Cooper Creek Trailhead


Range: San Juan Mountains
Coordinates: 37.94354, -107.47017

Road Difficulty

Easy 4WD, good clearance recommended. 3   (0=Paved, 6=Very Difficult 4WD)
Though close to the Silver Creek/Grizzly Gulch trailhead, which is rough 2WD, there are some large rocks and slabs that would be nigh impassable by anything without at least moderate clearance. There are no bathrooms or other facilities at this trailhead, but the Silver Creek/Grizzly Gulch Trailhead .7 miles east has bathrooms and a larger (though far busier) parking area.

Driving Directions

From Lake City, drive south on Colorado 149 and turn right on Hinsdale County Road 30 toward Lake San Cristobal and Cinnamon Pass. Drive 12 miles to the junction of County Road 30 and County Road 35, bearing right onto CR-30. Drive another 4.8 miles to the Cooper Creek Trailhead. There is a small parking area on the left for 3-5 vehicles. The trail begins to the left of the parking area.

Winter Access

Closed many miles below the trailhead.
Status Updates 
Posted By: HikerGuy
Info: I was car camping at the pullout above the Cooper Creek TH and had some porcupine trouble. Drove down to the SC/GG trailhead and not sure if I brought the pork down with me, but had trouble there as well. My sincerest apologies to the couple in the pickup truck if I did indeed bring the porcupine down with me, I thought I had shushed it away. I ended up leaving SC/GG for a site between SC/GG and Cooper Creek and had an uneventful rest of the night. The next day I found a note on my car when I returned from my hike, a very nice couple tried to scare a marmot out of my engine compartment. TLDR; You might want to consider some varmint protection measures (fencing, tarp) if parking in the area.
Posted By: supranihilest
Info: A few small ice patches (more like strips of ice; completely avoidable) and some water-filled potholes (they will be frozen in the morning) en route to the more well-known Silver Creek/Grizzly Gulch trailhead. The road becomes rougher past that point. There’s one section of packed ice on the road, going uphill, perhaps 50-75 feet long that took a running start to get past. There’s also a couple of large rock slabs embedded in the road that a low-clearance vehicle will NOT be able to get past. 4WD is not necessary but high clearance is.

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