“This trail has beautiful, clear pools and slickrock water slides.”
— Condor77 77
No mechanical vehicles in Wilderness.
Respect private property boundaries.
Features: River/Creek — Views — Wildlife
This trail provides the only marked and maintained access to the lower reaches of West Clear Creek Canyon Wilderness. From its western terminus at Bull Pen Ranch at the canyon mouth, the trail leads upstream into the deep, narrow gorge which the medium-sized West Clear Creek has cut into the southern edge of the Colorado Plateau.
The downstream end of the trail brings large numbers of anglers, picnickers, and other streamside recreators attracted by the clear pools, slickrock water slides, and tree-shaded riparian areas tucked away between red rock canyon walls.
From the trail's upper terminus, at Bald Hill, the route drops 1,800 feet down a steep, talus-strewn slope from a high plateau of pinyon-juniper forests to the canyon floor. It then winds its way downstream along a stretch of secluded pools and rocky riffles. Bring your wading shoes on this one, you'll have to cross the stream at least four times. In times of high runoff, this trail can be impassable. In the middle of a hot desert summer, you'll appreciate the opportunity to cool off.
Steep sections of this trail can prove problematic for someone loaded with a heavy backpack. One can turn back before the climb up to Bald Hill. This is one of the only marked trails into Clear Creek Wilderness. You can explore this beautiful area further, but come prepared.