North Lake Creek Trailhead


Range: Sawatch Range
Coordinates: 39.11573, -106.538
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Road Difficulty

2WD, easy dirt road 1   (0=Paved, 6=Very Difficult 4WD)

Driving Directions

From U.S. 24 south of Leadville, take Colorado 82 west towards Twin Lakes. Drive approx. 18.5 miles on Colorado 82 to reach the marked trailhead entrance on the right. It's right before a switchback on the highway. Drive 0.1 mile down a dirt road to reach the trailhead parking area.

Winter Access

Highway 82 (Independence Pass) usually closes by November 1st for the winter. Once it's closed, this trailhead is inaccessible.
Status Updates 
Posted By: mikemalick
Info: Just FYI knowing you need to cross the North Fork Lake Creek to get to Mt Champion or Lackawanna from this TH, the stream level is low enough where there are lots of spots to easily rock hop across. We took sandals to cross, but never needed them.
Posted By: angry
Info: Dry to th.
Posted By: Makbrad
Info: 82 is still open and dry, although likely not for long if they choose to close 11/7. Several people have been to North Lake Creek TH, avoidable snow, mostly dry. Clear and open.
Posted By: supranihilest
Info: Obviously open now that Independence Pass is open. As previously reported all of the avalanche debris has been removed. No official campsites at the trailhead but it’s a pretty small, quiet one, you could probably car camp easily.
Posted By: Trotter
Info: Independence pass closed and gated about 3 miles below the TH. The CO DOT webpage is WRONG. It says its closed 2 miles west of the TH, but it is closed 3 miles east of it.
Posted By: WildWanderer
Info: All avalanche debris has been cleared from parking area. Open and summer conditions.
Posted By: madmattd
Info: The trailhead was hit by an avalanche this winter, it’s open now but debris is everywhere. The 0.1mi or so road into the TH is pretty bumpy but should be passable by any vehicle with a little care (a Civic made it in fine). Not a ton of parking, partially due to the remaining avalanche debris, but room for 6-8 vehicles. TH signboard appears to have survived the avalanche but has no signage of any kind on it. The stream crossing for the Lackawanna approach was flowing fairly fast, knee-deep and quite cold in the morning, though it felt nicer in the afternoon on sore feet.
Posted By: supranihilest
Info: Totally wiped out by an avalanche. I’m not sure if it’s actually officially closed or not but it doesn’t matter, just look at the pictures to see what a mess it is (and don’t forget you’ll probably have to cross Lake Creek, which is raging right now).
Posted By: JasonKline
Info: My Elantra easily made it to the trailhead.
Posted By: Yikes
Info: Able to drive across the creek from the TH pretty easily (blue). On the way out, took the longer 4wd road back to the highway (red). Very narrow, willows and evergreens scratching up both side of the Xterra. Had to drive over a small downed tree and through several deep mud holes. Don’t recommend this if you care about your paint job.
Posted By: BillMiddlebrook
Info: The 0.1 mile of dirt road leading into the TH is a bit rough but most vehicles should be able to make it.

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