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The Texas Creek Trail is a lightly used trail which provides access to the popular Ruby Lake area and Trout Lake. From Big Ruby Lake either this trail or Red Lakes Trail (#889) will provide access to Red Lakes and Trout Lake. This trail serves as a gateway into the Weminuche Wilderness, but because it is very steep for the first 2.5 miles or more, should only be undertaken by the physically conditioned. The trail will offer a fine opportunity for solitude except where it runs through the Ruby Lake area.

Camping is not permitted at the trailhead itself since it is located within the Rio Grande Canyon, Summer Home Group. This is a group of private summer homes that lie on Forest Service land which have been authorized by Special Use Permits. Please remember to respect private property. Parking for the trail is available approximately 200 yards northeast of the trail. Trail signs along the road from the parking area point the way to the trail. Fishing opportunities exist along most of Texas Creek and at Little Ruby Lake, Big Ruby Lake, Jumper Lake and Trout Lake.

From the trailhead, the trail ascends sharply for about a half to three quarters of a mile through the spruce and then descends sharply for about a quarter of a mile to Texas Creek. Look for the trail markers at Texas Creek. More than likely, Texas Creek will have to be waded, so be prepared. Once across the creek, the trail moves into the trees again and ascends in a very difficult and steep climb for the next tow or more miles.

This trail is not for the novice and will be difficult even for the experienced backpacker. The trail tops out in a small meadow. Look for the trail markers that should be slightly to your left. From this point, the hike to the junction with Fern Creek Trail at Little Ruby Lake, approximately 1.0 mile , is easy. Follow the trail around Little Ruby Lake to the Fuchs Reservoir, or in order to find a more secluded campsite, look for the marker of the Texas Creek Trail to your right around the lake from the big cabin.

A short 20 minute hike will place you in the Texas Creek drainage and in a large meadow with campsites located at various tree line locations. At the point where the trail and the creek meet, you should be able to see two trails across the creek. Follow the one to your left (south). You should see trail markers clearly visible on a gradual sloping trail that moves in a line parallel with Texas Creek. There are excellent campsites all along this trail as it moves gradually higher. You are on the trail to Trout Lake with about six miles to go.

After approximately one mile, the trail will bend to your left over a marshy meadow and will cross Texas Creek again. The creek then bends right and heads up into the high grasslands above the trees. As you move into the high meadows, you should have a magnificent view of the northern portion of the Continental Divide. You will pass by a number of small unnamed glacial lakes. As you proceed up from the lakes in a southeasterly direction, you will follow trail markers clearly placed until you top out.

Chief Mountain will be on your right (southwest). Now proceed southeast across the grassy meadow. There is a trail marker on the other side of the meadow, off in the distance, but it is difficult to see. If you have binoculars, then use them. If you do not have binoculars, walk out into the meadow and head southeast until the marker becomes visible in front of you. Keep Chief Mountain on your immediate right. Once across the meadow, you will see trail markers going south to follow. The collection of lakes on your left is part of Red Lakes.

When you get to the edge of the Alpine valley that Trout Lake is in, you will be able to look down and see it. The trail down is tricky, with loose rock near the top. Do not miss the tumbling gardens of wild flowers and the waterfalls on your way down. If you brought your fishing tackle, you may have fresh trout from the lake for dinner.

Because the trail from Texas Creek Trailhead to Little Ruby Lake is so difficult, if you are not in very good shape, you may wish to hike up to Little Ruby Lake along the Fern Creek Trail (# 815) and then join the Texas Creek Trail at its junction with the Fern Creek Trail. The Texas Creek Trail will then go on to Big Ruby Lake.

Directions: From Creede, Travel southwest from Creede on Highway 149 for approximately 20 miles to the intersection of Highway 149 and Rio Grande Reservoir Road (Forest Development Road 520). Proceed for approximately 1 mile and turn south onto the dirt road into the Rio Grande, Box Canyon and Summer Group Home. This intersection is about 1/2 mile past the road running into San Juan Ranch. Drive for approximately 1 3/4 miles to the Texas Creek Trailhead. Three gates will have to be opened (and closed) behind you. The Texas Creek Trail begins between two Forest Service permitted homes. The beginning point of the trail is signed.

Elevation: 9,040 feet

Ending Elevation: 11,640 feet

Elevation Gain: 2,600 feet

Usage: Light to Moderate

Difficulty: Strenuous

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Rio Grande National Forest, Colorado

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The details, dates, and prices mentioned here were accurate at the time of publication.

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