Silver Crk/Grizzly Gulch Trailhead


Range: San Juan Mountains
Coordinates: 37.93694, -107.46083
14ers: Redcloud Peak, Sunshine Peak, Handies Peak
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Road Difficulty

Easy 4WD, good clearance recommended. 3   (0=Paved, 6=Very Difficult 4WD)
Rough 2WD dirt to the TH. In spring and early summer, portions of the road may be a bit rough and require Easy 4WD.

Driving Directions

First, take Highway 149 to Lake City. From Lake City, drive about 2 miles south on Colorado 149 and turn right on County Road 30 toward Lake San Cristobal and Cinnamon Pass. From the start of the 30 road, it's nearly 16 miles to the trailhead. Stay right near 11.8 miles. After 12.5 miles the road becomes more rough, and between 13 and 14.5 miles it's a shelf road that hugs the south side of Sunshine Peak. Before 16 miles, reach the trailhead in an open area. Parts of this road are rough, but when it's dry good-clearance 2WD vehicles should be able to get to the trailhead.

Winter Access

Usually closed about 6 miles below the TH.
Status Updates 
Posted By: Boggy B
Info: Mostly snow-free from Lake City. With current forecast could be totally dry in a week.
Posted By: greenleaf11
Info: Road is in good shape though pretty rutted out post washouts - no issues with Outback, Tacoma, or similar SUVs. I did see a Civic at the trailhead - kudos. The shelf part of the road is pretty harrowing if you don’t like drop offs and exposure.
Posted By: E_A_Marcus_949
Info: Similar to the 8/6 report - all clear and good. Great clearing work done from the washouts earlier this summer. The road is in a tad rougher shape than last year, though I did randomly see Prius that made it to the TH. About 1.7-1.5mi to the trailhead is some newer washout area.
Easy enough to get to in a Forester - plenty of jeeps, trucks, subarus, etc. I wrapped my car but didn’t hear of any critter activity.

