Manchester (Manchester Creek)

Divide, Colorado (Teller County)
Last Updated: 12/31/2017
5/5 (1 review)
Information
Nearby Trails
Status: Open
Typically Open: Year Round
Difficulty: 2-2
(EASY)
Length: 10.5 miles
Highest Elevation: 9024 feet
Duration: About 2 hours
Shape of Trail: Connector
Best Direction to Travel: N/A
Nearest Town: Divide
Nearest Town w/ Services: Divide
Official Road Name: 364
Management Agency: United States Forest Service
District: South Platte Ranger District
Distance:
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Highlights

Highlight: Manchester (Manchester Creek)

Manchester Off-Road Trail is situated in Pike National Forest. It provides you with scenic views of Manchester Creek with plenty of photo opportunities along the way. As a stark reminder to always pay attention to forest fire danger, this trail starts off in a lush forested area and ends in the burn area of the infamous Hayman Burn which scorched over 138,000 acres in 2002. The area burned so hot that nothing grew for many years and it's just now starting to show signs of the forest coming back. This growth means that over the next several years, you can expect that nearly every time you go out, the views on this trail will change.

Video

Route Information

Technical Rating: (2-2)
(EASY)

Dirt road. Dry, or less than 3" water crossing depth. Some ruts. Slight grades, up to 10 degrees. 2WD under most conditions. Rain or snow may make 4WD necessary. Usually one and a half to two vehicles wide.

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Description

Manchester Creek is an easy dirt connector with some ruts and rocks along the way. The 10.5 mile long trail starts in a wooded area and ends at the edge of the Hayman Burn area. Since this trail works through forest and open area, you’re likely to encounter muddy areas in some spots and dust in others, maybe on the same day. There are no major obstacles to look for on this trail and it is suitable for just about any SUV.
Do not drive through mud puddles at a fast pace. The muddy water can damage nearby foliage.

Seasonal Information

Spring:Trail is typically wet and muddy in places in the forested sections during the spring runoff.
Summer:Trail is dry all the way through and dusty in the burn area.
Fall:Trail gets snow in the fall but is maintained a little and doesn't build up.
Winter:Trail has snow and ice on it in places thought nothing too deep.

Waypoints

1. Manchester Creek (FS 364) East Entrance

Coming in from the south, take a left at the intersection of Manchester Creek (FS 364) & Rule Ridge (FS 357) at the sign to start the trail.

2. FS 966 (Campsites) (0.6 mi)

Stay straight here. These "900" series roads look like trails but are actually just long campsite drives. These spots are good for campers and the like.

3. Rideout Trail (FS 365) (1.5 mi)

Keep straight along Manchester here. This small offshoot is called Rideout which we believe ends at Private Property. As soon as trailsoffroad.com has confirmation of this trail's openness, we will update the system.

4. FS 365 (1.7 mi)

Stay straight here, this is another small offshoot that is marked by the Forest Service the same as the last Waypoint, but does not appear on Forest Service Maps. trailsoffroad.com cannot conclude at this time if this second entrance is valid.

5. FS 966 (Campsites) (1.8 mi)

Stay straight here. This is more camping. Note that between miles 2.2 and 2.8 is private property. There is a large sign to indicate where the forest area ends and starts back up. Mind those private property notices.

6. Intersection with 364 & 717.A & 967 (Campsites) (3 mi)

Stay straight, an entrance to the 717.A ATV/Small Vehicle trail exists here and then there is there is some dispersed camping along the way until you reach private property at 4.8 miles.

7. Boulevard (FS 358) (5 mi)

Stay the trail to the left. Boulevard (FS 358) will connect you back to Rule Ridge (FS 357).

8. Signal Butte (FS 717) (5.8 mi)

Stay straight here here and do not try to enter the 717.A ATV/Small Vehicle trail, Phantom Creek & Signal Butte Loop. The next .4 miles is shared with the 717.A OHV trail. Be on the lookout here for riders and people on foot.

9. Signal Butte (FS 717) & (FS 717.B) (6.1 mi)

You should stay to the left here at any point that looks like you can turn to avoid confusion. This is a complex intersection with multiple roads overlapping and intersecting. For more, read on. Phantom Creek & Signal Butte Loop, 717.A, and 717.B Small Vehicle trails all intersect and overlap ON Manchester Creek between Waypoints 8 & 9. Mind the GPX and these instructions and you'll stay on the right trail without a problem.

10. FS 968 (Campsites) (6.4 mi)

More camping, stay straight here.

11. Intersection with Phantom Creek (FS 363) (7.5 mi)

Stay to the right here, on the left is Phantom Creek (FS 363).

