Leche Creek Trail No. 576


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Leche Creek Trail #576 Map click here

Length: 8.0-miles (end-to-end)

Elevation Stats: Altitude gain 966ft (8,301 ft to 9,267 with 2,452ft ascent and 1,486ft descent)

Trailhead Facilities: Parking Lot only

Suggested Day Hike:  6.2 miles (round trip ) to waterfall and Leche Creek for a nice lunch spot. Ascent  gain 1,413 ft (8,135ft to 9,548ft)

Short Trail Summary: This hike description is to the junction of the Navajo Peaks Trail No. 577.

This hike can be connected to various other trails for a point-to-point hike including the Opal Lake Trail No. 575, V Rock Trail No 578 or Navajo Peaks Trail (west) or south No. 577.

A mid elevation hike that hovers at the 10,000-foot mark in the middle and varied terrain on either side. Aspen stands with historic arborglyphs are an interesting attribute to this hike. Beginning at the northern terminus, the trail meanders up and down with occasional switchbacks through forest before opening to meadows closer to the Opal Lake Trail No. 575 junction.

At 2.75 miles, the trail climbs for 0.25 miles a steep, rocky and very eroded hill that looks like a creek bed. Near the top of the hill is an old gate; continue through a couple of small meadows and forests, looking for a cairn on your left (it is not always there so look for a short ridge on your left that has a very faint indication of a trail going over it). Go over the ridge and across a shelf; the creek and waterfall to your right should be apparent waypoint (342784E 4115219N). The hillside above the waterfall makes an excellent spot for lunch and viewing the mountains beyond. Keep an eye out for wildlife – bear and fox have been seen here.

The trail continues til you reach the junction with V Rock Trail No. 578 again continuing south through a patch of trees. Old stock driveway, signs point the way. At the high meadow the trail disappears. Stay close to the creek, crossing above a tight stand of aspen trees with cliffs on either side. Re-cross the creek and the trail is again easy to find. Aspen stands and small openings in the landscape dot the remainder of the trail to the junction with Navajo Peaks Trail No. 577. There is no sign at the junction but a sign is on the east side of the trail nailed to an aspen tree.

Directions: From US 160/US 84 junction, turn south onto US 84. Travel 8-miles and turn northeast onto Blanco Basin Road (CR 326), a gravel road. After 9.5-miles turn south onto FS 600 (Castle Creek Road). Continue south for .4-miles and turn on FS 668. Keep left at the fork, approximately .5-miles and continue .2-miles further to a larger circular trailhead.    Driving directions detail map click here

4 thoughts on “Leche Creek Trail No. 576

  1. As of May 22, 2018 the Leche Creek Trail has been cleared by the San Juan Back Country Horsemen from the trailhead up 3 miles to nearly the junction with the Fish Creek Trail. The group intends to finish clearing this trail on Friday, May 25th, working with Fish Creek Outfitters.

    Liked by 1 person

    • San Juan BCH and Fish Creek Outfitters intend to clear the Leche Creek Trail from the Fish Creek Trail junction southward toward V-Rock area ASAP.


  2. Leche Creek Trail 576 is now clear from the trailhead, past the falls, past the junction with Fish Creek Trail, south to V-Rock trail thanks to San Juan Backcountry Horsemen members Lee Pierce, Sean Poore, Mike Pluth, and others


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