Rock of Ages Trailhead


Range: San Juan Mountains
Coordinates: 37.88296, -108.01848
14ers: Wilson Peak, Mt. Wilson, El Diente Peak
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Road Difficulty

Easy 4WD, good clearance recommended. 3   (0=Paved, 6=Very Difficult 4WD)
Easy 4WD dirt to the TH. A few rough sections and the stream crossing at Big Bear Creek make good-clearance a must on this road. A 2WD vehicle will have troubles crossing the creek but you could park along the road, before the creek crossing, leaving you 1.2 miles from the trailhead.

Driving Directions

From Ridgway, leave U.S. 550 and take Colorado 62 toward Telluride. Drive over Dallas Divide, down to Placerville and turn left onto Colorado 145. Drive 6.7 miles and turn right onto the Silver Pick road (dirt). From here, it's 8.5 miles to the trailhead. Drive 4 miles to an intersection and turn right onto "59 H" which is also Forest Road 622. Continue 2.3 miles, turn right onto FR 645 and continue 2.2 miles to the Rock of Ages trailhead, near 10,350'. Notes: After 1 mile on the FR 645 road, you must cross the stream in Big Bear Creek which usually isn't too bad by mid-July. Also, there are some designated camp sites along this road.

Winter Access

Usually closed near the intersection, 4 miles up from pavement.
Status Updates 
Posted By: battend
Info: There was an inch or two of snow in shady parts of the Elk Creek Road, especially on the last 1.5 miles to the trailhead. We were in a CR-V without snow tires so parked a quarter mile before the stream crossing and walked the rest of the way to the trailhead. The hill on the west side of the creek crossing was deeply rutted and muddy, so we felt we’d made the right decision. There were many soft and slippery places on the way back to the car in the afternoon. We probably could have made it, but it would have been dicey, and it wouldn’t have done the roadway any good.
Posted By: mtgoatmike
Info: Road is clear, a few spots need some extra attention if driving a 2wd vehicle. The small creek crossing before the trailhead has water, 4wd will have no problems crossing, 2wd/low clearance might have a harder time with traction. Road does get narrow for those with wider vehicles. Leaves are in peek peepin’!
Posted By: LetsGoMets
Info: AWD accessible. Big Bear Creek is easily crossed.
Posted By: supranihilest
Info: I drive a 23-foot Sprinter van and easily got to the trailhead with the 4x4 off. Thus you can probably get anything with more clearance than a sedan up there. The porta-potties are freshly cleaned and stocked with TP, but neither has a working hand sanitizer dispenser.
Posted By: shelly+
Info: Crosstreked it!
Posted By: sdicenso
Info: We camped two miles before as my friend wasn’t sure if his Crosstrek would make it to the trailhead. He hopped in with me in the morning to ride up. The creek crossing is very low and most of the rock is pretty manageable. Joe said that the road definitely looks Subaruable. There were two other Subaru’s that made it there. Would definitely use your lower gears going down, preferably 4WD low if you have it. Definitely steep in spots.
Posted By: MountainBuhn
Info: Didnt get to TH until midnight fri/sat. Was super easy in my crosstrek. IMO, this should be rated a 2, but admittedly the creek was low. Anyone can do the straddle moves before and after the creeks with just a little driving competence. PS: not enough camp spots. We had to back track quite a ways to find one and it was more of a pullout than an actual spot. Camping at the TH seems to be socially acceptable as long youre sleeping in your car.
Posted By: bangerth
Info: Easy drive all the way up with an Outback. Probably also possible with not too much trouble (though maybe slower) with a Civic, including getting across the little creek.
Posted By: ScreeSurfer
Info: Road was plowed and passable with all wheel drive to Big Bear creek before large tree blocked passage. This adds a little more than a mile each way to Summer time Rock of Ages trailhead.
Posted By: msparks2104
Info: Hiked Wilson Peak 10/21. Silver Pick road is actually quite tame all the way up to the stream crossing which is currently bone dry. We made it to right before the stream crossing in a tiny Mazda Cx 3, the epitome of zero ground clearance. The Cx 3 did have AWD which helped on the steep parts. Bounced a few rocks off the bottom but that’s it.
Posted By: joeygoat9
Info: 4WD not required because the road never gets too steep. Clearance is a must though - can’t imagine how people would get a sedan to the TH like the previous report. Roughest section is right before/after the creek crossing. Before the creek crossing there’s big potholes, and after there’s a huge rut down the middle of the road that requires you to straddle a section that’s a few inches higher than your tires for maybe 100 ft. If you have at least a crossover you’ll be fine.
Posted By: austinpavlas
Info: Made it the trailhead in a four wheel drive sedan with only 4.2 inches of clearance. Wasnt the fastest drive, but I did not scrap once. The creek was low and easily crossable. Biggest issue is the large mud pit right before the creek, but the bottom is solid and can be easily driven through.
Posted By: CaptCO
Info: Multiple fallen trees which were sawed and moved out of the way. I have a F150 and could barely squeeze between a couple. If you care about your paint job bring a ratchet strap to move the trees more so. Overall should be no worries, creek crossing was very very low. Theres NO camping at the TH and the last dispersed site is roughly 1/4 mile from the TH. Probably around 4 dispersed sites total. Easy 4WD/Rough anything else
Posted By: Kiefer
Info: Road is plowed roughly 4.7 miles. Road condition is packed snow, slush & some mud. At 4.7 miles, the road is plowed but it’s old. There is new (old) snow. A 4x4 could probably go further but don’t risk it in a 2-wheel drive. Not much room. Maybe one car but that’s about it.
Posted By: wintersage
Info: Had no issue getting to the trailhead in a stock 4runner. Right before the stream crossing there is a sizable dip that needs a little bit of care to negotiate, but other than that the road is pretty mellow.
Posted By: connorhodes
Info: Road to trailhead is pretty mellow. Creek crossing is only a couple inches and we saw some smaller cars (corolla, charger) past it. Any SUV should probably be able to make it and a smaller car might be able to with some careful driving.
Posted By: Cranfillpe
Info: Creek crossing about 6 inches deep
Mud puddle about 6 inches deep

