Browns Creek Trail


Snowshoeing in Browns Creek

The Browns Creek trail offers beautiful scenery with changing vistas and vegetation. The trail follows the stream and small waterfalls can be found along the way. The lower portion of the trail begins in primarily a Ponderosa pine environment and gradually moves into spruce/fir forest. At higher elevations the trail travels through pristine meadows that end at Brown's Lake.

At a Glance

Area Amenities: Interpretive Site,Accessible,Toilets,Parking
Fees: No fee required.
Permit Info: Groups of 75 or more persons, must contact the Salida Ranger District and apply for a "Group Use" permit.
Usage: Medium-Heavy
Best Season: May-October
Busiest Season: July
Restrictions: Motorcycles are not permitted on this trail!
Closest Towns: Nathrop or Buena Vista, Colorado
Water: No potable water available
Restroom: Yes
Operated By: Salida Ranger District

General Information

Accessibility:

The restroom at the Browns Creek trailhead is accessible for wheelchairs. There is no wheelchair ramp to the toilet building.


Directions:

From Highway 285, midway between Poncha Springs and Buena Vista, take County Road 270 west for approximately 1.5 miles to a 4-way intersection. From the yield sign, continue traveling west. The road continues as Forest Road 272. Stay on FR 272 for about 2 miles. A sign at the cattle guard will indicate you entrance onto Nation Forest lands. Continue traveling west from the boundary sign for 2 miles. At the intersection, turn left and travel south for 1.5 miles to the trailhead.


General Notes:

 Camping is not permitted at the trailhead, in order to prevent erosion of the banks along Little Browns Creek. Campers are encouraged to find camp sites further south on County Road 272.

This is a busy trail during the summer months so please practice trail courtesy and be respectful towards other users.

The Prospectors TV show has created much interest in Mt. Antero, unfortunately, most of Mt. Antero and Mt. White have already been claimed. To contact claim owners for permission to dig, you will have to do some research to find their contact information. Visit http://www.blm.gov/lr2000/index.htm  and  http://qpublic.net/co/chaffee/.

 If you have more specific prospecting questions, you may contact BLM office in Canon City. The phone number is (719) 269-8500.

 


Parking:

Parking is available across the road from the toilet.


Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information

Activities

Dispersed Camping

Camping is not permitted trailheads.

  • Camp in an existing dispersed campsite, do not create new roads or campsites. Use one way in and out to reduce disturbance of soil and vegetation. DO NOT CAUSE RESOURCE DAMAGE

  • Limit parking to bare and compacted areas. Keep motorized vehicles within one vehicle length from a designated system road or trail. Make no new tracks in campsites.

  • Camp 150 feet away from lakes, streams and trails. Dispose of wash water 100 feet away from any water source. Bury human waste in a hole 6 inches deep and 200 feet away from any water source, trail, or campsite. A portable toilet system is highly recommended. Pack out toilet paper, tampons, and leftover food.  LEAVE NO TRACE.  For more information on Leave No Trace guidelines, visit: https://lnt.org/learn/7-principles

Do not damage live trees and plants by cutting them with axes or hatchets. Don’t dig up plants, leave wildflowers for others to enjoy – don’t pick them

  • Please stay on the trails. Cutting switchbacks and avoiding wet and muddy sections can cause severe erosion and multiple paths. Alpine tundra is very susceptible to damage. Walk on durable routes of rock or talus. In the spring, travel on snow and rocks, or plan your trip during drier conditions.

Be a responsible pet owner, dogs must be leashed (36 CFR 261.8 d) and cleanup after your pet!

  • Secure pack animals 200 feet away from lakes, streams, and trails. A picket line is less damaging to trees than direct tying. Move stock often when picketing to prevent resource damage. You must follow Weed-Free forage guidelines for National Forests Grasslands in the Rocky Mountain Region. https://www.colorado.gov/agconservation/weedfreeforage

If you choose to have a campfire, consider the following:

  • Keep it small in size and limit it to evening and early morning hours when the heat is most needed.

  • Build your fire in an existing fire ring that is at least 100 feet from water. Do not build new fire rings.

  • Avoid having fires above tree-line. Removing dead wood from Krummholz (dwarf trees near timberline) affects their survival.

  • Collection of dead and down wood for immediate campfire use is allowed except for posted sites.

Remember to put out your campfire DEAD-OUT!!

Pour water on the fire to drown ALL embers until hissing stops. Stir ashes with a shovel and scrape the sticks and logs to remove any embers. Continue adding water and stirring until all material is cold to the touch.        

Permit:

Groups of 75 or more persons, must contact the Salida Ranger District and apply for a "Group Use" permit.

Day Hiking

The Browns Creek trail is a great day hike but be prepared with a lunch if you plan to make it to the lake. The trail is a steady climb of 8 miles and a rest stop along the stream is a must.

Status: Open
Difficulty Level: Intermediate

Backpacking

The Browns Creek trail offers beautiful scenery with changing vistas and vegetation. The trail follows the stream and small waterfalls can be found along the way. The lower portion of the trail begins in primarily a Ponderosa pine environment and gradually moves into spruce/fir forest. At higher elevations the trail travels through pristine meadows that end at Brown's Lake.

Horse Riding

The Browns Creek trail and the Colorado Trail are great horseback trails. The trail to Browns Lake is a steady climb but for sure footed horses it is considered a moderate ride. The Colorado Trail crosses the Browns Creek trail and travels north and south. For detailed maps or information, contact the Salida Ranger District at 719-539-3591 or stop by our office at 325 W. Rainbow Blvd., (Hwy 50) in Salida.

The area around Browns Creek and Raspberry Gulch is a popular horse camping location.

Status: Open
Open Season: May-November
Fees: No fee
Permit:  Special use permits are required for all commerical activities including outfitting and guiding. For more information, contact the Salida Ranger District at 719-539-3591.
Best Season: Spring, Summer and Fall
Difficulty Level: Intermediate

XC Skiing/Snowshoeing

The Browns Creek area is a wonderful cross-country and snowshoeing area. The terrain is flat and easy to navigate. The Evans-Rush trail was named in 1975, in memory of Art Evans and Keith Rush, local cross-country skiers who perished in an avalanche on Taylor Gulch near Maysville, Colorado. The trail is a great introductory route for beginners.

Amenities

Interpretive Site: Interpretive signs are located at the trailhead.
Parking: Across from the trailhead
Toilets: Vault toilet
Accessible: Toilet is accessible

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities

Location

 
  Area/Length : 
8 Miles

  Latitude : 
38.672083

  Longitude : 
-106.161528

  Elevation : 
8970 Feet - 11286 Feet