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Southern Routt County Hikes

Almost as if a careful gardener planted them, batches of arnicas line the Tepee Creek Trail near Lynx Pass in southeastern Routt County. The yellow flower is abundant on the trail, which takes hikers and bikers four miles into the wilderness over rolling hills to the confluence of the babbling Tepee and the slightly larger Rock Creek. A thick roof of lodgepole pines (some alive, some victims of the beetle infestation) and thick aspen groves cover the majority. Still, plenty of wide meadows split the hike up, offering picture-perfect places to camp.

Almost as if a careful gardener planted them, batches of arnicas line the Tepee Creek Trail near Lynx Pass in southeastern Routt County. The yellow flower is abundant on the trail, which takes hikers and bikers four miles into the wilderness over rolling hills to the confluence of the babbling Tepee and the slightly larger Rock Creek. A thick roof of lodgepole pines (some alive, some victims of the beetle infestation) and thick aspen groves cover the majority. Still, plenty of wide meadows split the hike up, offering picture-perfect places to camp.

Referred to as “South Routt,” this region is the gateway to the Flat Tops Wilderness Area, a remote and beautiful wilderness characterized by tabletop peaks rising to 12,000 feet and higher. The most popular hike is Devil’s Causeway, accessible via East Fork Trail #1119. A three-mile out-and-back will take you to the vertigo-inducing Devil’s Causeway, a short and narrow rocky span with sheer cliff faces on either side. The hike also can be made into a 10.5-mile loop. To get to Stillwater Reservoir, head east on U.S. 40 out of Steamboat and south on Colorado Highway 131 for about 26 miles to Yampa. Turn right onto Main Street and then right onto C.R. 7. The road eventually turns to dirt and becomes Forest Service Road 900, ending near Stillwater Reservoir.

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