Mad Creek

4.6/5 (20 reviews)
Empire, Colorado (Clear Creek County)
Last Updated: 06/30/2022

Trail Information


A short drive from the town of Empire, and just down the road from the popular Bill Moore Lake Trail, Mad Creek is a great off-road trail that gets passed up by many offroaders. Whether you are seeking quiet summer seclusion or deep tire-swallowing winter snow, don't let this trail fall off your radar. Along this road you will pass through the trees, the open meadows, and take in the picturesque views of the high mountains all around you, including 13,164ft Mt. Flora. You will also find a handful of great hiking trails at the conclusion of this trail.

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Navigation

Trail Reviews

4.6/5 (20)
Partially Open
Visited: 04/29/2023

I think I made it to almost waypoint 6 before encountering an untracked 8"+ deep snow drift that I didn't want to try solo with no lockers. There was even more smaller drifts as far as you could see after that. There was also an untouched drift right below waypoint 3 that I had to make two runs at. Thankfully I had a good turnaround at that spot and went back to 3 to enjoy a beer and scenery. Good day between getting shut down here and Bard Creek.
Rated 5/5
Visited: 01/27/2023
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Huge drifts, impassable.
Rated 5/5
Visited: 12/21/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Awesome trail, wish it was longer! Pretty easy, snow adds a bit of extra difficulty, would be doable by almost any stock SUV when it’s dry. Some moderately rutted areas and small rocky areas but nothing close to an obstacle. The spur is rockier and super fun, not too hard but more difficult than the rest of the trail. Switchbacks at waypoint 2 and 3 are extremely icy so air down and go slow. I’d recommend airing down either way but in the snow it’s a must. Snow gets significantly deeper about 2/3 of the way between waypoint 5 and 6 but I made it to the end no problem with my 32’s aired down to 15psi.
Rated 4/5
Visited: 11/21/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Decent easy trail with a family of six today, only moderately sketchy parts were descending where it was icy. Snow covered half of the length of it in the typical Colorado sun vs no sun sections. We hiked the spur that went up hill, that looked like fun and I will drive it next time. That seemed to approach a level 3 in a few spots.
Visited: 10/02/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Fun and highly recommended for fall leaf peeping! Nothing hard but worth checking out for a fun bonus trail, some smaller campsites, and no trail traffic, super bonus! There's a lot of trails nearby so this and the spur were are great place to call home for the weekend, very convenient location. Close to Empire and easy to find.

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