Hitting the Trail: Chicken Creek Trail, Mancos State Park (Mancos, Colorado)

Hitting the Trail is a weekly feature here at Mud Puddles to Meteors. In each post we will share trails, parks, and museums from around the country (and sometimes even beyond). If you would like to join in and share a special nature location please send us an email at kidsandnature@gmail.com with the details listed at the bottom of the post and links to the photos. We would love to share your nature adventure!


Chicken Creek Trail, Mancos State Park (Mancos, Colorado)

We set out for a somewhat short hike hoping we would beat the weather, but it was not to be. What started out as a very sunny, and even hot hike, ended with us dashing to the car being pelted by tiny hail; we were wet, a little cold, but happy we headed out for an adventure. Mountain weather can be that way sometimes, one must always be ready! Regardless, we had a great time exploring this very neat and diverse trail in southwest Colorado.

Mancos Hike 5 Trail-1

Mancos Hike 3 yarrow-1

Mancos Hike 14 lichen-1

Mancos Hike 18 yellow trail-1

Mancos Hike 19 rock trailside-1

Mancos Hike 20 moss-1

Mancos Hike 22 creek-1

Mancos Hike 22 wood in creek-1

Mancos Hike 24 rain drops-1

Mancos Hike 32 bee tree-1

Mancos Hike 40 yellow up-1

Mancos Hike 45 oak hail-1

Mancos Hike 44 boots-1

Things to Know

Location: Mancos State Park, Southwest Colorado

Habitat: Scrub oak, conifer forest, a few stands of aspen and creek at the end.

Favorite Animal & Plant Life: It was neat to see the flora change as we progressed along the trail; a dry and somewhat barren start lead us into tall stands of conifer trees, down to mossy covered rocks and cottonwoods along the small creek. At the creek we also found an old bee hive in a fallen tree, a very exciting find. Small grey squirrels chatted at us along the way. We also saw a few cows at the gate we had to pass through midway through the trail. They quickly left us behind and made their way down toward the creek and beyond (we did continue to hear them low in the distance).

Special Features: The change in terrain and scenery was a feature in itself; a fun way to keep smaller hikers interested in what could be around the next turn. It is interesting to note that this trail leads to the Colorado trail and therefore all the way to Denver. While we could have hiked on beyond the creek we choose that as our turn around, making it a hike of almost 3 miles.

Best Time of Year to Visit: This was our first hike on this trail. Seeing how muddy it was at the end of our hike, once the rain and hail started up, we will avoid it during the wet time of year. There are some rough parts of the trail that may not be fun to trek through in freezing conditions as well. We are saving this one for fair weather in the future.

2 comments… add one

  • tamara October 30, 2013, 12:11 pm

    I always love spotting the soft moss and unusual lichen. These are lovely! And the old hive looks huge and wonderful – did you take some home with you?

    There seems to be a lot of sedimentary rock in the area. It seems to tell its own story.

    I must say I don’t know much about cottonwoods but they do look beautiful this time of years – and very tall!

    • dawn October 30, 2013, 1:02 pm

      We could not resist a few samples of wild bee hive!
      The yellow trees in this area are actually aspen. It is a very yellow fall in this part of the world!

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