Sourdough Trail (#835)


Photo of Sourdough Trailhead sign and trail

Length: Sourdough Trailhead (TH) to Red Rock TH - 5.8 miles; to Beaver Creek TH – 12.6 miles; to Buchanan Pass TH – 14.7 miles. DISTANCES ARE ONE-WAY.

Elevation: 9,200 feet at Sourdough TH; 10,080 feet at the Red Rock TH; 9,200 feet at Beaver Bog TH; 9,160 feet at Beaver Creek TH; 8,500 feet at Buchanan Pass TH.

Trail Description: The first section of trail #835 runs north from the Sourdough Trailhead and climbs gently, sometimes on old roads. It gains 1,000' in this first three miles past Fourmile Creek and is fairly level for the next two miles. It climbs a couple switchbacks to the trail's highest point along the 10,200' contour.

The Sourdough Trail dips down, passing the Little Raven Trail and on to the Red Rock Trailhead. From the Brainard Lake Road, the trail continues to drop elevation by about 500' in two miles. It crosses South Saint Vrain Creek on a wide bridge, and intersects with the South Saint Vrain Trail #909 on the other side. The Sourdough Trail drops to cross National Forest System Road 113, and continues on to Beaver Reservoir. The trail continues on the other side of the Beaver Reservoir Road. It then joins with Buchanan Pass Trail near Camp Dick Campground.

Click here for a trail summary.

View a trail map here.

At a Glance

Permit Info: No permits are required at this time.
Usage: Light-Medium
Best Season: Conditions are best June through October
  • Motorized equipment and mechanized transportation are prohibited.
  • Unless seasonal restrictions are in effect, campfires must be attended at all times and cold to the touch with the bare hand before being abandoned.
  • Collection of dead and down wood is allowed; do not break branches from standing trees for firewood.
  • Practice Leace No Trace principles.
  • Fishing and hunting are allowed in accordance with regulations established by the Colorado Parks & Wildlife.
Closest Towns: Nederland and Ward, Colorado
Water: Occasional streams; treat water for drinking.
Restroom: Vault toilets at Sourdough Trailhead and near Middle St. Vrain Trailhead at Camp Dick
Operated By: U.S. Forest Service
Information Center: Boulder Ranger District; 303-541-2500; Contact Us

General Information

Directions: From Nederland, travel seven miles north on Colorado Highway 72. Turn west onto National Forest System Road 298, signed as the turnoff for the University of Colorado Mountain Research Station. A parking area is not far on the left. Three other trailheads serve Sourdough Trail: Red Rock Trailhead, Beaver Reservoir Trailhead, and Middle Saint Vrain Trailhead.



Show detail SHOW


Show detail SHOW

Horse Riding & Camping

Hide detail HIDE

Horse Riding

Know Before You Go

Areas & Activities

Related Links

Campgrounds At-A-Glance


  Latitude : 

  Longitude :