The Devil’s Causeway
Located an hour south of Steamboat Springs, the Devil’s Causeway offers adventure seekers a thrilling hike with spectacular views in the heart of the Flat Tops Wilderness Area. The main attraction on this hike includes a rocky land bridge (the causeway) that is roughly 50 feet in length, and narrows to as little as 3 feet in width. Sheer cliffs and steep talus slopes surround the causeway and both sides. Whether you consider it frightening or thrilling, the Devil’s Causeway is a great way to explore the second largest U.S. Wilderness Area in the state of Colorado.
Just up the road from the town of Yampa, you’ll find Stillwater Reservoir and the trailhead for the Devil’s Causeway. The short 3 mile hike takes you through dense evergreen forests, meadows full of wildflowers and blue alpine lakes.
At roughly the two mile mark, the real climbing begins. Over the course of the next mile, the trail follows a series of steep switch-backs and you gain approximately 1,500 feet in elevation. Once you reach the top of the ridge, you are surrounded by sweeping vistas in all directions.
Once you have reached the causeway, you have a couple of options. If you are not a fan of heights, or there is inclement weather (rain, high winds, storms approaching, etc.), then you can enjoy the views and hike back via the same trail.
If you have the resolve to cross the causeway, and are looking for a longer hike, you can complete a beautiful one-way loop hike along the China Wall Trail. This scenic hike takes you through a series of picturesque alpine meadows, eventually returning you to Stillwater Reservoir.
Pack a picnic lunch and spend the afternoon relaxing by the reservoir, paddle boarding or fishing.
Emily Hines is the marketing and special events coordinator for the City of Steamboat Springs. Emily was born and raised in the Yampa Valley and attended the University of Oregon, where she received a Bachelor of Science in business administration with concentrations in marketing and sports business. In 2013, after seven years working on the East Coast for a lifestyle and sports marketing agency, she found her way back home to Steamboat. She loves the outdoors and enjoys sharing her adventures and all that Steamboat has to offer.
Read more from Emily here.
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