Nestled in the foothills just 11 miles west of Sedalia, sits this pleasant and surprisingly pretty trail. The south end of the Indian Creek Trail #800 in Pike National Forest offers a three mile loop trail that begins and ends at the Indian Creek Campground.
The trail begins at the south end of the parking lot just past the rest station. But before heading out on the trail be sure to register and pay the day fee for parking ($6) – the National Forest Service has collection boxes at the parking lot where you can pay with cash or check. (We saw a car parked out on CO-67; obviously parking out there allowed them a free day of biking or hiking).
The trail begins on a gentle incline through pine and aspen trees. It is a well-traveled and well-maintained trail that winds through shady forest up over several ridges. Wildflowers are scattered alongside the trail for the entire 3 miles. Look for redish Indian Paintbrush, pink Wild Rose, yellow Milkweed, pale purple Columbine, and dark purple Larkspur.
The hike is a moderate climb. Not too steep but enough to bring you up to some wonderful vantage points where the views of the western mountains will surprise you!
Looking west towards the mountains, you will see the Deckers area as well as Devil’s Head to the south. Further south you can glimpse Pikes Peak on a clear day. These views are the big payoff of the hike.
As you continue past the first lookout on the first ridge, you can catch glimpses of the views to the northern mountains as well. Keep looking, you will see several areas where views of the mountains will awe you.
After hiking for about 40 minutes (1.6 miles) the trail comes to a junction. It is a busy crossing where we encountered many mountain bikers and horseback riders. You will see signs for the Ringtail Trail to the north and a sign for the Indian Creek Trail #800. Do not continue on the Indian Creek Trail (unless you are planning a 14 mile loop hike out to Roxburough Park). Instead, go right (south) on the fire road. This will take you back to the Indian Creek campground and parking lot to finish this three-mile loop hike.
As you head down to your car, you will enjoy the scenery along the rough fire road as well as the lush grasses and wildflowers. When you reach the campground on your right, cut through it to get back to the parking lot/trailhead where you began.
Fire road heads south to the Indian Creek campground and trailhead.