Pawnee Grasslands Willow Creek Loop

Briggsdale, Colorado (Weld County)

Last Updated: 12/27/2020
5 / 5 ( 2 reviews )
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Typically Open: Year Round
Length: 24.77 miles
Highest Elevation: 5200 feet
Duration: About 3 hours
Shape of Trail: Loop
Best Direction to Travel: N/A
Nearest Town: Briggsdale
Nearest Town w/ Services: Briggsdale
Official Road Name: Forest Service Roads 116, 241, 69, 671 and 63 county roads 69 and 120
Management Agency: Pawnee National Grasslands


Highlight: Pawnee Grasslands Willow Creek Loop
Sprawling across the plains northeast of Greeley, Colorado, the Pawnee Grasslands are criss-crossed by a network of gravel county roads and 2-track dirt Forest Service Roads. These easy roads offer an alternative to the usual mountain ‘wheeling of the Colorado Rockies, especially from late fall to early spring when many of the mountain trails are snowed in. The Pawnee Grasslands are an internationally recognized bird-watching area and support many species of birds, especially during migration season. Pronghorn, prairie dogs and other wildlife are plentiful and there are opportunities for hiking, target shooting, camping and star gazing as well as a rich history with a mix of abandoned homesteads and working farms and ranches. This route combines several Forest Service Roads connected by a few short sections of County Roads along the northern edge of the Willow Creek drainage providing wide open views of the rolling hills and plenty of solitude.


Route Information

Technical Rating

( EASY )

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1. Trailhead (0 mi)
Turn right off of County Road 59 onto Forest Service Road 116 to begin the trail. This trailhead is 4.1 miles north of County Road 108 near the top of a hill. You will travel east along the fence line.

Directions to Trailhead

Starting Point: Ault

Go to the town of Ault either by going west on CO 14 from Fort Collins or by going north on US 85 from Greeley. From Ault go east on CO 14 about 7 miles. CO 14 will make a big curve to go northeast for about 5.8 miles. Just as it curves back to go due east again, turn left onto CR 57. There is a small informational Kiosk on the right as you turn onto CR 57. This could be interesting if you are not familiar with the Grasslands. Take CR 57 north for nine miles, then turn right on CR 108. Go east on CR 108 for a mile, then turn left on CR 59. Go north on CR 59 4.1 miles to the trailhead near the top of a hill.



Trail Reviews (6)

Questions & Answers (2)

Q: I'm in Fort Collins and looking for a place to run a bit faster...baja style. Afterall, I have a Raptor that I'd like to have a little fun with. Would this area be adequate to stretch the legs...?
–David Nanninga (04/21/2021)
–Bill Andrews (04/22/2021)
Q: Can you ride ATV's on this road?
–brian (07/12/2018)
–Bill Andrews (07/13/2018)

Writer Information

Bill Andrews

Mapping Crew - Colorado

Bill is an off-road enthusiast with nearly 30 years of 'wheeling experience. At one time he had a streak of about 20 years of 4-wheeling at least once a month. He likes anything from easy, dirt roads to difficult trails but stops short of extreme. Over the years he has traveled over 700 different trails, mostly in Colorado and Utah. He loves finding and exploring new areas and sharing his knowledge with others. He has been the coordinator of Calvary 4-Wheelers for many years.
For individual use only, not to be shared.