Ceran St. Vrain Trail, Ceran St. Vrain Trailhead - Jamestown, Boulder - Denver - Golden - Fort Collins - Lyons, Colorado

Ceran St. Vrain Trail - 3.85 miles

Ceran St. Vrain Trailhead - Jamestown

The Ceran St. Vrain Trail follows South St. Vrain Creek through a serene forest

The Ceran St. Vrain Trail follows South St. Vrain Creek through a serene forest

Round-Trip Length: 3.85 miles
Start-End Elevation: 8,365' - 8,105' (8,365' max elevation)
Elevation Change: -260' net elevation loss (+495' total roundtrip elevation gain)
Skill Level: Easy-Moderate
Dogs Allowed: Yes
Bikes Allowed: Yes
Horses Allowed: Yes
Related Trails:

Ceran St. Vrain Trail - 3.85 Miles Round-Trip

The Ceran St. Vrain Trail closely follows a two mile stretch of South St. Vrain Creek, whose origin lies with Isabelle Glacier atop the Continental Divide some 10+ miles away and 3,700' above.

Trail Map | Photo Gallery

The trail is named for Ceran St. Vrain (1802 - 1870), a fur trader, politician and settler who established several trading posts and military forts along this creek and the South Platte River.

This mild trail leads through pristine upper-montane forests, an inclusive ecological transition zone of lodgepole pine, spruce, fir and aspen. The riparian corridor it follows supports bigtooth maple, thin leaf alder, box elder and willow, which combine to produce brilliant autumn colors.

Summer flowers thrive along the creek, notably columbine, wild rose and the prized Fairy Slipper Orchid. Visitors will enjoy good trail conditions, mild grades, easy stream access, desirable backcountry camping locations and excellent fishing:

The trail begins over a long bridge with good up and down-stream views. Once over it turns north and undulates mildly up the creek's west bank with little net elevation loss to its unofficial terminus at the 801-252 Jeep road split (1.92 miles : 8,105').

The trail is generally clear and well-padded from layers of fallen pine needles, but negotiates a few high, narrow ledges on the first half mile that are tricky when iced over. Beyond that, it travels easily through intervals of mixed pine, narrow-walled passages, and broad stream shoulders.

Though campsites are unmaintained, many are well-established and easy to find.

No sign marks the trail's end, however it suddenly widens at the 801-252 4WD Jeep fork. A good map will lead you up Road 801 to another series of dirt road connections and unmarked trail spurs, one of which scales the summit of Miller Rock (8,646').

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Interactive GPS Topo Map

Key GPS Coordinates - DATUM WGS84

  • N40 07.471 W105 26.517 — Ceran St. Vrain Trailhead
  • N40 07.771 W105 26.581 — .5 miles : Travel along elevated, narrow ledge
  • N40 08.156 W105 26.447 — 1.0 mile mark
  • N40 08.459 W105 26.387 — 1.5 mile mark
  • N40 08.690 W105 26.376 — 1.92 miles : End of Trail @ Road 801 and 252 split

Worth Noting

  • This versatile, 3-4 season trail accommodates hikers, runners, cyclists, equestrians, backcountry campers, fishermen and winter recreationalists. Anticipate heavy use by all, and follow proper yield protocols. Arrive early to secure parking and a measure of solitude.

  • There is excellent fishing all along the creek. Due to heavy use, catch and release is voluntary but strongly encouraged by the state.

  • Cannon Mountain (8,615') is visible from the end of the trail.

Camping and Backpacking Information

  • Dispersed camping is permitted along the Ceran St. Vrain Trail. There are no designated sites, however many are well established from regular use along the creek. Group sizes are limited to 12 individuals.

  • Fires are permitted unless otherwise indicated. Call in advance for status.

  • Camp at least 200' from the trailhead, trail and creek. Practice Leave No Trace ethics.

Fishing Information

  • Saint Vrain Creek (N) - Boulder County
    From Horse Creek downstream to inlet of Button Rock Reservoir:
    a. Artificial flies and lures only.
    b. Bag and possession limit for trout is 2.
    c. Brook Trout may not exceed 8 inches.

    6060 Broadway, Denver, CO 80216
    (303) 297-1192

Directions to Trailhead

The Ceran St. Vrain Trailhead is located 5 miles past Jamestown, Colorado.

From Boulder.
Travel 5.5 miles north on Highway 36 to Lefthand Canyon. Turn left on Lefthand Canyon and drive 8.4 miles to Jamestown. Continue straight through Jamestown.

The road - now also known as Overland Road - will turn into a dirt road 4.5 miles beyond Jamestown (ignore the fork on your left where this transition occurs). Continue .4 miles on this dirt road to the Ceran St. Vrain Trailhead sign on your right. Turn right. The Trailhead is located .15 miles from this turnoff.

Contact Information

USDA Forest Service: Roosevelt National Forest
2140 Yarmouth Ave.
Boulder, CO 80301

Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests
2150 Centre Ave., Building E
Fort Collins, CO 80526

Trip Reports

There are no trip reports on this trail.


"Trail is now clear of trees....thank you to the crew that did it! I recommend going further to Miller's Rock for the outstanding views."
JLSing  -  Boulder  -  Date Posted: June 6, 2017
"Trail is open but there are MANY trees blown down across the path, which you must climb over, under, or around."
Prue Larson  -  Longmont, CO  -  Date Posted: May 29, 2017
"Great trail. A little steep in some places, but overall very leisurely with great views. There was a fair amount of people. Once I got past the campers, though, it was pretty quiet. No snow, my dog loved playing in the stream. Very pretty."
Jazz R  -  Arvada  -  Date Posted: May 21, 2016
"Ran this trail with both dogs. The trail was almost completely covered in snow but the snow was already packed down by skis / snowshoes. Beautiful rolling trail. The service road (to Miller Rock) at the end was almost completely dry and had great views from the top."
Jen87  -  United States  -  Date Posted: March 14, 2015
"Is there any prospecting on this crk?"
Gary Trout  -  Grand Junction Co.  -  Date Posted: February 9, 2014
"Beautiful hike. I continued up to Mitchell Rocks and took a lot of photos. I didn't realize there were campsites. I will definitely be coming back to check that out. One word of caution is that the mountain bikers aren't always aware of the hikers especially given the blind corners on the trail. I was almost run down on the the way back because the biker was going way too fast."
VWrecker  -  Boulder, CO  -  Date Posted: August 18, 2013
"A beautiful easy hike along the creek. Many hikers do not respect the dogs-on-leash rule. We'd like to come back and camp."
ckline515  -  Boulder  -  Date Posted: May 26, 2013
"This is a great trail but there are a lot of people on it. The trail is a little to thin in areas so it makes it tough to get around other people at some points. I will continue to hike it because of the beauty of the area. "
MWeaver  -  Nederland CO  -  Date Posted: September 27, 2012


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