Hike the McGee Creek Natural Scenic Recreation Area Loop

Rate this Adventure McGee Creek Natural Scenic Area Trailhead

A little-known, but beautiful scenic area containing over 25 miles of hiking trails and a number of camping areas. This area contains scenic creek beds, rock formations, canyons, and many beautiful overlooks.

There are a number of different routes to be taken throughout the 25-mile plus trail system. The main loop is about 10 miles in length, and is mostly gradual inclines, but does contain a few steep sections that descend into, or ascend out of Little Bugaboo, Bugaboo, and Wildcat Canyons. The creeks at the bottoms of these canyons are intermittent and depend on recent precipitation. The autumn leaves in this area begin to change in the middle of October and last through the end of November. Camping with more amenities is available at nearby McGee Creek State Park (about 30 minutes away). Make sure to stop at the ranger station at the park entrance in order to self register (no fees required).

You could do a portion of the trail system in a single day, depending on your abilities, or you could spend a day or two backpacking through the entire trail system. Note that the campsites within the area have virtually no amenities. The trails were well-maintained and clear of brush, and for the most part, clearly marked with blazes on the trees.

Pack List

  • Usual hiking and/or backpacking supplies
  • Trail map: A note about this trail map. After passing campsite B3 on the Wildcat Canyon Trail, to stay on the main loop, you will take the trail that breaks off to the southeast through an open meadow (marked by piles of rocks) instead of the trail that breaks off southwest and descends towards the lake. Other than this one spot, the trails were fairly clearly marked.
  • GPS: a few of the trail-markings can get a little confusing, so having a GPS, that does not require a cellphone connection (service is spotty at best) with programmable waypoints is a plus.
  • Good hiking boots/shoes: waterproof if there has been recent rains given the creek crossings
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RT Distance 10 Miles
Elevation Gain 400 Feet
Activities Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Loop
Easy Parking

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