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Williams Creek Trail

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Basics
Location:
75 miles southwest of Gunnison
Setting:
Mountainous
Length:
15 mile roundtrip
Difficulty:
Difficult
Time:
8 to 9 hours
Trailhead Elevation:
9200 feet
Elevation Change:
-3300 feet
Season:
June - October

Description

This trail leads to the scenic tundra area of Grassy Mountain. The hike up Williams Creek trail can be strenuous but well worth the effort. The views atop the ridge are spectacular. In the distance you can see the buildings in the old ghost town of Carson along with Wager, Mill and Cataract Gulches. Looking toward the northwest, one can see the majestic, towering peaks of Uncompahgre and Wetterhorn mountains (two of the 14,000 ft. peaks in the area). From the saddle of Grassy Mountain you can continue onto the Alpine Gulch trail. To take in all of the beauty in the area we recommend that this hike be made an overnight trip.

From the trailhead, the path leads through USFS land for .5 mile before entering BLM land. The trail crosses Williams Creek and continues up a small tributary past several ponds. After 1.8 miles, you'll join an old jeep road. Follow this road up about 100 yards, where it splits in 3 directions. Ignore the routes going up to the right and down to the left. Instead, follow the middle road going up to the left. It winds through a variety of meadows, aspen and spruce forest for another 2.5 miles until it emerges at timberline. Rock cairns mark the trail across the tundra as it climbs along the ridge for another 3 miles to the Grassy Mountain Saddle.

Hazards/Considerations: At some points in the tundra, the trail can become hard to see. Be sure to take a map of the area and a compass to aid you in staying on the right path. It is important to be prepared for typical July and August afternoon thunder showers. It is best to get an early start and plan to be off the ridge by noon or 1:00 p.m. Be sure to take sunscreen, rain gear, and drinking water. Remember, hiking at high altitudes requires more time and energy. Take your time, enjoy the scenery and avoid over-exertion. Be sure someone knows where you are going and when you plan to return.

Books

Let veteran hiker and outdoor writer Maryann Gaug introduce you to fifty of Colorado’s finest trails. View the Continental Divide, journey to Colorado’s highest point, hike beneath immense sandstone cliffs, or visit the nation’s largest dinosaur track site.

Location:
75 miles southwest of Gunnison
Setting:
Mountainous
Length:
15 mile roundtrip
Difficulty:
Difficult
Time:
8 to 9 hours
Trailhead Elevation:
9200
Elevation Change:
-3300
Season:
June - October
Camping Info
Camping permitted
Basic Directions

Lake City is 60 miles southwest of Gunnison on Hwy 149.

From Lake City take Hwy 149 south, 2.5 miles. Turn right at Lake San Cristobal Recreation area turn off. Follow the paved road approximately 4 miles, then continue on the dirt road for about 2.6 miles. The trailhead sign and parking area are on the right hand side of the road just before the Willliam's Creek Campground.

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