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Fishing: Colorado > Rio Grande National Forest > Divide Ranger District

Quick Facts

North Clear Creek Road 510/Santa Maria-Seepage Road 509

Beginning Elevation: 10,025 Feet (3125.0 Meters)
Difficulty: More Difficult
Elevation Gain: 1,025 Feet (319.5 Meters)
Ending Elevation: 9,000 Feet (2805.5 Meters) 1/4 mile east of Broken Arrow Ranch at the junction of Colorado Highway 149 and Forest Road #509 (Seepage Creek Road).
Length: 11.5 Miles (19.17 Kilometers)
Usage: Very Light
USGS Maps: Bristol Head

Satellite and Topo Map

General Description

The North Clear Creek Road #510 and the Santa Maria Reservoir/Seepage Creek Road #509 are part of the Lake City to Creede Cross-Country Ski/Snowmobile Trail system. This section of the trail is approximately 11.5 miles long. One can travel the complete distance or go as far as desired and return to their vehicle. (Those traveling the full 11.5 miles should check the Seepage Creek end prior to your trip, to ensure adequate snow cover exists at the end of the trail.) Leave a vehicle at the junction of the Seepage Creek Road and Colorado Highway 149.

A short side trip to see North Clear Creek Falls is easily possible when traveling the upper section of this trail.

The trail system follows County and 4-wheel drive forest roads. The route crosses open parks and rolling aspen-covered hills. Beautiful views of Bristol Head Peak and the surrounding mountains of the Continental Divide, as well as North Clear Creek waterfall are available.

Trail users should be aware that travel in the Santa Maria Reservoir area is on private land. Ice fishing is prohibited on the reservoir. The landowners at Santa Maria Reservoir have been cooperative in allowing skiers and snowmobilers to cross their land, please do not abuse this privilege!

The North Clear Creek and Seepage Creek roads are easy to moderate in degree of difficulty. By starting from the North Clear Creek end, the route is mostly downhill. The roads are marked with orange diamonds, wide, and easy to follow. The roads are not groomed but are snowmobile-packed where no snow grading has occurred. Approximately 3 miles of the road from North Clear Creek Campground to Santa Maria Reservoir is graded regularly but the roadbed still remains snow-packed.

After leaving the parking area at North Clear Creek Fisherman Site, one must ski or walk approximately 300 yards along Colorado Highway 149 to the junction of the North Clear Creek Road with the highway.

The trail begins by traveling through a flat, open park area for approximately 1 mile. After leaving North Clear Creek Falls, the trail descends rather sharply for 1/4 mile, then more gradually for 1.5 miles. The trail system levels out and traverses flat to rolling hill country for 4 miles from the junction of the North Clear Creek Road #510 with the Santa Maria Reservoir-Seepage Creek Road #509, to Santa Maria Reservoir. From Santa Maria Reservoir to the end of the trail, the ski-tourer must climb one steep hill at the south end of the reservoir. After climbing out of the reservoir basin, the trail gradually drops 600 feet in elevation over the last 3.25 miles.

Directions from Creede, Colorado: Travel west on Colorado Highway 149 for approximately 26.5 miles, to the intersection of Highway 149 and Forest Road #510. Parking is available at North Clear Creek Fisherman Parking Area, at the junction of Highway 149 and Forest Road #513 (Rito Hondo Reservoir/ Continental Reservoir Road). Trail begins about 200 yards east of the North Clear Creek Fisherman Parking Area.

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Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Cross-country Skiing Roads are snowmobile-packed
ICON Sledding, Tobogganing, Tubing North Clear Creek Road 510/Santa Maria-Seepage Road 509
ICON Snowmobiling Trails are marked and easy to follow.
ICON Snowshoeing Roads are snowmobile-packed

Related Activities
Bristol View Campground - Campground is located 22.6 miles west of Creede on Forest Road #510. 16 Campgrounds with fishing and trail access.

Crystal Lake Road 532a - This is a short (2.5 miles) scenic primitive road that leads to Crystal Lake. This five-acre lake usually provides fair to good catches of rainbow, cutthroat, and brook trout.

Miners Creek Trail - Scenery and solitude are available along this trail. Excellent views of white chalk like cliffs are present at the head of Miners Creek.

Road Canyon Campground - This campground usually has vacancy when other upriver campgrounds are full. The area is open, with no screening or trees, and it is not screened from Rio Grande Reservoir Road.

Sawmill Gulch Trail (Divide Ranger District) - The main attraction of this trail is the access to Crystal Lake. Good camping areas are generally not available until reaching the McKenzie Park area approximately 3.3 miles from the Miners Creek Road.

Silver Thread National Scenic Byway - This scenic highway passes through Creede and the Upper Rio Grande Valley and contains some of the most magnificent scenery and colorful history in the Sate of Colorado.

Texas Creek Trail - The Texas Creek Trail is lightly used and provides access to the popular Ruby Lake area and Trout Lake. From Big Ruby Lake either this trail or Red Lakes Trail (#889) will provide access to Red Lakes and Trout Lake.

More Information
Frequently Asked Questions
Email the Local Ranger

Visitor Information:

Divide Ranger Station, 13308 West US Highway 160, P.O. Box 40 , Del Norte, CO, 81132, Phone: 719-657-3321, TTY: 719-657-6038


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