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Level: Intermediate
Length: 17 mi (27.4 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Lariat
Elevation: +1,465/ -1,242 ft
Total: 39 riders

Mountain Biking Sheep Creek

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#48 of 1,347 mountain bike trails in Colorado
#310 in the world

Trail is tight single track in aspen groves with beautiful meadow crossings. Climbing is sustained on the counter-clockwise route. There is a creek crossing that requires route finding to best ford the creek due to beaver dams. This trails is highly recommended in Autumn during the color change.

First added by lidarman on Aug 26, 2010. Last updated Apr 28, 2020. → add an update
Before you go
  • Drinking water: unknown
  • Lift service: unknown
  • Night riding: unknown
  • Pump track: unknown
  • Restrooms: unknown
  • Fat bike grooming: unknown
  • E-bikes allowed: unknown
  • Fee required: unknown
This trail information is user-generated. Help improve this information by suggesting a correction.
Getting there
From Fairplay, CO, head south on 285 about five miles to Co Rd 5 heading west. After about five miles on Co Rd 5, this road turns into Co Rd 22, take the right spur. A half mile or so later, take Sheep Creek Trail (Co Rd 455) road on the right. Follow this to forest Dr and go left. The road ends at a parking lot for the trail.
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Sheep Creek Trail map

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Trail conditions

Good (on Jun 28, 2020)
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Mountain Bike Trails Near Fairplay, Colorado

Intermediate | 14 mi
| 5.4 mi
Intermediate | 10 mi

Rider questions

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  • mert160

    Good trail, the definition of an intermediate trail. The double track parts are the only reason I didnt rate this trail a five.

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  • mongwolf

    Don't forego riding out to the lake on 12 Mile Trail. There is some great singletrack and the best scenery of the ride is on that segment. It is about 1.3 mi out to the lake. Definitely worth it.

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  • stillfat

    Old-school high adventure ride way off the beaten path. Just finding the trailhead is a challenge, then there's the ride. Fast, cruisy and skinny singletrack through sunny aspen groves, a long, though mostly not-too-steep climb over a million baby heads, some jeep trail, and then a solid rip alongside the creek for a pretty good distance. Finish on the lollipop stem mostly uphill. You'll also probably have the place all to yourself.

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  • tomcat32

    I really had a great time on this loop and caught it right at the peak of leaf color. Sheep Creek is a really nice trail with great singletrack, and never any huge climbs or descents. All the climbs are managable and the downhills flowy. The Twelvemile Trail is slightly more wild feeling with more rocks but all rideable. There are some good views of the Mosquito Range from the meadows and lots of riding through aspens. For a good description and photos, I have a blog with this ride at: http://tomcatoutdoors.blogspot.com/2016/09/south-park-mountain-biking-salt-creek_98.html

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  • Greg Heil   ✓ supporter

    This is a pretty fantastic ride! It flies pretty far under the radar since it's basically out in the middle of nowhere, but the singletrack is superb, the views are gorgeous, and during the fall you can't beat the aspens!

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  • Glove

    Very Beautiful area. I live and ride here, a lot! I was a bit confused by some of the photos posted. They do not seem to all be of sheep creek area. I see 12 mile lake. OK, directions: I believe p2mogul has some good directions posted. Stop by the local Fairplay / Pike National forest ranger station at the corner of hwy 285 / hwy 9 ; light And get a trail book / map OR call me for a guided tour! steglov at AOL dot com

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  • Charity Meinhart

    This is an incredibly beautiful area, but I had a hell of a time finding the trailhead off of 455. Never actually did find it. Anyone have any better directions for me? We ended up hiking the top half from 173 since we couldn't find the trailhead, but would love to do the whole thing...

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  • p2moguls

    Well, might as well review it since the cat is out of the bag...
    Been riding here 3 or 4 times a year for the last 5 years or so and usually saw 0 people the entire 14 mile route. Two weeks ago I counted 20 while riding there over a weekend. Oh well, all good things must come to pass...
    This is one of my overall favorite rides for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, it feels remote, it's primitive...and it's the path less traveled. I've seen plenty of wildlife and whenever I did see people in the past, it sometimes freaked me out because it was so rare. It's mostly primo Colorado singletrack thru copious wildflowers in the spring and stellar aspen groves in the fall. Nothing is terribly difficult technically, but there are some fun obstacles like bridges, creeks, rock gardens and the log crossings at the 12 Mile Creek beaver dams that keep it interesting. The trail is narrow in places, often overgrown in spots, and in the upper meadows can be kind of faint. But cairns are visible to keep you on track now.
    It has some fun downhills but is a little more climbing overall the way we do it, including a climb out. The scenery is fantastic, and the trail conditions mostly pristine. It obviously gets very little traffic still so it's not skidded on and marred by boneheads who can't control their bikes. All in all, it's pretty much an epic ride at a decent elevation keeping it cool in the height of summer.
    Suggested route is up CR455 to the dead end where the trail head sign marks the start. Low clearance vehicles might opt to park at the bottom and ride up about a half mile. Start the tight single track downhill to Cave Creek, then a few moderate up and down sections through interspersed meadows with open views and aspen groves until you cross the 12 Mile Creek. At the intersection of Twelve Mile and Sheep Creek Trails, I prefer to take the left up 12 Mile Creek, an old double track. A few more creek crossings, some beautiful meadows lined with beaver ponds, and a few sweet, completely rideable rock gardens makes it a fun climb.
    You'll intersect with FSR 173 and can do the optional 12 Mile Lake Trail to your left as mentioned by other reviewers, or bear right over some fun rolly 4WD road which will deposit you in the valley at the base of Browns Pass and Sheep Mountain. Take a right on FSR 175 and look for the faint Sheep Creek Trail on your right on a slight uphill bend in the road,
    Let the rippin' commence as you drop along Sheep Creek and cross it, then loop back through intermittent pine and aspen forest to the intersection with the 12 Mile Creek Trail at the beaver dams. A great moderate climb out (with some fun downhills thrown in) deposits you back at your vehicle.
    Overall configuration as described is a lollipop. Sheep Crk. Tr. 645 to 12 Mile Crk. Tr 684 to FSR 173 to FSR 175 to Sheep Crk. Tr 645 then back up Sheep Crk. Tr. 645.

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