Mad Creek

Empire, Colorado (Clear Creek County)

Last Updated: 05/23/2021
4.5 / 5 ( 6 reviews )
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Typically Open: Year Round
Length: 2.34 miles
Highest Elevation: 10016 feet
Duration: About 2 hours
Shape of Trail: Out & Back
Best Direction to Travel: North
Nearest Town: Empire
Nearest Town w/ Services: Empire
Official Road Name: 261.1
Management Agency: Arapahoe National Forest
District: Clear Creek Ranger District


Highlight: Mad Creek
Mad Creek is a great off-road trail for the novice 4wheeler, or for those looking for a short drive to a fantastic mountain picnic spot. This trail provides amazing views of 13,164ft Mt. Flora. It is a fairly smooth and wide trail with only a few bumpy sections, making it ideal for a stock SUV in the summer, and for big tire rigs seeking deep snow in the winter. From the end of this trail, there are a handful of great hiking trails. The end also provides plenty of room for parking your vehicle while you go off and explore by foot.


Route Information

Technical Rating

( EASY )

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1. Start the trail at an unmarked Y intersection (0 mi)
The trail may be slightly difficult to find as it is currently unmarked, so just be sure that once Main Street has turned to dirt, you look for a Y split in the road and you will need to take the left. If you happen to come to a large dirt parking area, you have missed the turn by a quarter mile.

Directions to Trailhead

Starting Point: Empire

Take I-70 to Highway 40. Go north into the town of Empire. Just past the Hard Rock Cafe, turn right on Main Street. Follow this road up through the neighborhood. Shortly after the road turns into a dirt road, bear left at the fork where the trail starts.



Trail Reviews (12)

Questions & Answers (0)

Writer Information

Ryan Boudreau

Mapping Crew - Colorado

Hi, I'm Ryan! I am a Colorado native and I've been wheeling since I was 16 years old. I grew up with a relentless passion for all things Jeep and off road related, and that passion has never died out. I am a member of the Mile-Hi Jeep Club, Patrol 16 Sasquatch Jeepers and currently own an '06 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited (LJ) nicknamed "Minion". I am a huge supporter of Stay the Trail and Tread Lightly, and have participated and even been in charge of many trail restoration projects. I have been a trail leader several times for events such as All-4-Fun, ColoradoFest, Set Them Free, 14er Fest, and other. I am also the creator of the Unlimited LJ Adventure. My rig is built for extreme offroading, but I love to get my tires dirty on any kind of trail whether it's rock crawling or just scenic high Alpine drives. I've wheeled all over the country including Colorado, Utah, Kansas, the Carolinas, AZ, and California. I love a great adventure, and love even more to share those adventures with others. If you see the "minion" out on the trail, make sure to stop and say hello.
For individual use only, not to be shared.