East Willow Creek is part of the historic mining district north of downtown Creede and begins at the junction of West and East Willow Creeks, a bustling intersection during the booming mining days. Most of the route is an easy, hardpacked dirt road passing a few dilapidated mining structures and old rail lines that made up the cliffside infrastructure. The road is two vehicles wide most of the way. It follows along East Willow Creek through thick brush that could potentially scratch paint at times, depending on your vehicle's width, but there are plenty of opportunities to pass oncoming traffic. Once reaching the intersection with 502.1A, the Phoenix Park Trailhead, the trail becomes slightly more narrow to around 1.5 vehicles wide, turns east uphill, and slowly climbs a rutty steep grade, making several switchbacks. This section between 502.1A and 503 is the most challenging part of the trail but can easily be traversed by any stock vehicle with good ground clearance and low gearing.
There are two dispersed campsites along the trail west of Phoenix Park. Both are relatively small but level and suitable for vehicle, tent, or hammock camping.
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