- Late Spring/Summer/Fall
- High Mountain
From Creede, CO, take State 149 south (toward Lake City) 19.3 miles to Rio Grande Reservoir sign (Forest Rd. 520). Turn left onto Rd. 520 and go 16 miles all the way to the inlet of Rio Grande Reservoir. Bear left onto a dirt road to the trailhead.
The main Ute Creek Trail begins with a difficult crossing of the Rio Grande River. Early summer crossings of the river at the trailhead should not be attempted. After the river crossing, the trail climbs at a gentle grade along the east-facing slope of Ute Creek for approximately two miles. Shortly thereafter the trail is carved into a short ¼ mile segment of cliff-like topography. The trail then begins to closely parallel Ute Creek for approximately one mile. The trail will then turn gradually away from the immediate creek bottom and start a steep ascent toward Black Lake. The trail is well-defined and easy to follow for its entire length. East and West Ute Trails begin at it's end.
The Ute Creek trail is 13.2 miles long. It begins at Ute Trailhead and ends at CDNST #813/Twin Lakes. FDT#819 (Ute Creek Trail) is the major access route into the vast Ute Basin Area. Four major fishable lakes sit below the Continental Divide in the beautiful basin. Many trail travel options are available once the hiker reaches the open basin area above Black Lake. Fishing is rated good to excellent in the creeks and lakes of the Ute Drainage. Inspiring views of “The Window” and “The Rio Grande Pyramid” will be long remembered by trail users.