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Hiking & Walking: Colorado > White River National Forest > Blanco Ranger District

Quick Facts

Cliff Lake Trail

Beginning Elevation: 7,600 Feet (2369.1 Meters)
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation Gain: 2,000 Feet (623.4 Meters)
Ending Elevation: 9,600 Feet (2992.5 Meters)
Length: 3.5 Miles (5.83 Kilometers)
Trail Number: 1831
Usage: Heavy




Satellite and Topo Map




General Description

This trail begins east of Meeker, along the South Fork of the White River, near the South Fork Campground. It can also be accessed from the south end, off Forest Road 601 on the Rifle Ranger District.

From the north end, you start out crossing the South Fork of the White River by bridge, then through a stand of blue spruce changing to aspen and finally oak brush as you start climbing toward Spring Cave. The trail makes several switchbacks before leveling the last 1/8 mile to Spring Cave. The Cliff Lake Trail starts out 100 yards or so before you reach Spring Cave, angling back to the right. You climb quickly to a sagebrush covered bench and follow it for 1/4 mile before starting up through stands of timber alternating between spruce-fir and aspen. The trail continues about three miles through this same type terrain until reaching Cliff Lake. Occasional views of South Fork Canyon to the east are available.

Directions from Meeker: Cliff Lake and Spring Cave Trails are located 29 miles east of Meeker. Take State Highway 13 east out of Meeker for one mile; turn right on County Road 8 for 18 miles to the South Fork Road (County Road 10) Turn right for two miles, then jog left 1/4 mile, then right for 10 miles to the South Fork Campground and trailhead. From the trailhead, follow the South Fork Trail 100 yards to the junction of the Spring Cave Trail. The Cliff Lake Trail junctions the Spring Cave Trail 1/2 mile from the campground.

Seasonal Information:
Normally Accessible: May through November (NOTE: Always open. Beware of severe Winter conditions.) .



Current Conditions & Trip Reports
Open Updated: 2000-07-05 17:59:00.0


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Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Hiking & Walking



Related Activities
Buford-New Castle Road - This route takes you from Buford, 22 miles east of Meeker on the White River, to New Castle, 44 miles south, on the Colorado River between Glenwood Springs and Rifle. The road is gravel.

Meadow Lake Campground - Meadow Lake is located 25 miles north of New Castle. The campground sits north of Meadow Lake which is within walkable distance and offers great views.

South Fork Campground - South Fork Campground is located 32 miles east of Meeker up the South Fork of the White River, at an elevation of 8,000 feet.

South Fork General Forest Area - The South Fork General Forest area offers accessibility to a wide variety of trails, lakes, campgrounds, fishing, hunting and other outdoor activities within the Blanco Ranger District of the White River National Forest.

South Fork Trail (Blanco Ranger District) - The trail follows the South Fork of the White River for close to 26 miles and is almost completely within the Flat Tops Wilderness. It links to several other trails in the area.

Spring Cave Trail - This trail begins at the South Fork Campground, southeast of Meeker. It leads to Spring Cave. The Cliff Lake Trail continues to Cliff Lake.



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