Rock Creek Trail (655)


Area Status: Open

Located in the Weminuche Wilderness, the Rock Creek Trail connects the Vallecito Creek Trail #529 and the Continental Divide Trail #813. From the Vallecito Creek Trailhead, hike 17 miles to the junction with Rock Creek Trail. Rock Creek Trail climbs 1,000 feet before it levels off into a large meadow. After about 4 miles, the trail reaches Rock Lake (11,700 feet). About 1 mile past Rock Lake, the trail meets up with the Flint Creek Trail #527 (12,000 feet) . The trail continues another mile where it enters the Rio Grande National Forest and merges into Ute Creek Trail #819. The trail intersects with the Continental Divide Trail #813 in one more mile.

The alpine meadows are full of blooming wildflowers in late July and in August. This area provides excellent views and photographic possibilities. Water can be found off the trail in most of the tributaries, but due to Giardia it should be filtered. As with all high altitude areas, storms can move in rapidly, bringing severe wind, lightning, rain, snow, or hail. Plan accordingly.

Click here for infomration on a point-to-point backpacking trip connecting Vallecito Creek, Rock Creek, Flint Creek and Pine River Trails.

Fishing: Rock Lake is rated fair for cutthroat and Flint Lake is rated good for cutthroat. The section of the Weminuche with Rock, Flint and Moon Lakes has enough high elevation lakes in the area to keep a fisherman busy for years. Most of the lakes hold good populations of cutthroat, rainbow and brook trout.

  • Distance (one-way): 5.5 miles
  • Minimum elevation: 10,100 feet (junction with Vallecito Creek Trail)
  • Maximum elevation: 12,350 feet (crossing Continental Divide)

At a Glance

Best Season: Summer and Fall
Restrictions: This trail is located in the Weminuche Wilderness. Please review the Weminuche Wilderness Regulations for full list of regulations and restrictions. Regulations include:
  • Possession of motorized equipment or motorized means of transport are not permitted.
  • Mechanized means of transport are not permitted (mountain bikes).
  • Flying drones is not permitted over congressionally designated wilderness areas or primitive areas as many people seek these places for the opportunities for solitude and quiet that they provide.
  • Group size is limited to 15 people.
  • Combination of people and stock = 25.
  • Dogs under control.
  • No unattended campfires.
  • Camping is not allowed within 100 feet of any water source.
  • Outfitter-guides who receive any form of compensation must obtain a special-use permit to operate on public land.
  • Check trailhead signs or Forest Service Offices for site-specific camping, campfire, and livestock regulations.
  • Practice leave no trace ethics.
Water: Purification recommended
Restroom: Practice Leave No Trace
Information Center: Columbine Ranger District

General Information

Directions:

From Durango, CO: Head north on Florida Road for 9 miles until you reach CR #240. Take that road to the east 2 miles to CR #501 and continue north on #501 to Vallecito Lake. Continue on the west side of the lake for an additional 7 miles to the Vallecito campground where Vallecito Creek Trail #529 is located. Hike approximately 17 miles to junction with Rock Creek Trail.

From Bayfield, CO: Head north on County Road (CR) #240, also called the Vallecito Road, for 7 miles until you reach CR #501. Take that road north 3 miles to Vallecito Lake and continue on the west side of the lake for an additional 7 miles to the Vallecito campground where Vallecito Creek Trail #529 is located. Hike approximately 17 miles to junction with Rock Creek Trail.

 

 


Activities

Lake and Pond Fishing

Day Hiking

Backpacking

Horse Riding

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities

Location

 
  Area/Length : 
5.5 miles

  Elevation : 
10,100' - 12,350'