Coburn Creek Trail


Coburn Cr Trail


Difficulty:  Moderate     Trail Use:  Moderate

Length:  10 miles from Trailhead to Observation Peak (Targhee Forest Boundary)  ~7 miles to jct with Coburn Cr Cutoff Trail #4118

Elevation:  6301 ft at Trailhead, 7065 ft at jct with Coburn Cr Cutoff, 9580 ft at jct with Targhee National Forest

Open to:  Hikers, Equestrian, Mountain bikes

Trail Highlights:

  • The trail begins by crossing the creek, and heading up the hill to the left.  It ends up on an old road cut which it follows up until reaching an open hilltop with a small muddy wallow.  The trail then heads steeply down the hill into the Coburn Cr drainage.
  • At the base of the hill you will reach a junction.  Take a right here to head up the drainage.
  • The trail follows along the creek for several miles with several creek crossings.  It mainly consists of pine and aspen forest with open sagebrush meadows.  This area is stunning in the fall time when the aspens turn.  There are about 4 creek crossings in these 2 miles of trail.  Many of these can be difficult to cross in the spring on foot.
  • The trail continues up the drainage at a fairly mellow grade for several miles until turning the corner and getting into some thicker timber.  The trail can be hard to follow in some places but it stays in the drainage so you shouldn’t get too lost.  You will eventually reach a junction that can take you over into the South Fork of Fall Cr.  The junction is not signed but is fairly obvious.
  • From here the trail begins to climb higher, and eventually gets into some high, open alpine meadows underneath Observation Peak.  The trail becomes very hard to find in these meadows, but basically climbs the ridge up to the peak.


  • The first junction, which is approximately 7 miles from the trailhead, will take you up and over into the South Fork of Fall Cr.  This trail can be taken back to the Fall Cr Road, or taken up to North Indian Cr Pass.
  • From Observation Peak, the trail can be taken down into the headwaters of Dog Cr.  The trails are very difficult to find in this area so have a good topo map and know your route well.  From Dog Cr headwaters, you can either take the Little Dog Cr Trail along the ridge, or drop into the main fork of Dog Cr and take the trail back down to the highway.

Important Information

  • Coburn Cr. Trail is located within the Palisades Wilderness Study area and is not open to motorized vehicles.
  • This trail located on USGS Quad map for Munger Mountain and Observation Peak, 7.5 minute.
  • Always check the posted information at the kiosk for maps, updated material on forest regulations and closures.
  • There are many creek crossings on this trail.  Be prepared with creek shoes and know when not to cross in high water.
  • There are several animal trails crisscrossing trails in these areas. Be sure to have a map and compass with you and know your route well before going.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Call Tim Farris, Trail Supervisor @ 307-739-5414 for current trail conditions.
Restrictions: Trail is within the Palisades Wilderness Study Area and is not open to motorized vehicles.

General Information


From Jackson, take Highway 22 out to Wilson and take a left onto the Fall Cr Road.  Follow Fall Cr Road for several miles out to Red Top Meadows.  Go through Red Top Meadows, the road will turn to dirt eventually.  Take the dirt road for a couple miles, passing by two small parking areas on your left.  After the second parking lot, you will see a large meadow on your right and a small access road.  Take a right here, follow the small dirt road, staying to the right, and park where it peters out.  Walk down this small dirt path further towards the creek and cross the creek where you see the trail heading up the hill on the other side.  Head up this trail just shortly and watch for a trail leading up to the left.  There are a few tree blazes to keep an eye out for here, and several different cow trails can be confusing.  You should end up on the trail climbing up an old road

Recreation Map

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