The trail begins at the end of the East Fork of the Cimarron road, which can be accessed from the east side of Owl Creek Pass. Parking is available at that location.
ATTRACTIONS AND FEATURES:
This trail takes you into the Uncompahgre Wilderness area. It is a gently rising trail that at 8.4 miles joins with the Middle Fork of the Cimarron trail. The altitude gain to that point is 1,845 feet. The trail follows the beautiful East Fork valley, with wonderful views of the mountains on each side. At the upper end, Uncompahgre Peak at 14,308 feet is dominant on the skyline.
Just below timberline, the trail crosses the East Fork from east to west before reaching the Middle Fork junction. Finding a good place to cross can be difficult in the Spring and early Summer with heavy snowmelt runoff. Return from this point can be by going back on the East Fork trail or by continuing on the MiddleFork trail "loop." The Middle Fork trailhead is another 8.3 miles and you must cross a pass at 12,595 feet. A snowfield will be found on the north side of the pass until mid July. Consider having a vehicle waiting at the Middle Fork tailhead if this "loop" trip is to be made in just one day.
The East Fork trail continues 2.6 miles past the Middle Fork trail junction and ends at its junction with the Ridge Stock Driveway trail in the American Flats--a total distance of 11 miles. Another crossing of the East Fork must be made from west to east just above the Middle Fork junction, and Matterhorn Peak can be seen to the southwest. The Upper East Fork Trail, #142, branches off to the left a little less than a mile above the creek crossing, and ends a mile or so later in the upper East Fork Basin.
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