Cascade Creek Trail #510
ElevationAscent: 835' 255 m
Descent: -769' -235 m
High: 9,696' 2,955 m
Low: 9,014' 2,747 m
GradeAvg Grade: 4% (2°)
Max Grade: 23% (13°)
Popular runs nearby
Coalbank Pass to Molas Pass
21.7 mi 35.0 km • Point to Point • 3,656 ft Ascent 1114.39 m Ascent
18.9 mi 30.5 km • Out and Back • 5,901 ft Ascent 1798.77 m Ascent
Chicago Basin 14er Grand Slam
28.9 mi 46.5 km • Out and Back • 12,167 ft Ascent 3708.44 m Ascent
Silverton Ultra Marathon
62.1 mi 99.9 km • Point to Point • 11,381 ft Ascent 3468.92 m Ascent
Silverton Alpine 50K
32.5 mi 52.4 km • Loop • 4,353 ft Ascent 1326.83 m Ascent
Bear Creek Falls
4.7 mi 7.5 km • Loop • 1,076 ft Ascent 328.04 m Ascent
Navigate on-trail with our free app
“An amazing trail high within the San Juan Mountains. Provides access to the Colorado Trail, and multiple loop options.”— Caroline Cordsen
Traveling a mile through private land, the 4WD trail ends at a gate (at 1.9 miles the trail from the Work Center joins for the east). At the old Farmer Cabin, begins again. This 50s-era Farmer Cabin was originally used by the aptly-named farming family to graze sheep between the 1960s and 90s. The building has since been renovated, and today, it's used as a backcountry information center.
Cascade Creek Trail actually makes a loop following Cascade Creek, a trail on either side of the waterway. The trail splits about a quarter mile after the Farmer Cabin, just after crossing a small stream.
Take a right to follow the eastern trail. From the split, an easy trail through a forest thick with pine and aspen heads deep into the valley between Engineer Mountain and Grayrock Peak. Reaching a narrow clearing, your first mountain views unveil up ahead. But as the meadow tapers off, the trees close back in on a set of switchbacks that clamor about 300 feet higher up the foot of Engineer Mountain.
Soon leveling, the trail finds a narrow contour to wrap Engineer Mountain, and briefly dips towards the creek again. Where another drainage carves a sharp gauge in the mountainside, 4.7 miles from the trailhead, the trail crosses a bridge at the foot of a raging waterfall.
Continuing north for barely a tenth of a mile, an intersection with the Engine Creek Trail finds another meadow, this one opening to views of Grizzly Peak's rugged southern face. From here, the route strains deeper into the basin on a seldom-used trail, where waterfalls pepper Cascade Creek. After 0.5 miles, the trail turns left to cross Cascade Creek. Across the creek you'll reach a junction with Graysill Creek Trail. Stay left to follow the western leg of Cascade Creek Trail #510 south. This side of the trail follows the creek, closer at times than the eastern side. The trail closes the loop after 8.1 miles. Continuing heading south to head back to the parking area.
The eastern leg of the loop gives a good alternative out-and-back when the one on the west side of the creek is inaccessible during times of heavy rain or snowmelt.
Moose frequent the area, as well as the usual high-elevation critters: deer, bear, mountain goats, and marmots.
Run this trail?
We need help with the following missing trail information:
Need to Know, Runner Notes
Is something wrong? Let us know. Have photos to share? Help fellow runners know what's here.
Land Manager: USFS - San Juan National Forest Office
Oct 17, 2019: Mill Creek Prescribed Fire Delayed