Cherry Creek Trail #2256


The Cherry Creek Trail follows Cherry Creek as it winds through stands of spruce, aspen, scrub oak, and pinyon-juniper. Much of the trail has good shading and is within a few yards of the creek. The trail is 3.9 miles long and is open to hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking.

The north end of the trail begins at an elevation of 9,000 feet before steeply descending into a narrow drainage. Once the initial descent is complete, the middle two-thirds of the trail has a mild to moderate grade with smooth, easy-to-follow tread. The lower half of the trail also offers views of the surrounding topography. Be aware of rocky footing and steeper slopes over the lowermost mile. Wildlife sightings, including deer, elk, bear, mountain lion, and birds of prey are possible along the entire length of the trail.

At the approximate midpoint of the trail, you can follow the Cherry Creek Connector (Trail #2256.1A) 1.4 miles to the west or the Cutoff to Mansfield Trail (#2030) 0.5 miles to the east for some interesting loop possibilities.

The north end of Cherry Creek Trail is accessible from Forest Road 819, while the south end connects to Forest Road 245 a short distance from the Forest boundary.

View the Recreation Opportunity Guide for the Cherry Creek Trail (.pdf file).

At a Glance

Fees No fee
Closest Towns: New Castle, Colorado
Water: None
Restroom: Vault Toilets at West Elk TH
Operated By: Forest Service
Information Center: Rifle Ranger District: 970-625-2371

General Information


From New Castle travel north on the Buford-New Castle Road (County Road 245), starting from the northwest edge of town.  Drive approximately 9.2 miles to the lower Cherry Creek Trailhead on the right side of the road. The trailhead will be approximately 1 mile north of the Forest boundary.

To access the upper trailhead continue another 8 miles to Forest Road 819, which is across the road from the West Elk Trailhead parking area and bathrooms. Turn right onto Forest Road 819 and travel 0.7 miles to the trailhead, which is located at the south edge of a large clearing across from a long fence line. An additional access point is available by following the fence line up the hill for approximately 100 yards; both paths converge partway down the trail.

General Notes:

The Cherry Creek Trail passes through an active grazing allotment. Please be alert for cattle during the summer months.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information



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  Area/Length : 
3.9 Miles

  Latitude : 

  Longitude : 

  Elevation : 
7,000 feet - 9,000 feet


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