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

Quick Facts

Middle Fork Trail

Beginning Elevation: 10,100 Feet (3148.4 Meters)
Difficulty: More Difficult
Elevation Gain: 2,300 Feet (717.0 Meters)
Ending Elevation: 12,400 Feet (3865.3 Meters) Ends at junction with Machin Basin Trail #784 at Machin Lake.
Length, One-way: 7.5 Miles (12.5 Kilometers)
Trail Number: 783
Usage: Heavy
USGS Maps: Mesa Mountain, Creede

Satellite and Topo Map

General Description

Elk doe
Copyright: Unknown
Elk doe
The trail provides a direct route to Machin Lake via the Middle Fork of Saguache Creek. The upper section before the lake is boggy. Eroded steep sections require care for horse travel. Attractions are fishing in the lake and creeks, a waterfall midway, diverse wildlife, and excellent scenery.

Directions from Saguache, Colorado: Travel northwest on Colorado Highway 114 for 22.0 miles. Follow Forest Road # 750 west/northwest 18.7 miles over Cochetopa Pass. Take Forest Road # 787 south 16.4 miles back over the Continental Divide to Stonecellar Campground. Follow the jeep road west 6 miles from Stonecellar Campground along the Middle Fork to a corral. The trail leaves down the hill toward the creek and to the west. The trail is closed to motorized traffic.

Directions: Via Machin Basin Trail #784.

Directions: Via Middle Fork Cut-Off Trail #888.

Seasonal Information:
Normally Open: May through September .

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

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Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Cold Water Fishing Lakes and creeks
ICON Hiking & Walking Middle Fork Trail
ICON Horseback Riding Eroded steep sections require care
ICON Viewing Scenery Excellent views; waterfall

Related Activities
Continental Divide - Blue Lake to Elwood Pass Tra - Visitors will be rewarded with spectacular vistas in all directions. Due to the exposed nature of most of this trail, extremely close watch should be kept on weather conditions.

Machin Basin Trail - The trail has had no major maintenance recently and is poorly marked. Major attractions are fishing at Machin Lake, excellent scenery, diverse wildlife and rugged terrain.

Marshall Park Campground - This site is located near Colorado Hwy. 149 and is the closest forest campground to Creede. There is very little screening or trees, so heavy vehicle traffic along Colorado Hwy. 149 is visible.

Middle Fork Cut-Off Trail - The trail offers an alternative or circuit route to Machin Lake from the Middle Fork trail. It is steep and poorly marked; it has been staked for future reconstruction.

Palisade Campground - Some sites are open, while other sites are screened with cottonwoods/aspen/spruce/fir. Campground is located adjacent to Colorado Highway 149 for easy access to travelers passing through.

More Information
Frequently Asked Questions
Email the Local Ranger

Visitor Information:

Saguache Ranger Station, 46525 Colorado Highway 114, P.O. Box 67 , Saguache, CO, 81149, Phone: 719-655-2553, TTY: 719-655-2547


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