Mill Creek

Empire, Colorado (ClearCreek County)

Last Updated: 11/10/2020
4.4 / 5 ( 9 reviews )
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Typically Open: Year Round
Length: 4.87 miles
Highest Elevation: 10825 feet
Duration: About 2 hours, 20 minutes
Shape of Trail: Straight Through
Best Direction to Travel: West
Nearest Town: Empire
Nearest Town w/ Services: Idaho Springs
Official Road Name: 171.1
Management Agency: Arapahoe National Forest
District: Clear Creek Ranger District


Highlight: Mill Creek
The entire Empire 4X4 Loop provides a full "Colorado" experience, but Mill Creek takes it to the next level. This trail includes a well-preserved historic cabin, mining ruins, stream crossings, snow-patched mountains, aspen trees, rocks to crawl over, and wildflowers. This off-road trail has something for everyone and should not be missed. It sits about 1 hour from Denver, Colorado, and is within the Arapahoe National Forest. You can combine this trail with other trails in the area for a full day of off-road fun that is just challenging enough to keep the wheeling interesting while soaking in the amazing views of the Colorado Rocky Mountains.


Route Information

Technical Rating


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1. East Trailhead (0 mi)
The trail starts on 171.1 and winds downhill on a rocky road surface.

Directions to Trailhead

Starting Point: Empire, Colorado

This trail is accessed from Red Elephant Hill waypoint 19 or 21. You have a choice of running Red Elephant to the Mill Creek trailheads, or you can run Bill Moore Lake to the top and easier part of Red Elephant to access either trailhead.



Trail Reviews (19)

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.