Devil's Creek Trail

Length: 6.8 miles to Devil's Lake
Difficulty: Moderate walking at high altitude
Season of use: Mid-June through October
Amount of Use: Light hiking/horse use; moderate during hunting season
Elevation Change:
    Beginning 8480 ft.
    Ending 12,000 ft.

Location Map

Topo Map

Photo of Devils Creek Trail

How to Get There: From Lake City take Hwy. 149 north 7 miles to a dirt road heading northeast. A large, brown sign marks the entrance to this road advising that the road is steep and narrow. Turn onto this road and follow it across the bridge on the Lake Fork River and up a hill to another dirt road to the left marked with a "TRAILHEADS" sign. Turn onto this road and continue about .5 mile to the Devil's Creek Trailhead. The gate at the bridge does not open to the public until June 15th.

Trailhead Parking/Camping: Parking is available at the trailhead in a defined area. No camping is allowed at the trailhead, but low impact camping is permitted along the trail.

Attractions: Beautiful views of the Lake Fork Valley are visible from many points along this trail. The trail follows the Devil's Creek drainage and ends atop Cannibal Plateau at Devil's Lake.

Narrative: From the trailhead, the trail begins on an old road, departing from and returning to the road several times during the first mile. The trail tops a mesa and rises gradually across a field of sage brush, turning north through a fence line and into the Powderhorn Wilderness at 1.5 miles. Again, the trail departs from and returns to the old road several times during the next mile, and, at 2.5 miles, passes by an old cow camp containing 2 wood structures. At the end of the road the trail dives into the trees and follows a ridge above Devil's Creek for another 2.3 miles. Breaking out of the trees, the trail is marked by cairns for the final 2 miles to Devil's Lake.

Hazards/Considerations: Please stay on the trail when it departs from the old road to avoid creating areas where erosion will occur. Be sure to take a map of the area and a compass to aid you in staying on the right path. It is important to carry rain gear and to avoid ridges and open areas during showers in case of lightning strikes. Be sure to bring sunscreen and drinking water. Remember, hiking at high altitude requires more time and energy. Take your time, enjoy the scenery, and avoid overexertion. Be sure someone knows where you are going and when you plan to return.

Additional Information: The Devil's Creek Trail can be used in conjunction with the Powderhorn Lakes Trail, the Powderhorn Park Trail, the Middle Fork Trail, and the East Fork Trail for a beautiful 4 or 5 day trip.

Devils Creek Trail Location Map


Created by the Bureau of Land Management, Colorado
Point of Contact:
Jim Lovelace

Last modified: January 6, 2011