Rock Creek Trail BikingHikingTrail Running


Notes: 12.10.21

Trail Length
3.9 miles
Distance from Durango
61 miles
540 ft
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Rock Creek Trail

Biking, Hiking, Trail Running
Durango to TH

61 Miles


540 Feet



Trail Length

3.9 Miles

Photo Courtesy of John Fitzpatrick

Part of the Sand Canyon Trails System.

Rock Creek is a popular trail in Sand Canyon. Rock Creek Trail is west of East Rock Creek trail and is rated difficult; the trail gains 540 feet in 3.9 miles. This trail can be accessed from East Rock Creek Trail. Located near Cortez, Colorado and situated in the deserts of the southwest, this National Monument boasts the largest concentration of Pueblo Indian (Anasazi) ruins in the U.S. with about 6000 recorded archaeological sites! These are just the sites that have been recorded and documented. The popular Sand Canyon Trail is 6.5 miles (one-way) from Sand Canyon Pueblo down to the lower trailhead in McElmo Canyon. The trail is open to hiking, horseback riding, and mountain bicycling, but the upper section is steep and rugged– not recommended for bicycles. Part of the singletrack dirt trail crosses slick rock marked with rock cairns. Combining the main canyon trail with other trails, such as the East Rock Creek Trail, makes for an enjoyable loop. Do not enter structures, climb on walls, take or move artifacts, or touch rock art–the oils on your skin accelerate deterioration of this rare evidence of past lives. Collect nothing and leave what you see for others to enjoy. Pack out your trash and do not leave “offerings.” These only confuse the meaning of the sites.

Map & Directions

Map Coordinates: 37.360539, -108.833828

Where's the Trailhead?



From 9th Street and Main Avenue in Durango, head west on 9th Street toward Camino Del Rio. Turn right onto US-160 West. After passing through the Town of Cortez, turn right onto County Road G. Sand Canyon is on your right and there are is a secondary parking area just before the main trailhead with a trail from the parking area leading to the main trail system.


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