Both have enough good rocks on the bottom to cross w out sinking

Made it all the way to the TH in my Sprinter (RWD, about 8 inches clearance)
Posted By: alpinenut
Info: Just drove to Rock of Ages in Jeep. No problems now. Just like description says. Creek crossing is about 6 inches. No snow or trees blocking road now.
Posted By: dwoodward13
Info: I drove a Camry up to the TH and its really not bad. The first 4 miles are cruiser. From there up to the creek crossing, it’s steep, but just going slow provided no issues. Only minor issues are a mud hole directly before the creek cross and the creek crossing. The mud hole is pretty dug out in the center so there is no option to hug the sides without high centering in a passenger car, but water was only a few inches deep and it appeared the bottom was actual rocks. With a good line choice, I pretty easy passed the mud hole, and at the current time the creek crossing is only a few inches deep and an non issue. A minivan was also at the TH.

Any car more capable than a Camry will not blink twice.
Posted By: zsmith
Info: There is a considerable mud hole before the creek crossing that will be a challenge for many 2WD, or CUV vehicles. It’s passable, but deep and uneven. The creek crossing was not too bad, but will also be slightly challenging for smaller vehicles. Overall, getting to the trail head in a 2WD vehicle will be about a 3 out of 5
Posted By: mbccacduo
Info: I am trying to get information about the ability to drive up to the upper trailheads or are these just higher camp areas? I see online that Navajo Basin and Navajo Lake make it shorter but i don’t see any info about driving. I do see in the pictures that it looks like jeep roads. Can anyone share insight on the road access to higher trailheads? Thank you
Posted By: RWinters
Info: Clearance is the key. With the recent monsoon moisture a good mud hole has developed just before Big Bear Creek. Still passable for 2wd with clearance.
Posted By: Patrickk
Info: Road is in excellent condition. Creek crossing is very low and not much of an issue. Any car with ok clearance will be able to make it to the trailhead.
Posted By: annsparks
Info: Great condition for a road rated easy 4WD. Several low clearance vehicles made it all the way up without issue. The three main problems puddle one, puddle two and the creek crossing are shown and were not problems at all. Puddle one dry. Puddle two easy to get around. Creek super low.
Posted By: dude4mountains
Info: Road is clear and dry to the TH. If you make it as far as the creek, the pothole and creek crossing should be no problem.

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