West Winfield Trailhead


Range: Sawatch Range
Coordinates: 38.99366, -106.47108
14ers: La Plata Peak
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Road Difficulty

Moderate 4WD, long wheel base vehicles not recommended. Good clearance required. 4   (0=Paved, 6=Very Difficult 4WD)
2WD dirt to Winfield. 4WD to 10,700'.

Driving Directions

From Leadville: Drive 20 miles south on U.S. 24 and turn right on the Chaffee County 390 road. From Buena Vista: Drive 14.5 miles north on U.S. 24 and turn left on the Chaffee County 390 road.On the 390 road (dirt), drive 11.3 miles to Winfield. There are a bunch of log buildings here. Continue to a fork. The main road goes left but turn right onto the 4WD road for West Winfield. Parallel a fence for a bit before turning left. After about 0.4 miles, pass the Winfield Cemetery, which is marked by an explanatory sign. Shortly thereafter, pass a loop to your right, that provides some parking places. Continue a bit farther and you'll find a turn-off on the left that provides more parking. After driving approximately 1.7 miles up this 4WD road, a rough but obvious road rises to the right. Park near this junction or turn right up and drive the last few hundred yards and park below a gate where you'll find the start of the trail.

Winter Access

Closed near 9,200 feet - many miles below the TH.
Status Updates 
Posted By: E-dorvs
Info: Just as a reference for others wondering about this trailhead, we took a Subaru Outback Sport (not a full Outback but the Impreza frame) with 6.1" of clearance to within 1/4 mile of the trailhead and 1.2 miles past the "4WD, High Clearance Only" sign. We parked at the beginning of the open meadow just before the trailhead. The road isn‘t too bad with careful driving and there were a couple of Outbacks at the trailhead (parking area, not register).
Posted By: darklich14
Info: 08/02/09 summit went without a hitch. Was able to drive up to 50yd below trailhead registration in a stock 2005 4runner 4x4. 2wd would likely work, but I can attest to 4x4 working with enough clearance. Just a couple of tricky rocks near the top, but otherwise just a slow and bumpy ride.
Posted By: Aggie_05
Info: Climbed LaPlata on 7/24/09 and thought this trailhead description was accurate. Our xterra made it to the top just fine. Might be tricky to get an Outback up there though.
Posted By: theocdb3
Info: As of 12/11 there is snow but passible especially by a 4WD.
Posted By: emcee smith
Info: The road between Winfield and the trailhead (junction) is a bit rough, but not any worse than the bulk of the Gray‘s Peak road.

There was some ice on the road in sloped spots that made 4wd handy, but probably not necessary.

I wouldn‘t recommend driving very much past the turnoff to the actual trailhead, the road gets quite a bit rougher, and there are spots with tall rocks in tight corners, may be difficult to navigate without a spotter. Parking just up the road from the junction only adds about the 200 yards to the hike.
Posted By: KeithK
Info: Road is clear all the way to the trailhead; it is very rough and rocky beyond the cemetery, and there are 2 stream crossings.
Posted By: Hardboater
Info: At Winfield spoke with local summer residents who advised that remains of a winter snow avalanche still blocked access to the trail head at 10,700 ft. BTW another avalanche from the north side of the valley at Winfield hit a cabin knocking it off it‘s foundation.
Posted By: BillMiddlebrook
Info: Rode a snowmobile to 10,700‘ in the meadow where the smaller road turns uphill. Deep snow in the area, but sleds have packed down the trail to this area.
Posted By: ccunnin
Info: 07-08-07 The trail leading west of Winfield is pretty much clear all the way to the open field just shy of the trailhead. There is posted for high clearance 4x4 only. A smart driver can make it with AWD.
Posted By: Chris P.
Info: The road to Winfield is clear and the 4x4 road is clear for at least a mile. I didn’t drive any further, but I didn’t encounter any snow. There is quite a bit of runoff water running down the 4x4 road though.
Posted By: SarahT
Info: Road is clear to Winfield, could make it at least partways to the 4WD trailhead if willing to drive over boulders with several inches of snow
Posted By: Fluffy
Info: Drove the 4Runner to the 4x4 parking area without any problems on 18Jun2005. Some big rocks make a high clearance vehicle necessary.
Posted By: Chicago Transplant
Info: I drove the Clear Creek road today, and the road is clear and passable for all vehicles to the Winfield townsite. I did not continue beyond the town.

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