Big Creek Scout Trail

Rating: 
Round Trip Distance: 5.9 miles
Difficulty: Strenuous
Elevation: 8171 - 9085 feet
Cellphone: 0-1 bars
Time: 2 hrs. 45 mins.
Trailhead: Big Creek Reservoir
Fee: none
Attractions: Forest hike, fishing




The Big Creek Scout trail is located in the Uncompahgre National Forest near Grand Junction, Colorado. The trail begins at its north end near the Big Creek Reservoir on FR #403.1A and climbs through a canyon to its south trailhead at FR #404.1A. Forest Road #404.1A is a spur off of the Uranium Road FR #404.


The lower trailhead is at the south end of the parking area for Big Creek Reservoir. To get there take the Divide Road off of Highway 141 and drive 6.5 miles to the northern Forest Service boundary. Continue for another 3.5 miles and turn right on the Big Creek Road FR #403. Drive about 4.7 miles and turn left onto FR #403.1A. The reservoir and trailhead is a little less than a mile away. Getting to the parking area requires driving across Big Creek just below the dam. Passenger cars may want to park on the side of the road before the point where it drops down to the creek and walk across the dam to the trailhead. That is what we did for this post. Also note that the Big Creek Road can get pretty sloppy in a few places in wet weather and may be impassible for many vehicles.


Follow the trail from the trailhead as it travels above the east side of the reservoir.


The trail crosses Big Creek at the tail end of the reservoir. Big Creek is fed by numerous springs and seeps that the trail crosses for the next mile or so. In early summer a few of the crossings may get your feet a little wet and muddy. By the first of July these wet spots tend to be quite a bit smaller.


Once the trail crosses Big Creek it continues on up the canyon.


For the first few miles the elevation gain is at a gradual pace.


Eventually it becomes steeper as the canyon narrows.


Here are a couple of dirt bikers that look like they are having a great time. They were the only other people that we spotted on the trail. We didn't have any trouble hearing them in time to step off of the trail.


The trail finishes its climb and after going through another trail squeeze it passes by a small stock pond.


We followed the trail all the way out to the Uranium Road FR #404 and turned around there. It added about 4 tenths of a mile to the hike.


We came across a rafter of about a dozen wild turkeys on the way back down the trail. They blend in pretty well with their surroundings. There are only a couple of them in this photo and you might have to click on it to be able to see them.


Big Creek Reservoir is stocked and it does draw fishermen on a regular basis. Some people fish from the bank while others launch small rowboats and such. We have never fished it and can't vouch for how it does but you might check out Western Slope Anglers website and ask one of them. As far as hiking the Big Creek Scout trail goes we thought it was great. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.