Spring Creek #2068

The Spring Creek Trail is 6.3 miles long and leads visitors through a scenic canyon in the East Elk region of the Rifle Ranger District. Beginning at the intersection with East Elk Creek, the trail initially travels east for almost four miles, closely following Spring Creek as it flows through open meadows and stands of spruce and aspen forest. Along the way, the trail passes beneath rugged cliff faces and grassy slopes on either side of the canyon. The first half mile of the trail is steep, but visitors are rewarded with views of a waterfall. After the waterfall, the next three and a half miles have a very gentle grade.

Four miles from East Elk Creek, the trail turns north and gradually ascends through the drainage, gaining 1000 feet over the final two miles. The trail continues to closely follow Spring Creek, and ends at the intersection with the Boiler Creek Trail. From here, turn left and travel half a mile west to Road 636.  

Much of this area was burned by a wildfire in the early 2000s, and numerous snags are still standing on the slopes above the trail. The first two and half miles from East Elk Creek have been cleared and are easy to follow. However, the remainder of the trail is overgrown, and navigation is difficult.

The Spring Creek Trail is open to foot and horse travel.

View the Recreation Opportunity Guide for the Spring Creek Trail and the Map for the Spring Creek and East Elk Creek Trails (.pdf documents).

At a Glance

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

General Information


From New Castle, CO travel northwest on County Road 245. After 1.3 miles, turn right onto County Road 241 (East Elk Creek Road) and travel 4.3 miles north to the Centennial Trailhead parking lot. Proceed 1.5 miles up Forest Road 654 (passing through the brown gate and crossing the Forest Boundary) to the beginning of the East Elk Creek Trail. From here, follow the East Elk Creek Trail for 2 miles to the intersection with the Spring Creek Trail.

The Centennial Trailhead parking lot is accessible year round. During the summer travel management period (May 20 – November 22), motor vehicles may drive to the end of Forest Road 654. Please note that FR-654 is rough and narrow and there is only room for 2-3 vehicles at the end of the road.

General Notes:

Please obey all parking signs at Centennial Trailhead. A portion of FR-654 passes across private land; please respect nearby private property owners as you travel through this area.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


River and Stream Fishing

Day Hiking


Horse Riding

Big Game Hunting

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


  Area/Length : 
6.3 miles

  Latitude : 

  Longitude : 

  Elevation : 
8,000 - 10,850