Wolf Creek Pass to Sawtooth Mountain-CDT

South Fork, Colorado 81154

Wolf Creek Pass to Sawtooth Mountain-CDT

Wolf Creek Pass to Sawtooth Mountain-CDT Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"If you love being up high, then the Continental Divide Trail (CDT) is for you. There are stunning views, mountain lakes, wildlife, and wildflowers. You may not camp—or picket, hobble, tether, or graze pack or riding stock—within 200 feet of Archuleta Lake. Campfires are also prohibited. Watch for late-afternoon thunderstorms. Snow can be deep in places into July.

From Wolf Creek Pass, CDT 813 begins on the north side of US 160. A trail marker shows the way, and you may also see remains of a series of small wooden steps. You’ll quickly move into the trees; switchbacks help make the moderate-to-steep climb a little easier to bear."

Wolf Creek Pass to Sawtooth Mountain-CDT Trip Reports

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We did a variation on this trail. Began at Lobo Radio Tower, took CDT to Rock Lake for lunch (4 miles) which is a sweet little spot and a lovely day hike. We actually camped at Spotted Lake (7.9 miles) as we were a bit tired. Made second camp at Archuleta Lake (only 7/10 mile further) as we laughed at ourselves for accomplishing our shortest mileage ever in one day. But took the day to hike up to Mt. Hope and enjoy the 360 degree views without slogging the packs. We then took the Archuleta Creek Trail out to Big Meadows Reservoir (6.2 miles) where we left a car beforehand. This trail follows the Archuleta Creek and then the South Fork of the Rio Grande. It's a beautiful hike out although all in the trees and descending so no big views but we got those the day before. There is a nice campsite at the junction of the two creeks about 1/2 way along this trail if you want to fish or just hang out and enjoy the burbling water.
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Will modify this review when I get home. Hike this Trail!!!!!! Absolutely beautiful views, plantlife, and wildlife. Wasn't as hard as I expected, until we got to Archuleta lake and had to tackle Mount Hope. The 12,000' altitude and constant switchbacks made it seem steeper than it looked from the lake. Once we crested the pass, the rest of the way to the Hope Creek Trailhead was all above treeline and breath-taking. We camped at Hope Creek TH where the mosquitos were terrible. We packed out on Hope Creek Trail the next morning after watching a herd of elk saunder over Sawtooth Mountain where there was still a large snow bank. Will post pics later.

Wolf Creek Pass to Sawtooth Mountain-CDT Photos

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Trail Information

South Fork
Nearby City
3,000 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Skill Level
6-8 hours
Additional Use
Views, Wildflowers
San Juan National Forest, Pagosa Ranger District, Pagosa Springs; (970) 264-2268 Rio Grande National Forest, Divide Ranger District, Creede; (719) 658-2556
Local Contacts
USGS Wolf Creek and Mount Hope; Trails Illustrated Weminuche Wilderness; DeLorme 3D TopoQuad CD-ROM; Maptech Terrain Navigator CD-ROM
Local Maps

Trail Log