Warm Springs Creek Road (FA 163) w/Cow Camp Road (FS1234)

Total Miles
10.9

Elevation

2601.89 ft

Duration

Hours

Technical Rating

1

Easy

Best Time

fall, summer

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Trail Overview

Warm Springs Creek Road takes you from the Gravelly Range ridge line to Continental Divide/Upper Ruby Road. Assuming you start on the upper ridge along Gravelly Range Road, you go down the road looking back on the area you may have just travel if you came up from FS237 to Gravelly Ridge Road. This offers a very different view which is beautiful. As you transition down you will get back into the trees along each side of the road offering surprises when you break out and have the well know 100-mile views of the Big Sky Country. Near the bottom you will encounter an intersection with a trail to the right. This is Cow Camp Road and it simply goes back approximately 1.5 miles along a somewhat rough two-track trail. There are some views but nothing really different from what you can see from the intersection. There are gates and some work buildings near the end. This info is included to answer the question where does this go and to let you know that some maps in other products show a loop that does not exist. As you continue down to the valley floor you will encounter a restroom. Behind the restroom is a wonderful area to eat lunch. More importantly walk back and take a look at Warm Springs Creek. Note the size and flow. After departing the area toward FS100 keep an eye on the creek. You will see it is growing very quickly. Shortly you will encounter springs along the uphill side of the road with beautiful small ponds and culverts taking the water under the road to the creek. Within just a couple miles the little meandering brook you saw initially will be a rapidly flowing large stream of water all fed from springs. Near the intersection you will see beautiful meadows and, if you're lucky, some wildlife. FS163 is approximately 1 1/2 lanes wide and well maintained. Most pickups and SUVs should have little trouble as long as you stay on the main road and do not take side trails. There is local traffic so be careful going around curves as some of them do travel at a higher rate of speed than is prudent. This area is closes early with snow and opens later in the year (early summer). The area above the Cow Camp intersection is closed from April 30 - June 30 for Elk calving.

Difficulty

Easy

Technical Rating

1