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Sheep Creek Loop

Intermediate

Trail

13.1 mile 21.0 kilometer loop
85% Singletrack
Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 1,447' 441 m
Descent: -1,448' -441 m
High: 10,851' 3,307 m
Low: 10,062' 3,067 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 4% (2°)
Max Grade: 22% (12°)

Dogs

Off-leash
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Trail shared by Marcel S

A fun ride through some magnificent aspens.

Marcel S

Electric Mountain Bikes Unknown

Features -none-

The last 1/4 mile of Forest Service Road 455 just before the Sheep Creek Trail (FST 645) trailhead is steep and rutted. If you drive a 2WD, lower clearance vehicle you might consider parking in the area just before you see the road go steep up the last hill.

Overview

This ride follows mostly raw singletrack through aspen groves with beautiful meadow crossings. This trail is highly recommended in autumn during the color change. I would schedule three hours for the 13-mile loop, if you stop several times for breaks and photo stops (especially in the fall season).

Need to Know

This trail doesn't get a lot of traffic so early in the summer things might appear a bit overgrown and show little sign of use.

Description

Park at the end of Forest Service Road 455 (or at the bottom of the last hill - see above "Restrictions" section) at the top of the hill at the trailhead for Sheep Creek Trail (FST 645).

From the TH, it's a mile or so of slight downhill singletrack on Sheep Creek Trail (FST 645) through aspen groves over to the Cave Creek Crossing. Then, there are a few ups and downs over semi-rocky singletrack until you hit the first tricky creek crossing for Twelve Mile Creek.

This is at just under three miles in from the start. Just after that, you'll see the fork for the Twelvemile Trail (FST 684). Hang a left onto this trail.

Now you are on the Twelvemile Trail (FST 684) heading up. It's about three miles of rocky, gradual climbing. It's not super steep but has a few short rock gardens to keep you honest. You'll cross over a few small creeks, a few meadows, and see some older campgrounds. The trail might be a bit hard to see until you finally get to FSR 173. There's a gate there, that's the road you want, to the right. Technically this is the highest point of this ride.

FSR 173 is an up-and-down, rocky and rolling 4WD road. You'll be on that for a mile or so, until you get to FSR 175 in the valley.

Just after you take a right onto FSR 175, after approximately 1/10th of a mile you'll see a cairned exit to the right just before the road goes uphill. There is a sign posted. This is where you hop back onto Sheep Creek Trail (FST 645).

It's three miles of tight, twisting singletrack through forest, along the creek, and through some awesome sage brush, heading mostly downhill.

You'll eventually get back to the fork for Twelvemile Trail (FST 684). Head back the way you came (hang a left) to continue back on Sheep Creek Trail (FST 645), it's back up the singletrack from earlier, back to the TH.

Biked this trail?

We need help with the following missing trail information:

Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Features, Electic Mountain Bikes Allowed, History & Background

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Check-Ins

Oct 4, 2019
Kathy Brown
saw moose in meadow at FR 173/ 175 junction! Bull, cow and calf. fall leaves a bit past here, end peak still in BV area. great diversity of narrow…
Sep 28, 2019
Patrick Csongei
gorgeous loop for fall colors. nice flow on the downhill 16mi — 3h 00m
Sep 15, 2019
Jake Werlin
Beautiful ride though Aspen groves throughout. Can get a little tricky with the rock gardens but nothing crazy. 12mi — 2h 15m
Sep 8, 2019
David M
Jul 21, 2019
jenren81
such a fun ride 12mi
Jun 29, 2019
Dan Hickstein
So much fun! 12.6mi — 1h 45m
Jun 27, 2019
Trey Harlow
Jun 2, 2019
Charles S
Not ready yet. We found foot deep mud on the road to the trailhead, so we just turned it around to ride elsewhere. I'd guess at least two weeks out?

Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 53 votes

#176

Overall
  4.6 from 53 votes
5 Star
60%
4 Star
36%
3 Star
4%
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1 Star
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Ride Rankings

#64

in Colorado

#176

Overall
24 Views Last Month
11,696 Since Sep 27, 2015
Intermediate

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Photos

Kristen and Danielle soaking up the awesome colors of fall!
Mar 18, 2016 near Fairplay, CO
On the way back.
Jul 15, 2016 near Fairplay, CO
Aspen!
Jul 15, 2016 near Fairplay, CO
Sheep Creek
Sep 28, 2015 near Fairplay, CO
Sheep Creek
Sep 28, 2015 near Fairplay, CO
Sheep Creek fall color fest
Sep 20, 2016 near Fairplay, CO

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