This upland trail provides rugged access to a picture perfect land of wildflower dotted meadows and tall trees. One of it's most attractive features is that it opens up so many possibilities for loop hikes, most of which can be covered in a day.
Like all Wilderness and Primitive Area trails, Upper Grant Creek (# 65) is open to hiking and horseback riding, but closed to all types of motorized and mechanized travel.
Other Forest trails accessible via Upper Grant Creek include Steeple Trail (# 73), Long Cienega (# 305), Grant Creek Trail (# 75), Paradise Trail (# 74) and Grant Cabin Shortcut (# 306). With a little creative pathfinding you can turn this network of trails into a number of varied and enjoyable day hikes.
Upper Grant Creek Trail is accessible via any one of the above trails, but the shortest route is via Steeple Creek Trail from the Hannagan Meadow Trailhead. A 1.4 mile stroll through stands of tall conifer, alternating with small hidden meadows, brings you to the Upper Grant Trailhead in the middle of one of the larger meadows or cienegas in the area. From this access point, the trail follows the course of Grant Creek as it drops into a steep, narrow canyon shaded by a canopy of Douglas-fir and aspen. The trail crisscrosses the tumbling brook that steadily increases in volume as it drops toward its confluence with the Blue. This section of the trail is not recommended for horses.
Hikers stand a very good chance of seeing wildlife in this area. In addition to elk and mule deer, black bears are regularly seen grubbing through the blow-downs. If you do happen to run across one of these big but shy creatures, the encounter will most likely be brief. Wild bears make a business of keeping a very low profile.
At 3.5 miles into the hike you'll come onto an old cabin and corral site. In recent times, some copper moonshining equipment was recovered from this site.
0.0 Trail terminus. Upper Grant Creek Trail leaves Steeple Trail (# 73) in small cienega (wet meadow) about 1.3 miles from Steeple Trailhead.
2.2 Tributary drainage from north crosses trail. Ranchers call it Slide Canyon as horse needs to slide down it in spots.
3.2 Another tributary drainage from the north. Ranchers call this one Scoot Canyon as horse needs to scoot down it.
3.5 Moonshiner's cabin and corral.
3.6 Junction with Grant Cabin Trail (# 306) which connects to Grant Creek Trail (# 75).
3.8 Junction with Long Cienega Trail (# 305) which connects to Steeple Trail (# 73).
4.0 Trail terminus. Junction with Paradise Trail (# 74).
USGS Maps: Hannagan Meadow, Strayhorse
At a Glance
May through October
No mechanized vehicles (including mountain bikes) permitted in Primitive Area.
Upper Grant Creek Trail is accessible only via other backcountry trails. Steeple Trail leads to its upper trailhead. Paradise Trail leads to its lower trailhead. For the most convenient access, drive south on US 191 to the south end Hannagan Meadow and turn left (east) to the Steeple Trailhead. Hike this trail about 1 mile to Upper Grant Creek Trail.
Upper Grant Creek Trail is NOT reccomended for horse use.