Three Mile Creek Trail, Grant Co Hiked 4/26/14


Starting Elevation: 9022 ft

Highest Elevation:  11800 ft but we only made it to 10,100 ft for a total of 1100 feet of elevation gain.

Trail Length: Officially it is 13 miles round trip, on this hike we only made 5.2 miles round trip because of the snow.

Trail Uses:  Hiker, Biker & Horses

Degree of Difficulty:  Moderate to difficult, depending on how far you go

Fees: None

Bathrooms:  No, but there are 2 scary vault toilets along the road before you get to the trailhead, personally going outside would be easier….

Pets:  Yes on Leash


Last week Burning Bear Trail made me fall in love with the area around Guanella Pass and the Mt. Evans Wilderness.  Three Mile Creek was another trail I had found late last year and it is in the same area so we headed out that way first thing Saturday morning.  The morning was absolutely perfect,  sunny with blue skies and the whole day was supposed to be that way with maybe some wind later in the afternoon.

parking lot trailhead

We started out and there was no snow or ice on the trail, it initially climbs just a little bit and goes along the road and then the creek.

starting out

I have to admit I was so excited in the beginning, I really thought we were going to make the whole trip with not too much snow. it was a nice steady climb through this stretch.

Views at the beginning
Views at the beginning

I had read that on this trail that as you go along the creek, it actually crosses over it 15-18 times in the first 3 miles, get to the first meadow and then climb on switchbacks up to the next Meadow where all the views are.

First creek Crossing
First creek Crossing

We made it over the creek about 6 of those times when the snow got to about 3-4 feet deep and while we had our snowshoes with us, the snow was getting so unstable from the warmth building throughout the morning that it was obvious at 2.6 miles in we weren’t getting in any further.

Along the creek
Along the creek

We turned around and just enjoyed what we could see of the trail.  We will for sure go here again and as soon as we can, maybe even backpacking here over the summer.  I had found out that this trail is considered a centennial trail, in that there is supposed to be a 100+different varieties of  flowers to be seen once the snow melts, that it has been written up a number of times.  That also means it is a busy trail during the summer and this summer promises to be epic for flowers given all the snow we have had.

Not too far from our turnaround point
Not too far from our turnaround point
Last picture I took before the snow was too much
Last picture I took before the snow was too much

At times we have made impulsive decisions that can be expensive, getting snowshoes was one of those.  We bought them from the Clymb for half the cost they would have been had we gone for this year’s versions and say I had gone for women’s versus men’s… but we got the adventure ones that are most useful for climbing mountains in the snow with backpacks on.  In total we spent $270 total with shipping and use of a coupon for 2 pairs of snowshoes.  This is how we figured we would pay them off; it costs $18-20 a day per person to rent snowshoes – each time we used our snowshoes we took $20 off what we paid.  We had hoped to have paid them off by the end of next season or spring of 2015.  This week was the 9th time we brought/used our snowshoes which means we paid off our snowshoes in just 3 months!  It is a stupid way of looking at things but it makes us happy, we did a little happy dance after our hike!

Not too many pictures from this hike so here’s how to get to this hike.

Directions: Take 285 from Bailey 10.8 miles to the town of Grant, turn right on to Park County Road 62( often referred to as Guanella Pass Road).  Drive 2.9 miles on the road and you will see the trailhead on right immediately before the Private property for the Next Mile signs.  It is a tiny parking lot so come early!



Published by hikingtohealthy

an enthusiastic hiker living in Colorado.

5 thoughts on “Three Mile Creek Trail, Grant Co Hiked 4/26/14

    1. I have to tell you I am totally over the snow but I want to be up high so we can start trying for 14ers earlier this year so I will keep fighting with snow…. within reason because deep unstable snow sucks!

  1. I’ve done the first couple miles of this trail twice but have never gone far enough for the views. Great to know it’s a wildflower haven since I’ve always gone in the fall. I’ll be sure to try this hike again, maybe around late June to be sure the flowers are blooming.

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