Backpacking Elk Creek

Day 1 – We finished packing our backpacks early Thursday morning and headed to one of our favorite fishing/camping spots, Elk Creek Trailhead in the San Juan National Forest, Colorado. We arrived at the trailhead around 9 am and began the TWO MILE  hike uphill to the first meadow, 10,800ft. I would consider the trail easy and nicely maintained. There are horses and cows on the trails so be ready to dodge the poop.

We headed down the hill to this beautiful meadow with excitement as we see fish darting around in the creek.


We crossed the creek and found the perfect spot for our Black Diamond Vista 3 person tent, Big Agnes sleeping pads and Big Agnes Roxy Ann 15 degree and Lost Ranger 15 degree sleeping bags. Never roll off your pad with these sleeping bags. They have a pocket for the pad…AWESOME!!!

We finished by stuffing our Backpackers Pantry meals and snacks in our sleeping bag bags and hung them in the tree high enough for the cows to not reach. YES! COWS! There are cows in this meadow and they love food! They ate all my food last year right out of my bag because I did not hang it due to the fact I was excited to get to the creek and fish.

We rested for a few mins and then headed to the creek. We caught a few Brookies and Brown Trout into the evening…

Day 2 – We hiked 3 miles to a place my husband has been wanting to fish for a long time. Rumor has it there are some BIG Brook Trout in Duck Lake. We started early with anticipation and excitement for big Brookies. We arrived to a lake on our right not sure if it was Duck Lake. There were a few fish moving around, but with further examination they were all suckers. No what we were looking for. We hiked up the hill a little more and saw a beautiful lake with ducks on it….DUCK LAKE!!
The lake was low and we did not see any fish surfacing or moving around. We hiked around the whole lake and threw in a line with a night crawler on the end. There are no fish in Duck Lake. What a disappointment, but the hike was beautiful and we can now say that Duck Lake does not have BIG Brookies.

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Day 3 – 4 We fished, it rained and we fish some more. We caught lots of Brown Trout and had an amazing time. The trout ranged from 14″ to 21″. The fishing was better then expected and we were able to catch fish each day. We have discovered end that Sept. is the best time of year to fish ELK Creek.

We highly recommend good hiking shoes for the trail and durable water shoes for fishing and crossing the creeks. There are some boggy areas where you do not want to get your hiking shoes wet. Our favorite water shoes for fishing these types of areas are women’s Salomon Techamphibian 3 W & Men’s Simms Riprap Wading shoes .

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Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton


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4 thoughts on “Backpacking Elk Creek

  1. Pingback: Research – A Key to Finding the Best Outdoor Experiences – Two More Miles

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