The side-by-sides and 4wheelers seemed to have gotten much more rude the last few years, too, especially this year - not knowing up has right-of-way (yes it depends sometimes on who has a pull over but in my drive up Saturday afternoon it wasn’t like this), people being rude in general, etc., so just watch-out and be alert for where you may be able to pull over.
Posted By: patrickmcl89
Info: Road is in good shape to the trailhead. Can make it in 2wd, although awd or 4x4 would be ideal. Rockslides have been cleared, all but one was dry.
Posted By: Old Swampy
Info: The road has been restored following recent landslides with some attendant new bumps along the way. We made it to the trailhead pre-dawn with careful driving to avoid the ruts and potholes. Two Kia Sorentos were there along with Subarus and numerous higher clearance vehicles. 2WD all the way, but with care.
Posted By: mtgoatmike
Info: County Road 30 (from Lake City) is drivable in any vehicle. If you are in a 2wd just take your time and navigate the potholes accordingly. During my time at the trailhead we received torrential rain which caused multiple rock/mud slides between the trailhead and Lake City, stranding some drivers. Luckily my stock 2012 Tacoma made it over Cinnamon Pass (to Silverton) with zero issue.
Posted By: kyleschulz
Info: County Road 30 is closed temporarily due to 2 rock slides yesterday. The gate at the 11 mile mark is closed. The slides are ~4 miles from the trailhead for Red Cloud and Handies. The county does not know when they will reopen. We were there at 5:30am and there were 2 large Front End Loaders parked. If your planning on climbing either peak this weekend, don’t.
Posted By: pater
Info: Made it to the TH in a Pontiac Vibe (2WD hatchback). A bit rough, but no major issues. Did not attempt to continue on to American Basin. No varmint issues. Very buggy, especially as you get closer to Lake Fork.
Posted By: HikerGuy
Info: I was car camping at the pullout above the Cooper Creek TH and had some porcupine trouble. Drove down to the SC/GG trailhead and not sure if I brought the pork down with me, but had trouble there as well. My sincerest apologies to the couple in the pickup truck if I did indeed bring the porcupine down with me, I thought I had shushed it away. I ended up leaving SC/GG for a site between SC/GG and Cooper Creek and had an uneventful rest of the night. The next day I found a note on my car when I returned from my hike, a very nice couple tried to scare a marmot out of my engine compartment. TLDR; You might want to consider some varmint protection measures (fencing, tarp) if parking in the area.
Posted By: Kiefer
Info: Road completely dry from Lake City. Trailhead is likewise, completely dry on both sides.
Posted By: Flyingfish
Info: Easy driving to the th with a 4x4 car. Should be good to go with a decent clearance vehicle for the rest of the year.
Posted By: gregpeak
Info: The road is clear and dry all the way to the trailhead.
Posted By: KyaCav
Info: Just got off the phone with Hinsdale County, they said road is open to the trailhead. Woohoo.
Posted By: Tornadoman
Info: Road remained closed/gated at the normal winter cutoff near the CR 30/35 split.
Posted By: RWSchaffer
Info: The road to the trailhead is closed at a winter closure gate about four miles below the trailhead (pictured). The first half mile beyond the gate is plowed and dry to allow workers access to a road drainage construction project. The next mile or so alternates dry patches with shallow, supportive, crusted snow. Farther along the road, snow becomes deeper, more continuous and less supportive. At the trailhead, snow is a good foot deep and mostly not supportive, consisting of a few inches of fresh snow atop a base that collapses almost all the way to the ground when stepped on in snowshoes.
Posted By: Squirrellysquirrel
Info: Cinnamon pass is closed for the season. No TH access to Silver/Grizzly unless you walk the shelf road... Sherman TH is accessible. Road is plowed to Cataract Gulch TH and can be driven with a 2WD vehicle at this time.
Posted By: Squirrellysquirrel
Info: As of yesterday afternoon, it was sloppy muddy and with melting snow (2-4) for the drive past MillCreek TH, didnt get to Grizzly TH. Conditions are probably okay at colder temperatures, may want to exercise caution when driving in the afternoon melt. Several rock falls along the way, after clearing up the 4th round and rocks fell again while I was clearing the road... called it a day and turned short maybe a mile from TH.
Posted By: supranihilest
Info: A few small ice patches (more like strips of ice; completely avoidable) and some water-filled potholes (they will be frozen in the morning) but nothing serious.
Posted By: supranihilest
Info: The road seems rougher than I remember it. 4WD isn’t required but moderate clearance is. You MIGHT be able to get up to the trailhead in a low clearance 2WD vehicle with very careful driving but there are ample potholes and exposed rocks on the road.
Posted By: HikesInGeologicTime
Info: Summer conditions. A Honda Civic made it to the parking lot.
Posted By: Mzapo
Info: Road to trailhead is dry and can be made in a low clearance vehicle, with the caveat being that careful navigational around rocks and large pot holes is required. I made it there and back in a charger, however I did bottom lightly twice. That being said the aspens leaves were changing colors yielding some distraction, so likely a bit more caution would have served well and avoided those instances. Restrooms were restocked on this day with supplies.
Posted By: SamWerner
Info: Confirming past reports, I made it to the trailhead in my Toyota Corolla without any bottom-scraping or real difficulty. Speaking of bottom-scraping, make sure you bring your own TP, the toilets don’t have any (as of now at least).
Posted By: hotrodlx
Info: Clear road to the trailhead. There are outhouses there! No fires statewide currently allowed. Lovely friendly blacktail doe that will play with your dogs at the trailhead. Easy to get up the road in a 2wd vehicle. No problem. No snow on road.
Posted By: Jnaffy
Info: Easy. Never need 4wd or substantial clearance. I did In a stock wrangler
Posted By: Pedro F
Info: Difficulty 1 until perhaps mile 10, then it changes to Difficulty 3...there are stretches on the latter portion where it’s a bit rowdy; also a couple of segments where it’s somewhat steep. But I can’t seem to recall it being both rowdy and steep at the same time, so it seems like one could take a sedan up there if you are slow and deliberate (most vehicles at the TH were SUV’s ranging from an X3 to Escapes to Jeeps; or Subies...but there was a Chevy Malibu there as well). Probably about half a dozen spots on the road where there are rocks sticking up that could pose a clearance problem for sedans...but it always seemed like these could be avoided by carefully choosing your line.

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