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    Capitol Creek Trail

    This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
    This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
    This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
    26.7 km
    This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
    1,594 m
    User Ratings
    These ratings are completed by users who have completed this trail and not subject to reviews by 10Adventures.
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    Directions to Trailhead

    The Capitol Creek Trail is a challenging hiking route in the Elk Mountains of Colorado that should only be undertaken by experienced outdoor enthusiasts. While out on the trail, you will hike through a beautifully scenic valley alongside Capitol Creek to reach Capitol Lake, before traversing a mountain pass to the west for stunning views of Capitol Peak. Although it may be long and difficult, the landscape views on this epic adventure are truly breathtaking.

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    Route Description for Capitol Creek Trail

    While it certainly won’t be for everyone, the Capitol Creek Trail is the ideal journey for those adventurers who want to explore a long and physically demanding route through the Elk Mountains while taking in the gorgeous scenery of Capitol Peak.

    Setting out from the trailhead at the edge of Capitol Creek Road, you will make your way to the southwest and descend the hillside to meet up with the banks of Capitol Creek. Here, you will follow along the winding banks of the creek as it cuts south across the beautiful valley, offering scenic views of nearby mountains like Haystack Mountain and Mount Daly.

    After passing by the Capitol Lake backcountry campsite, you will skirt around the shores of Capitol Lake itself, before heading uphill to the southwest through a mountain pass. At the top of the pass, you will enjoy some breathtaking views of Capitol Peak to the southeast, before descending the steep switchback trail of the pass to arrive at the edge of Avalanche Creek. After pausing for a brief rest, you will back track along the same route through the pass, working your way back through the valley on the way to the trailhead where you started.

    Getting to the Capitol Creek Trail Trailhead

    The starting point for the Capitol Creek trail can be found at the Capitol Creek Trailhead on CR9/Capitol Creek Road.

    Route Information

    • Backcountry Campground

      Capitol Lake Campsite

    • When to do


    • Pets allowed

      Yes - On Leash

    • Family friendly


    • Route Signage


    • Crowd Levels


    • Route Type

      Out and back

    Capitol Creek Trail Elevation Graph

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    Capitol Creek Trail Reviews

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