East Elk Creek #1841

Near New Castle, Colorado

East Elk Creek #1841 does not offer reservations through Recreation.gov. Please take a look at the area details below for more information about visiting this location. Enjoy your visit!


East Elk Creek Trail #1841 is 6.9 miles long and is the closest Forest Service recreation site to the Town of New Castle. The trail starts by crossing a wooden bridge across East Elk Creek. The trail then heads steadily uphill, winding its way along the creek and surrounding cliffsides. As they climb, visitors are treated to a variety of good views of East Elk Creek Canyon. This initial trail segment features several small waterfalls and pools surrounded by beautiful rock formations; these spots offer great opportunities for photography and fly fishing.

At 1.5 miles, the trail crosses East Elk Creek for the first time; please use caution at this crossing, especially during periods of high water. After crossing the creek, continue for another 0.5 miles to an intersection with Spring Creek Trail #2068, which is just past a second creek crossing with a log bridge. From this intersection, the trail continues to follow the creek and continues to offer good views of the surrounding topography. The trail also continues to gradually gain elevation as it travels up the canyon. There will be several more creek crossings over the next three miles. Along this segment, the trail crosses through stands of willow, cottonwood, aspen, and eventually spruce and fir. This is a great area for leaf viewing during the fall.

At 5.2 miles, the trail cross East Elk Creek for a final time. From here, the trail climbs steeply uphill and leads visitors to the rim of the canyon. Enjoy one final view of the area, and then complete the trail at the intersection with Road 651. 

East Elk Creek Trail is open to foot and horse travel. There are also good climbing opportunities in the area. The south end of the trail is accessible from Centennial Trailhead, which is located near the Forest Boundary at the end of County Road 241. 

View the Map for the East Elk Creek and Spring Creek Trails (.pdf document)