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

Quick Facts

Whale Creek Trail

Beginning Elevation: 10,200 Feet (3179.6 Meters)
Difficulty: More Difficult
Elevation Gain: 2,000 Feet (623.4 Meters)
Ending Elevation: 12,200 Feet (3803.0 Meters) Ends at junction with Trail # 787
Length, One-way: 4.6 Miles (7.67 Kilometers)
Trail Number: 780
Usage: Moderate
USGS Maps: Mesa Mountain

Satellite and Topo Map

General Description

Wildflowers with driftwood
Copyright: Unknown
Wildflowers with driftwood
The trail is well marked once the trailhead is passed. It offers access to the Palmer Mesa area from Saguache Park. Attractions are fishing in the creek and big game hunting. Several good campsites exist along the route.

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 Forest Development Road #787 south from Stonecellar Campground 7.5 miles to the turnoff to the South Fork trailhead. The trail takes off to the south from a primitive campsite 1/4 mile before the South Fork trailhead. The trail is closed to motorized traffic.

Seasonal Information:
Normally Open: May through September .

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

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Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Backpacking Several good campsites along the route
ICON Cold Water Fishing In the creek
ICON Hiking & Walking Whale Creek Trail
ICON Horseback Riding Well marked after the trailhead
ICON Big Game Hunting in season

Related Activities
Cathedral Campground - Cathedral Campground is northwest of Del Norte on Embargo Creek.Campground is located in an aspen grove with a beautiful view of Cathedral Rock to the north.

Cathedral Trail - The lower portion of the trail from the campground to Cathedral Rocks is the easiest to negotiate. From Cathedral Rocks, the trail climbs steeper and becomes rocky until it tops out near Groundhog Park.

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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