East Unaweep

Rating: 
Round Trip Distance: 5.4 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation: 8124 - 8951 feet
Cellphone: 0-2 bars
Time: 2 hrs. 30 mins.
Trailhead: Basin/Little Creek Trail
Fee: none
Attractions: Forest hike, wildlife




The East Unaweep trail is located in the Uncompahgre National Forest near Grand Junction, Colorado. The trail begins off the lower end of the Basin Trail where it follows a canyon up to the Little Bear Lake and Unaweep Trails. The trail is a single track that is not open to anything with more than 2 wheels and 4 legs.


The Basin/Little Creek trailheads are located at the end of the Big Creek Road, FR #403, about 6 miles off of Divide Road. Portions of the Big Creek Road can get pretty sloppy after a good rain and it can take a day or two to dry out well enough for a 2-wheel drive vehicle. During dry weather the Basin trailhead should be easily accessible by passenger cars.


The hike begins by following the Basin trail.


The East Unaweep trail begins about 0.4 miles from the trailhead.


The trail passes through a squeeze to keep ATV's and jeeps out.


From here route finding is a breeze. There is only one trail to follow.


The elevation gain is at a gentle slope. The further the hike progresses the more narrow the canyon becomes.


At times deer can be spotted within the canyon. When anyone is coming up the trail the deer have nowhere to go but up.


The last stretch before the trail tops out on the mesa is rocky and a little steeper.


On top of the mesa the hiking is an easy stroll through the trees and it doesn't get much pleasanter than this anywhere you go.


The turnaround point is where the trail reaches the junction of the Little Bear Lake and Unaweep trails. An alternate route to follow would be to turn left on the Little Bear Lake trail and follow it to the Basin trail and then back to the trailhead for a loop of just under 6 miles.


We spotted a few more deer off in the trees before heading back down the way we came.


These are turkey tail mushrooms. They are edible and at times you can find them in this area growing up the side of an aspen tree or out of a fallen tree like they are here.


This makes 5 hikes that we have done from this same trailhead. They include Little Creek, Corral Fork, Basin, Little Bear Lake and of course this one. There are plenty of places along the trails to camp for anyone that would like to combine multiple trails for a backpacking trip. There are also plenty of places near the roads to camp. The closest camping spot to this trailhead that is next to a road is probably near the Big Creek Ranch about a mile away. The East Unaweep trail is destined to end up on the favorites list of anyone hiking in the Uncompahgre National Forest. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.