McPhee Overlook Trail

Area Status: Open

McPhee Overlook Trail # 155


San Juan National Forest

Dolores Public Lands Office         

 29211 Hwy 184

Dolores, CO 81323

(970) 882-7296

Length:  8.9 Miles – one way

Hiking level: Easy to Moderate

Starting Elevation:  6943ft

Ending Elevation: 7037ft  (High Point 7267ft)

Recommended Season: Spring through Fall

Open from Dolores to May canyon only until May 1.

Directions to trailhead: The trailhead is located in the Town of Dolores along Main Street heading west towards the lake.  As you enter town from the west on HWY 145 turn left just past the fire station then take and immediate left onto the frontage road.  The trail head is on your right just before the cemetery.  Access is also available from the House Creek Campground.

Trail Description

This is a non-motorized trail starting in the Town of Dolores.  The trail passes by the House Creek Campground and terminates at the Little Bean Canyon Trail #198 providing access to the greater Boggy Draw trail system.                                                                             The trail begins by immediately climbing 100ft via several switchbacks passing by several interesting rock features along the way to the mesa top overlooking McPhee Reservoir.  From there trail travels approx. 6 miles to House Creek Campground.  The terrain between Dolores and House Creek CG alternates between open mesa tops with great views of McPhee Reservoir and large side drainages with interesting rock features.  Near House Creek Campground the trail turns to the north and travels an additional 3 miles through pinon, juniper and sage brush to its terminus at the Little Bean Canyon Trail #198 providing access to the greater Boggy Draw trail system.  Please note: The soils in area have a high clay content and are prone to damage from use when wet.  Please allow time for the trail to dry after rainstorms, typically about 24 hrs after a storm.

 Annual Seasonal Trail Restrictions:

   The McPhee Overlook Trail has seasonal restrictions that go into effect December 1st of each year, to protect critical winter habitat for deer and elk. The one mile section of the trail from Dolores to May Canyon will close annually to all public use from December 1st to April 15th. The more remote six mile section of the trail between May Canyon and House Creek Campground will close annually from December 1st to May 1st



At a Glance

Restrictions: Winter Wildlife closure.  December-April


Mountain Biking

Day Hiking

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities