Coleman Rim Hike

Coleman Rim Hike, Fremont National Forest

Hike Rating: Moderate
Hike Length: 4.6 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 800’
Trailhead Elevation: 6,420’
Best Season: June through September
Driving Access: Any vehicle, once
     access road is snow-free and dry

Plus Points
• Dramatic, panoramic views from a mile-long rock escarpment
• A nominated Wilderness Area, featuring pristine mountain lion habitat
• Old growth forests of white fir and ponderosa have never been logged
• Wildflowers, aspen groves and possibly sandhill cranes on the approach hike
• Can be almost assured of solitude on this trek

Minus Points
• No official trail, so it's a moderate cross-country hike up to the rim
• Mosquitoes can be bothersome in Shepard Camp Meadow

Download (PDF, 617 KB): Photos of Coleman Rim Hike
Download (PDF, 452 KB): Topo Map for Coleman Rim Hike
Download (GPX, 4 KB): GPS Points for Coleman Rim Hike
Download (PDF, 528 KB): Road Map for Coleman Rim Hike

Trail Notes
Map of Coleman Rim Hike
The hike starts where Road 024 crosses Shepard Camp Creek, on the south bank at GPS Point 1. For the first half mile, the trail follows an old jeep double-track, then a single-track cow trail, up the dry southern edge of Shepard Camp Meadow. Look for sandhill cranes here. At the head of the meadow, keep following the creek bed uphill and southeast through mature fir and ponderosas to GPS Point 2.

At GPS Point 2, turn due east and climb gradually but steadily through open forest to the rim at GPS Point 3. Here you’ll find dramatic views to the east of the prairies and forests in the headwaters of the Chewaucan River Valley.

Even better views can be found a half mile southeast along the rim at GPS Point 4. There is no trail along the rim, but it’s easy to pick your way through the rocks. Remarkable here are the ancient, but stunted, fir and pine trees standing close to the rim's edge. Mountain lion sightings are also possible here. After lunch and a rest on the rim top, retrace your steps back to the trailhead below.

Road to Trailhead
The trailhead is easily accessible on good quality roads that can be traveled by any passenger car. From paved Road 3360, turn northeast on gravel Road 024 and drive about 1 mile to a road junction at the south edge of Lantern Flat. Bear right at this junction and continue on Road 024 approximately 0.9 miles to where it crosses Shepard Camp Creek. Park at a pullout on the south side of the creek, where the hike begins.

Camping Options
Dispersed campsites at Lantern Flat, Coleman Rim Hike
If self-contained with your own water and sanitation, dispersed camping is an option at Lantern Flat, just a mile from the trailhead. On the north edge of this flat is an old USFS fire camp, but no developed camping facilities. To reach this site from the road junction at the south edge of Lantern Flat, bear left on Road 013 (instead of going right on Road 024 to the trailhead).

Follow Road 013 northeast for about 0.2 miles, where a dirt side road drops to the right onto the flat. Before turning off Road 013, however, it's a good idea to walk out onto the flat and check the conditions, as the road and campsites can be muddy into late June. Also be prepared for lots of mosquitoes here, coming off the wet meadows.

The nearest developed campground is the Corral Creek Forest Camp, located about 5 miles north of the trailhead, off paved Road 34. Here are six free, nicely spaced campsites in a meadow and lodgepole pine setting, surrounded by a rail fence. This campground has a vault toilet, but no drinking water. Any size camping rig can find a place here.

Agency Contact: Fremont National Forest, Bly District, (541) 353-2427

DISCLAIMER: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this information, but the authors do not guarantee that it is either current or correct. The reader assumes full responsibility for any use of this information, and is encouraged to contact local federal land agencies to inquire about current conditions before traveling.

Page last updated: 12/23/11