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Sheep Creek Loop

Intermediate
 4.6 (62) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A fun ride through some magnificent aspens.


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Map Key

13.1

Miles

21.0

KM

85%

Singletrack

10,851' 3,307 m

High

10,062' 3,067 m

Low

1,447' 441 m

Up

1,448' 441 m

Down

4%

Avg Grade (2°)

22%

Max Grade (12°)

Dogs Off-leash

E-Bikes Unknown

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.

Contacts

Shared By:

Marcel S

Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 62 votes

#176

Overall
  4.6 from 62 votes
5 Star
61%
4 Star
35%
3 Star
3%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#64

in Colorado

#176

Overall
73 Views Last Month
14,711 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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Check-Ins

Sep 7, 2020
Tara Randall
11h 30m
Aug 6, 2020
Brady Pochon
Great singletrack. Will do again. 14.2mi — 2h 39m
Jul 24, 2020
Jeremy Jensen
Fantastic ride. Trails in great condition, had it all to myself. Felt fit and rode hard the whole way. Super fun flowy downhill. Road to TH is rough. 13mi
Jul 20, 2020
Donno D
Great ride, smooth sngtrk. All trees have been cleared, creek crossings all doable. Columbine blooming along the trail. My gps shows 2,400 feet? 13.8mi — 3h 00m
Jul 11, 2020
Sue U.
Fun ride, but sooo hot. Go back in the fall. 13.1mi
May 23, 2020
Maryann Waugh
10.4mi
May 20, 2020
Mark Spoor
Free of snow but many trees on the Sheep Creek Loop. The road between 12-mile lake parking and sheep meadow has a large tree across it. 14mi — 2h 00m
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…