3 (0=Paved, 6=Very Difficult 4WD)
- From the Salida/Poncha Springs area, drive south on U.S. 285 to the top of Poncha Pass.
- From the pass, continue 4.5 miles and turn left onto an unmarked, dirt road.
- Drive 0.6 mile and stay right (FS Road 980) at a 3-way junction
- Continue 1.0 mile to a junction for FS 980 & FS 982
- Stay left on FS 980
- Drive 0.9 mile to reach a gate. Pass through the gate and close it behind you
- Continue 1.0 mile (still on FS 980) to reach a junction at 9,700', 3.5 miles from highway
- Turn right on FS 982 and drive a short distance to reach an excellent camp spot. Setting up a camp here and hiking the remaining 0.7 mile to the "trailhead" isn't a big deal and will save you having to make the 4WD stream crossing (below)
- Continue 0.7 mile on FS 982 to reach the Rock Creek trailhead (not an official USFS trailhead), just after a stream crossing
- The trail starts behind a gate.