 mile road.

Trail Highlights :   The trail to the west of the parking lot is designed to accommodate Forest visitors with disabilities.   There is a slight downhill grade and the surface is packed small gravel. The trail ends at an overlook of the western part of Deep Creek Canyon.   The trail to the east has not been improved for wheelchair use and is a moderate downward slope with some rocks; it ends at an overlook site of the eastern section of the canyon.   The largest limber pine next to the parking lot is the oldest living thing on the Eagle Ranger District. Increment bores of the tree show that it first began life on this site about 1297. Archaeological surveys of this area suggest that the native Ute people of Colorado may have made their stone spear points sitting under this same tree.   Incredible views of Deep Creek Canyon, 2,300 feet below, can be seen from either overlook.   The narrow canyon is strewn with downed timber and boulders, while dense stands of moisture-loving Douglas fir line the creek bed. Across the canyon, the south-facing slopes support pinyon and juniper.   The wetter grassland mesas fringed with aspen are common feeding areas for cattle, deer and elk. Often herds of elk can be seen on the canyon rim.   The prominent peak in the distance to the north is “W” Mountain fringed by the cliffs defining the Flat Tops Wilderness. The middle background to the east and northeast is the Colorado River Valley. To the east beyond the River Valley, Castle Peak stands at 11,200 feet, with the Gore Range visible behind it.

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