12. Intersection with Phantom Meadow (FS 364.A) & FS 970 (Campsites) (7.6 mi)

This intersection can be confusing, you want to take a hard right and not straight.You will see down into a valley and 3 different roads to follow. Ignore the stream and the first left, you want to take the sharp right here and follow the rocks back up to stay on Manchester.

13. Intersection with 972 Campsite (7.8 mi)

Follow the trail to the left here. The ruts on the right are for campsites on the short 972.

14. Intersection with 717.B (7.9 mi)

Stay straight this is another ATV/Small Vehicle trail.

15. Little Creek Ridge (FS 366) (9 mi)

Stay to the left here. Little Creek Ridge (FS 366) connects back to the town of West Creek. It shares the Signal Butte Trail (FS 717) for some period as well.

16. Signal Butte (FS 362) (9.1mi) (9.1 mi)

Stay to the right to stay on Manchester. This is another connection into the The Phantom Creek & Signal Butte Loop.

17. Private Road (10.4 mi)

Stay to the right here. If you turn left, you will be stopped by a gate that can be hard to see from the trail.

18. End at Trail Creek (FS 363) - West Entrance (10.5 mi)

Follow the trail to the right here. The trail ends just beyond this some wooden fencing that is protecting some private property. The intersection connects with Trail Creek Road (County Road 3). Across the road is Chestnut (FS 367) . That is not part of Manchester despite some online descriptions and old maps. Turn right to head north out of the trail system towards Deckers & Sedalia, and turn left to head south towards the Woodland Park area.

Directions to Trailhead

Trailhead Coordinates: 39.011292, -105.165497

Starting Point: Divide, CO

Head north on Manchester Creek Road (Don't let this street name confuse you, it changes into the trail and its name). After 4.4 Miles of housing, the road turns into forest and it becomes Rule Ridge. Follow Rule Ridge (FS 357) to Waypoint 17 and turn left at the sign to get on the trail.

Camping

There is dispersed camping all along this Manchester Creek Trail. Most of the campsites are marked with 9XX series numbers. They look like trails but actually lead to medium and large camping areas. This is a popular area for campers and RV's. If you want to camp there, get there early, as spots fill quickly. If you are looking for more structured camping, on Colorado Highway 67, approximately one mile south of the Manitou Experimental Forest and Research Station, the USFS maintains campgrounds at sites named Painted Rocks, Colorado, Pike Community, South Meadows, and Red Rocks. For additional information on these campsites see the U.S. Forest Service recreation page
Camping: Manchester (Manchester Creek)

Land Use Issues

This area is part of Pike-San Isabel National Forest, and as such is part of the 2011 Lawsuit where a coalition of conservation and recreation groups were suing the U.S. Forest Service over what they say is an illegal addition of 500 miles of motorized roads and trails. A settlement was reached in late 2015 that is requiring the U.S. Forest Service to re-evaluate the roads and create a new travel management plan. 30 roads have been partially or completely closed while this evaluation takes place over the next few years. Those trails affected have been noted here at trailsoffroad.com. It is imperative that the OHV community makes their voices be heard on this issue. If we do nothing, those 500 miles will be shut down, some already have. Contact the local ranger districts and let them know why the area is important to you and the history you have there. Contact your Congressperson and Senator as well. They know how important the OHV community is to the economy of the state.

Writer Information

Jen & JD Marshall

Mapping Crew - Colorado
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Jen & JD moved to Colorado from Chicago in May of 2015 for work and brought with them a 2001 stock Jeep Wrangler that had been garage bound for two years. Within a month of arrival, all rusty 170,000 miles of it was shaking on Colorado trails and they've never stopped. As time as gone on, their 2001 TJ has been upgraded and a 2015 Jeep JK has been added to the family. JD works as a Systems Engineer for a cable company and Jen runs a business from their home during the week to pay the bills. When the weekend hits, they're almost always hitting the trail. When Sunday night rolls around, the question turns to, 'so what's next week?!'.

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Trail Reviews (2)

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Trail remains in good shape and doesn't have much snow. The creek has frozen but is broken near the northern end of the trail. We made it through with a lift and big tires rather than turn around. Note, there is private property on this trail and we encountered more than just the signs on this trip. There were children on the road near the house and when we slowed down to make sure they were moving, two dogs rushed the Jeep, barking, baring teeth and growling. One dog jumped at my window at least once before the owner got them to finally back off. We will be filing a complaint and I fear what would have happened if I had no doors on the Jeep. Be careful when traveling this section of trail.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
We ended our day traveling through Manchester Creek trail. The sun going down provided some great pictures and amazing views. The trail was dry all the way through.