East Willow Creek Falls

Page Type
Colorado, United States, North America
Route Type:
hike with brief scrambling portion
Time Required:
Most of a day
class 2 with one loose short potentially dangerous class 3 section; approx 5 miles/4100' gain one-way

Route Quality: 4 Votes

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East Willow Creek Falls
Created On: Jul 7, 2005
Last Edited On: Sep 21, 2005


Start from the East Willow Creek TH. Use directions given on the main page for "Phoenix Peak".

Route Description

Topo by John Kirk

From the trailhead, start hiking north along the unmarked Phoenix Park Trail. The trail meets up with the 4WD road to Phoenix Park. Continue north along the 4WD road, using a somewhat flimsy footbridge to cross Whited Creek. In just under 2 miles, the road brings you to the expansive fields of Phoenix Park.

Look ahead along the 4WD road and find an obvious waterfall to the road's right, about 1.5 miles distant. Continue along the road, then turn right on a trail leading to the base of the waterfall. A wooden cross here notes the recent death of a teenager at this site.

From the base of the waterfall, turn left up a steep gully. The final 5-10 feet of the gully is steep and loose. This portion of the route is not recommended for those not comfortable with loose terrain. If necessary, consider turning back here and using the south slopes route. Check all handholds before relying on them. The best route up the final feet of the gully appears to be along an exposed ledge at climber's right.

Once above the gully, the crux is passed. Hike NE up the valley along pleasant tundra slopes. At 12500' attain a grassy bench on the valley's north side. Hike NE up a steep talus slope, gently angling south to attain the saddle between point 13628 and the summit. Walk SE up the ridge to the summit.

Essential Gear

In snow conditions, snowshoes, ice axe, and crampons may be needed for this route.

Miscellaneous Info

If you have information about this route that doesn't pertain to any of the other sections, please add it here.