Sleep In The Dirt

Section 4:

Spring Creek Pass (Hwy 149) to Lujan Creek (CO 114)

What We Found

The content below contains general information about Big Agnes staff experience while traveling along the CDT through Colorado in the summer of 2018. While we have made an effort to provide you with a valuable trip-planning tool, we cannot offer any assurance that this information is current, complete or even accurate – if you choose to travel this route, do so at your own risk. This section traverses the Northern San Juan mountains. Lots of long open ridge walks with beautiful views. Follows the Colorado Trial the whole time, so should be well marked and good tread.  First 18 miles are the highest and have the most climbing. Mellow downhill hiking for last 30 miles.

  • distance
    54.6 miles
  • elevation gain
    8,539 feet
  • elevation loss
    9,827 feet
  • highest point
    12,819 feet
  • wilderness area
    yes
  • percent on trail
    100%

"Great Views and a nice moderate start on the Lake City side. It would be advisable to talk to hikers coming from the 114 side, because not all water sources marked on the map had water. Fill up often after the first 10 miles. The natural spring was barely bubbling but fun to find. If you are trying to hike out on the 114 side it was nearly impossible as cars were not stopping, cross with extreme caution!" On Trail: June 28th - July 3rd, 2018

Elena Kinnear, Receiving Specialist, Big Agnes
Learn more about the hike

Our Itinerary

Southern Access Point:

Spring Creek Pass / Hwy. 149 (Near Creede, CO / Rio Grande Reservoir) Ley Maps CO 35

Northern Access Point:

Hwy. 114 (Lujan Creek Area)  Ley Maps CO 31

Wilderness Area:
Yes

What We Experienced:

Northern San Juans. Lots of long open ridge walks with beautiful views. Follows the Colorado Trail the whole time, so should be well marked and good tread.  First 18 miles are the highest and have the most climbing. Mellow downhill hiking for last 30 miles.

Additional Resources: 

Leave No Trace Principles

Guthook Guide – Continental Divide Trail

U.S. Forest Service – Rio Grande National Forest

U.S. Forest Service – Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, and Gunnison National Forests

 

 

Our Route

Ascent:
8,539 feet

Descent:
9,827 feet

Grade per Mile:
336 feet

Pro tips:

Experience with snow hiking will help during spring/early summer, but wet feet are very likely. Hiking poles are strongly recommended, along with rain gear, warm clothes, and extra fuel for high-elevation cooking.

Water sources are pretty common during spring run-off and stream crossings can be difficult. By summer the water sources begin to dry up so be sure to check an app like Guthook for up-to-date info on water sources.

Plan on starting early and expect afternoon storms

 

Skills We Needed

• Snow hiking
• Navigation when trail is buried under snow
• Lightning Safety
• Stream Crossings
• LNT Ethics

* This site and routes described within contain general information about Big Agnes staff adventures in the backcountry, summer 2018. While we have made an effort to provide you with a valuable trip-planning tool, we cannot offer any assurance that this information is current, complete or even accurate – if you choose to travel these routes, do so at your own risk. Prior to setting out check local weather, trail conditions, closures, legal access points, Forest Service, BLM, or National Park rules and regulations, and other risks involved. We hope to inspire responsible backcountry and public land use, but by using our website you agree to use this information at your own risk.