Enjoy this fairly short hike that passes by some of the most unique peaks in Colorado, unbelievable wildflowers, and often plenty of wildlife! 

Drive up Owl Creek Pass as far as your vehicle will take you. If you do not have 4WD and high clearance, you will get as far as the Courthouse Peak trailhead. In this case, your hike begins here.

Starting at 10,760 ft, this trail holds views from the first step. Follow the dirt road for about 2.5 miles and you'll run into a sign-in station as well as a few signs marking Uncompahgre Wilderness. The trail is pretty self explanatory from here, but it will basically wind through a fairly flat forest section for a while. Then, it will take you to and through a boulder field. Be on the lookout for marmots and pikas, they're everywhere! It will now get steeper and point you directly toward the top of West Fork Pass. 

Looking behind you, you will see Courthouse Peak, Redcliff Peak, and Precipice Peak. Beside you (and technically above you) is Coxcomb Peak. And looking out in front is Wetterhorn Peak, and the giant Mt. Sneffels & San Juan range in the distance.

This area never gets old and offers something new every time. Between the countless wildflower colors, elk herds, big horned sheep, mountain goats, extremely surprising thunderstorms, boulder gardens, and solitude, there is nothing more you can ask for. Enjoy this little slice of heaven!!

Pack List

  • Hiking Shoes
  • Water
  • Snacks & Lunch
  • Sunscreen
  • Rain Jacket
  • Sunglasses
  • Camera!!
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RT Distance 5.8 Miles
Elevation Gain 1760 Feet
Activities Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Forest
River
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Nearby Adventures

More Nearby Adventures

Hike Courthouse Peak

Drive up Owl Creek Pass until you reach the trailhead. It is very well marked, with a large area for parking to your left. 4WD is not necessary, although it can get quite muddy after a downpour.

39 Saves

Summit Precipice Peak

Drive Owl Creek Pass as far as you can go. If you have 4WD, this will mean going past the Courthouse trailhead by about 2.5 miles of bumpiness & creek crossings.

30 Saves

Backpack to Wetterhorn Basin

This trip is for the lover of solitude and the appreciator of the unscathed backcountry. Wetterhorn Basin is in the heart of the beautiful San Juan Mountain range in Southwestern Colorado.

105 Saves