Clinetop (Main Elk) Trailhead

Clinetop trailhead sign

The Clinetop Trailhead is located along Forest Road 603, at the base of Clinetop Mesa. This trailhead provides access to the Hadley Gulch and Main Elk Trails. Users can follow the Hadley Gulch Trail to intersections with the Hadley Point Trail, Zig Zag Trail, and Upper Forest Road 603. Clinetop Trailhead is also the main access point for climbing and fly fishing in Main Elk Canyon.

The main trailhead parking area is located next to the kiosk along the north shoulder of the road; this area has room for several vehicles. There is also a secondary parking area just to the west of the trailhead, with room for another 6 to 8 vehicles. If both parking areas are full, users can park along the side of Forest Road 603, provided that traffic flow is not blocked. 

Clinetop trailhead looking north from a few yards past the trailhead. Clinetop trailhead where trail begins Clinetop trailhead sign Main Elk Creek crossing under Forest Road 603

At a Glance

Fees: No fee
Usage: Light
Restrictions: Lower Forest Road-603 (Clinetop Road) is closed to all OHVs at the Forest boundary; please do not use the trailhead for OHV trailer parking or staging. 
Closest Towns: New Castle, CO
Water: No
Restroom: No
Operated By: Forest Service
Information Center: Rifle Ranger District: (970) 625-2371

General Information


From New Castle, CO travel north on County Road 245. After 3.1 miles, turn right onto County Road 243 (Main Elk Creek Road) and travel 5.8 miles to the Clinetop Trailhead. The trailhead will be on the left side of the road.

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