Dusty and Kaila turned us on to Ross Creek Cedars Scenic Area years ago, and it’s been on our go-see-do list ever since. We haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on our list!
Since they both travel for work, they get to see much more of the country than most people do, and they’ve passed on a few gotta-see nuggets to us over the years.
This one does not disappoint!
A relatively short distance from our campsite at the Sam Owen Campground as the crow flies, about an hour drive if you have a slow diesel Jeep and a squeaky passenger.
We opted to do the Ross Creek South Fork hike, a bit of a bad idea since AllTrails reviews said there’s no easy way to cross Ross Creek, the trail is nonexistent, blah blah blah. But hey – we live in Colorado and climb in the Rockies all the time, bring it on! I’d rather be in rocks and ice than thick underbrush and heat.
The start of this trail is simply uuuuh-mazing – massive cedar trees everywhere with a well-maintained soft trail underfoot. So. Nice.
After you leave the touristy area, things get a little more sketchy.
You can wade through the fast-running ice-cold Ross Creek, shimmy your butt across a fallen log, or as we discovered on our return trip – find a fatter tree to walk back across.
The trail itself is horrible, aka no trail, steep, and completely impossible to follow without the GPS track on my Garmin watch (I don’t get a kickback from Garmin, but this is absolutely the best sports watch you could find). Add in the largest steaming pile of bear poop I’ve seen, you end up spending as much time scanning the woods as you do watching your footing.
The falls at the end of this hike are nice, but not worth the bushwhack hike up.
The plus side is that now you get a beautiful return trip back through all of those massive cedars – and now that you’ve hit the objective, you have time to stop and smell that piney smell from the branches, the earthy smell from under your feet, and listen to the rushing of the river.
Ross Creek Cedars Scenic Area is close to absolutely nothing, but we highly recommend it if you get lost and somehow end up in the general area.

Into The Forest

Into The Forest at Ross Creek Cedars
I go, to lose my mind and find my soul. John Muir.


Big Little Big

Big Little Big
Quite a size difference


Shimmy Shimmy Shake

Shimmy Shimmy Shake across a log at Ross Creek Cedars
Doing the butt-scoot across the Ross Creek


Trail

Trail
Yes, it doesn’t look like much, but it’s technically the trail


Woah

Woah - Bear Poop at Ross Creek Cedars
Don’t want to run across the bear that dropped this fresh pile


Run Right Past

Run Right Past
The falls at the end of the Ross Creek South Fork are nice, but not worth the bushwhacking hike in.


Bursting At The Seams

Bursting At The Seams
A lightning strike split this tree apart


In Your Face

In Your Face
A solitary yellow flower saying hello


What Is This?

What Is This?
Do any of my botanist friends know what this is?


Green and White

Green and White viewed from Ross Creek Cedars
Looking through the green at the white. Honestly, I’d rather be up there!


The Easy Way

The Easy Way
We found a larger log that we could walk across on our return trip


The North Side

The North Side
I thought moss only grew on the north side of trees


Short Stop

Short Stop
Taking a break along Ross Creek


Home Depot Lumber

Home Depot Lumber
We have found the forest where Home Depot gets their 2x4s from…


Tree Hugger

Tree Hugger at Ross Creek Cedars
These cedars are massive!



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