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Backpacking: Colorado > Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests > Sulphur Ranger District

Quick Facts

Darling Creek Trail

Beginning Elevation: 8,970 Feet (2796.1 Meters)
Difficulty: Moderate to More Difficult
Elevation Gain: 3,160 Feet (985.0 Meters)
Ending Elevation: 12,130 Feet (3781.2 Meters) at jct. with St. Louis Divide Trail
Length, One-way: 6 Miles (10.0 Kilometers)
Other Maps: Arapaho Roosevelt National Forest Map
TI Topo Maps: #103 Winter Park, Central City, Rollins Pass; #107 Green Mtn Reservoir, Ute Pass
Trail Number: 18
Usage: Moderate
USGS Maps: Ute Peak; Byers Peak

Satellite and Topo Map

General Description

The Darling Trail, #18, begins near the entrance to the Sugarloaf Campground on the Williams Fork River. The trailhead is shared with a section of the South Fork Trail, #21, which soon forks off to the right as the Darling Creek Trail leads to the left.

The trail provides access to the Continental Divide by connecting with the St. Louis Divide-Jones Pass Trail, #17. The trail is a moderate hike at the start and along Darling Creek. When the trail forks from Darling Creek and follows a tributary, it quickly gains elevation and becomes very steep in sections. When the trail connects with the St. Louis Divide Trail there is an excellent view of the area.

Directions from Granby: Travel west on Highway 40 approximately 14 miles to County Road 3/Forest Road 139. Travel south on Road 3/139 approximately 17 miles, passing Williams Fork Reservoir, to Forest Road 138. Go south on 138 approximately 9 miles to the trailhead, at the entrance to Sugarloaf Campground.

Seasonal Information:
Normally Accessible: Summer through Fall (NOTE: Accessibility depends on snow depth and weather.) .

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

Add your own trip Report! Newly re-released feature. One of the most popular features on Wildernet, trip reports allow you to share your experiences with others. This is an invaluable resource for determining what to expect on your outdoor adventure, so please participate! To prevent spamming, you must be a registered user of Wildernet in order to submit a trip report

Filed By: Eric Hostetler (Bloomington, IN)
Time of Day: Afternoon
Length of Time: 2.5 hrs
Difficulty: Hard
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Neutral
Report: A little disappointing..I was forced to turn back after reaching approx. 9900 ft altitude. The trail was blocked by deadfall, and I was unable to re-acquire it when trying to circumvent. Even so, I thought it was a really good workout.
Conditions: Large amounts of fallen trees. Some areas were so obstructed that circumventing was required, and finding the trail again became difficult
Water Availability: No water sources, bring enough to account for the strenuous hiking to be done.
Recommended Clothing: Bring a coat, gloves, earmuffs or a hat. Temperatures get lower as you climb higher, and the wind makes the temperature feel lower

Difficulty: Moderate
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: Was a wonderful hike. Had to watch where trail went on a few switchbacks and across an old graded road, also above timberline trail fades away in sections, if climbing St.Louis Peak which I did!

Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Backpacking Darling Creek and St. Louis Divide-Jones Pass trails.
ICON Hiking & Walking Darling Creek and St. Louis Divide-Jones Pass trails.
ICON Horseback Riding Darling Creek and St. Louis Divide-Jones Pass trails.

Related Activities
South Fork Campground - South Fork Campground is located southwest of Granby in the Williams Fork area at an elevation of 8,940 feet.

St. Louis Divide-Jones Pass Trail - The St. Louis Divide-Jones Pass Trail is located south of Granby in the Williams Fork general area. It leads from the Bottle Pass Trail, southeast to Jones Pass.

Sugarloaf Campground - Sugarloaf Campground is located southwest of Granby in the Williams Fork area, at an elevation of 8,970 feet.

More Information

Visitor Information:

Sulphur Ranger District, 62429 US Hwy 40, P.O. Box 10 , Granby, CO, 80446, Phone: 970-887-4100, Fax: 970-887-4102, TTY: 970-887-4101


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