Crag Crest

The Crag Crest National Recreation Trail is a 10.3-mile circular trail consisting of a crest portion and a loop portion. It is recommended that you get an early start to avoid afternoon thunderstorms. This trail is known for its wildflower displays in spring.

Type: Backcountry
Length: 10.30 miles
Loop Trail? Yes
Allowed Uses: Bicycling (off pavement)
Equestrian - Riding
Pedestrian - Walking/Hiking/Running
Agency: USDA Forest Service
Entry Fee? No
Parking Fee? No

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Directions

Location: Grand Mesa National Forest
States: Colorado
Counties:
Latitude: 39.0423932119689   Longitude: -107.997717730234

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Description

The Crag Crest National Recreation Trail is a 10.3-mile circular trail consisting of a crest portion and a loop portion. It is recommended that you get an early start to avoid afternoon thunderstorms.

It is accessed from two trailheads. One on the west end across from Island Lake and one of the east adjacent to Eggleston Lake.

The crest portion (6.5 miles) rises steeply from the East Trailhead to the top of Crag Crest. From the West Trailhead, the crest portion rises more gradually to the top of Crag Crest. Sections of the Craig Crest are on a narrow ridge with steep drop-offs on both sides.
The loop portion (3.4 miles) provides an alternative return route.

Only foot travel is allowed on the crest portion between the East Trailhead and the Cottonwood Lakes Trail junction. Rocky dropoffs and narrow trails make any other type of passage unsafe.

Foot, mountain bike and horse travel are allowed on the loop portion and on the crest portion between the West Trailhead and the Cottonwood Lakes Trail junction.
Motorized vehicles are prohibited on all portions of the Crag Crest Trail.

The Crag Crest rises from 10,150 feet at Eggleston Lake to 11,189 feet along the crest. At the lower elevations, the trail passes through stands of Englemann spruce, subalpine fir and open meadows. Quaking aspen, with leaves which are light green in the summer and brilliant yellow in the fall, grows among the dark green conifers. Patches of low-growing Oregon grape are found in and near these forested areas.

The forests and meadows provide food and cover for big game animals such as elk and deer. They may be seen feeding in the open meadows in the early morning or late evening.
Porcupine, snowshoe rabbit, pine squirrel, chipmunk, pocket gopher, red fox and various species of mice are some of the small mammals often seen along the trail. The pika or "cony" and the yellow-belly marmot can often be detected among the rocks. Ravens, woodpeckers, flickers, finches, hawks, blue grouse, chickadees, robins, jays and hummingbirds area few of the many kinds of birds which may be observed in the Crag Crest area.

Additional Details

Primary Surface: Not Available
Secondary Surface: None
Average Grade: 0%
Elevation Low Point: Not Available
Elevation High Point: Not Available
Year Designated: 1983

Contact Information

For more information and current conditions, contact the trail manager (listed below). For questions, suggestions, and corrections to information listed on the website, contact American Trails.

Trail management:
John Beckley
Grand Mesa National Forest
2250 US Hwy. 50
Delta , CO 81416

 

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