Leopard Creek

Round Trip Distance: 1.8 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 7382 - 7417 feet
Cellphone: 0 bars
Time: 1 hr.
Trailhead: Leopard Creek
Fee: none
Attractions: Family hike

The Leopard Creek trail is located just outside of Placerville, Colorado beside Highway 62. The lightly used trail travels along the creek just below the highway as it passes through the very scenic Leopard Creek Canyon. Several places along the trail provide access to the creek which runs peacefully through the canyon most of the year with only a few inches of water.

The Leopard Creek trailhead is on the north side of  Highway 62 at mile marker 1.1. This is 1 mile from the junction of Highway 62 and 145 at the turnoff to Telluride. There is ample room for multiple vehicles pulling trailers in the large parking area on the north side of the highway and room for probably not more than 1 or 2 vehicles on the south side of the road where the trail begins.

Care should be taken, of course, while crossing the highway to where the start of the trail is well secluded as it passes between some tall bushes.

The trails base is a well packed gravel path that is about 5 feet wide making it very easy for a casual stroll.

Several benches along the trail provide a peaceful setting to enjoy the sound of the breeze as it rustles the leaves of the trees mingled with the babbling water of Leopard Creek. The occasional passing vehicle on the highway above seems easy enough to block out.

Parts of the creek that are easily accessible for wading have a rocky and sandy bottom providing a mud free experience.

The two sides of Leopard Creek Canyon are strikingly different. The south side of the canyon is a thick forest of tall pine trees.

While the slopes of the north side of the canyon have mostly pinon and juniper trees.

In the floor of the canyon where the two sides come together along Leopard Creek they are separated by a swath of mostly deciduous types of trees like the western cottonwood.

About 1 mile from where it began the trail climbs back up to the highway and comes to somewhat of a disappointing end. There is no trailhead at this end and nowhere to go other than along the shoulder of the road or back the way you came.

We were hoping that the trail would continue either to Leopard Creeks confluence with the San Miguel River or come out at Placerville. It might be that it is blocked by private property although that didn't seem to be the case. All that aside, we've driven by the trailhead scores of times in the past never seeming to have time to stop until the day that we took the photos for this post. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.