“Steep and exposed, this is a big run packed into a small area.”
— David Lingle
The lower section of the Williams Creek Trail crosses broad sage meadows, filled with wildflowers and views of the Beaverhead Mountains, culminating with a 1400' drop to Perreau Creek in the last 2 miles.
On paper, this is only a 5-mile run but it is a big 5 miles with steep climbs and a steep, often exposed, downhills.
Leave a shuttle vehicle at the junction of Williams Creek and Perreau Creek Roads OR at the Shoup Bridge Rec Site.
If used alone "Lower Williams," or "Perreau," begins at the nondescript "Trail Access" sign along the Williams Creek Road about ~1/4 mile above the switchbacks and ~1/2 below the Williams Creek Picnic Area. It climbs steeply and can be overgrown-look for cairns and brown carsonite to lead the way to the high point of the trail.
The Perreau Creek downhill portion of Lower Williams Creek Trail is often accessed from the Horn Hunter and Horse Mountain Trails. For an even bigger run start with the Powderhouse Gulch Trail, which gives another 5000' of descent for 1000' of climbing.