Related Wilderness Area

Hikes & Trails

Related Links

Quinn Canyon Wilderness Trails

Document Info: Hike and Trail    

Quinn Canyon Wilderness Trails

Little Cherry Creek trail: 4 miles long, climbing from 8,200 to 8,800 feet. The last half mile of Cherry Creek is a stretch of buttes and narrows of reddish rhyolite with nearly vertical walls. Here, hikers must walk in the stream or leap back and forth across it to reach Cherry Creek Campground. To the south, Sawmill Canyon has spectacular red castle-like rock formations on the north wall of the canyon. These are visible from the road.

Big Creek Canyon boasts a perennial stream that flows at the bottom of this broad, steep-walled way, with pondeosa pines near the 8,000 foot level. On the higher slopes, aspen dominates, forming a parklike vegetation pattern. The canyon is wild and undisturbed in its upper reaches. Similar wild, scenic country is found in Deep Creek and Willow Creek canyons.

Hooper Canyon in the north, with its limestone cliffs, gorge and bristlecone pines, allows a convenient one-way hiking trip. The 8-mile route can be done in a pleasant day and has the luxury of flowing water along part of its length. This trail is for experienced cross-country hikers, because it is difficult to follow the route. Watch for where tree limbs and sage have been cut back - these are guideposts.

The stream is choked with thickets of alder, elderberry and wild rose; with lots of columbine and spicy, edible watercress. At one point the narrow gorge has vertical limestone walls only a few feet apart. At another point, the stream swings in under a massive pinkish overhang. In summer, cattle graze the upper basins, so do not drink directly from the stream. Purify the water.

Sunset and long shadows in the Quinn Canyon Wilderness  (c) Ron Hunter