Jennings Creek Trailhead


Range: Sawatch Range
Coordinates: 38.60050, -106.27888
14ers: Tabeguache Peak, Mt. Shavano
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Road Difficulty

Easy 4WD, good clearance recommended. 3   (0=Paved, 6=Very Difficult 4WD)
4WD dirt to the TH.

Driving Directions

Drive to the intersection of U.S. 285 and U.S. 50 in Poncha Springs. Go west on U.S. 50 for 6 miles and turn right on County Road (CR) 240. After 3 miles, CR 240 turns to dirt. Continue 0.6 mile to the Angel of Shavano trailhead, campground and picnic area. After the campground, the road turns to 4WD. Continue another 3.8 miles to reach the unmarked trailhead on the right. The total drive from U.S. 50 is approx. 7.6 miles. There's parking for 2 or 3 vehicles but you'll also find some pull-offs along the road, 0.25 mile below the trailhead and 0.4 mile above. Since the trailhead signs have been removed, it's easy to miss; Here are the coordinates: N 38.60050, W -106.27888

Winter Access

Closed over 5 miles below the TH.
Status Updates 
Posted By: BillMiddlebrook
Info: Open to the unmarked trailhead
Posted By: AnnaG22
Info: Clear and rocky, but just a note about clearance: I have a 2003 Subaru Outback and getting two miles up the road (and back down after) took a lot of anxiety and precision. I would not recommend this for anything with similar clearance. Higher clearance is helpful and DRIVE SLOWLY, my friends and I picked up another driver after his car...prematurely retired. The rocks can do some serious damage.
Posted By: asarsam
Info: 97% snow free to the trailhead- and the snow remaining is no threat to a required 4WD for the road. Trees and branches have been cleared so that there is passage.
Posted By: zombiewolf
Info: See Angel of Shavano TH Update for more information.
Posted By: BillMiddlebrook
Info: The Jennings Creek "trailhead" is still unmarked but it provides access to Tabeguache’s West Ridge route which is NOT the route that was closed back in 2003. Just after the Angel of Shavano campground, there’s a sign which states that Jennings Creek access to Tabeguache is CLOSED but this refers to the old route which went up the southwest ridge, not the west ridge.
Posted By: GregMiller
Info: Snow and mud turned around a subaru outback about 2 miles from the TH. If you have more ground clearance and/or knobbier tires, you‘d probably be fine. If you don‘t have more ground clearance, keep an eye out for some flat, light colored rocks in the middle of the road about 1.5 miles up from the Angel of Shavano trailhead - I knocked a hole in my exhaust on the way down, so you might want to roll them out of the way.
Posted By: flintster
Info: I just called the Salida Ranger district and the road is open again - and the speculation was that it was very dry.

Will stay open all winter for cross-country skiing and snowmobiling they stated.
Posted By: Vinegaroon
Info: 240 is closed from just West of Angel of Shavano Campground/Trailhead to it‘s terminus at Billings Lake (past North Fork Reservoir/Campground) until October 1, 2012 or until FS Order 12-14 is rescinded. Until that time the Jennings Creek Trailhead is inaccessible... Too bad, as I was planning a hike up Jennings Creek to the West Ridge (between Carbonate Mountain and Tabeguache) in an effort to knock out Tabeguache Peak in early September... Guess that hike will have to wait.
Posted By: mtnkub
Info: The road is CLOSED as of 07/29/2012; anticipated reopening was not posted. Closure starts just past the Angel of Shavano campground (i.e. ~3.8 mi from trailhead) and includes foot traffic. The closure is apparently for logging operations in the area.
Posted By: Cruiser
Info: The dirt section of the road past the Shavano campground is in good condition. It‘s rocky and bumpy but I wouldn‘t be surprised if a (very carefully driven) Subaru could make it to the old trailhead. There‘s a little water running down the road in places but it‘s nothing to worry about. There are a few very nice camping spots below the trailhead too. One of which is only about 3/10 of a mile away from it. Bill‘s GPS coordinates were right on for me as well.
Posted By: djkest
Info: Lots of downed trees have been cut, road is completely dry. You might have some fun dodging fallen rocks and some cut trees but otherwise should have no problems getting to the trailhead. Bill‘s GPS coordinates were spot-on and I recommend putting these coordinates in your GPS to find the trailhead. The road gets wider on both sides for about 30‘ right at the trailhead, and there are a bunch of very small tree stumps at the beginning.
Posted By: Boggy B
Info: The downed trees have been cut and the road is easily drivable to snowline a little over 10600‘, about 1/3 mi past Jennings Creek. Looks like it was quite an effort, and the drive through the carnage is pretty unique. Stock FJ Cruiser and Tacoma had no problems.

Snow above 10600‘ was super deep (3‘+) but melting fast so who knows...
Posted By: wbarnett
Info: A huge windstorm two weeks ago left dozens of downed trees on CR 240. We couldn‘t drive more than 0.6 miles past the Angel of Shavano campground, which is at least 6 miles from Billings Lake. Snowpack wasn‘t bad though. Up to 6 inches in some spots on the road. I hiked up to the North Fork Reservoir and then turned around.
Posted By: SnowAlien
Info: A lot of fresh new snow starting 0.4-0.5 miles after Angel of Shavano campground, making the road impassable unless in a serious 4WD (saw one Toyota Tacoma beyond that point). Had to park my Forrester and hoof up 3+ miles to the Jennings creek TH.
Posted By: Neil
Info: Dry and in good shape to the Jennings Creek TH for Tab. 4WD not required. Saw one Outback and what looked like an old-school Lincoln or Caddy...nice! Two cars can park at the TH, with additional parking less than 100 yards up and down the road. A number of great camping spots beyond Angel of Shavano TH closer to the Jennings Creek TH. ANGEL OF SHAVANO CAMPGROUND CLOSED FOR SEASON.
Posted By: ColoradoSherpa
Info: The road has some ice and about 3 to 4 inches of snow, but has packed tracks that make driving it easier. I was able to arrive at the Jennings Creek trail head without any problems in a stock 4wd.
Posted By: mattpayne11
Info: Snowy and icy up higher, but still pretty accessible to 4WD vehicles.
Posted By: tmathews
Info: Made it to the TH in 4WD. The road is icy and snowpacked in spots, but totally clear in others. Used the TH to go up the west ridge of Tab, NOT the closed route.
Posted By: 14erkid
Info: Road has mud and water in a few spots. The road is fine though. I saw a VW eurovan make it just fine to the TH.
Posted By: BillMiddlebrook
Info: Yes, this trailhead has been abandonded by the USFS, but they can‘t simply "close" off public land. They took down the signs but the trail remains. It provides good access to Tabegauche‘s west ridge and upper Jennings Creek. If you use it, be careful (as on all 14er routes). Accidents happen on many 14ers but we can‘t close trails based soley on that reason or we would be closing off many 14ers. Be careful out there people and plan ahead. Oh, and if you climb Tabeguache from the west ridge, don‘t descend into McCoy Gulch! This is public land but please be aware of the Sheriff Department‘s concerns and travel safe. BTW, the main reason that the Forest Service abandonded this route is because they could not maintain a sustainable trail up Tabe‘s southwest ridge.
Posted By: SarahT
Info: Totally dry still
Posted By: ktiffany
Info: Free and clear. Only one downed tree, but is easy to skirt around! 5-26-07

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