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Mountain Biking: Colorado > Pike and San Isabel National Forests > Leadville Ranger District

Quick Facts

Clohesy's Lake Four-Wheel Drive Road

Beginning Elevation: 9,948 Feet (3101.0 Meters)
Difficulty: Difficult extremely rough, for high clearance vehicles only
Elevation Gain: 1,012 Feet (315.5 Meters)
Ending Elevation: 11,040 Feet (3441.4 Meters)
Length, One-way: 3.2 Miles (5.33 Kilometers)
Road Number: 381

Satellite and Topo Map

General Description

Clohesy's Lake 4wd Road, crossing Clear Creek
Copyright: John Cys
Clohesy's Lake 4wd Road, crossing Clear Creek
Clohesy's Lake Road begins at Clear Creek Road in Rockdale, about 2 miles west of Vicksburg. Rockdale consists of five cabins on the south side of the road. The road ends 1/2 mile before Clohesy's Lake where the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness begins.

The road is extremely rough road, and recommended for high clearance vehicles only. At the beginning of the road there is a steep, difficult stream crossing of Clear Creek where early summer high water flows occur. The entire route is heavily forested. Pear Lake Trail is accessible from Clohesy's Lake.

Directions from Highway 24: Turn on to Clear Creek Road, which is 2 miles south of Granite, and drive 2 miles west of the historic town of Vicksburg. You'll reach Rockdale, another historic town, which consists of 4 to 5 cabins on the south side of the road. Turn left on to Forest Road 388, this is Clohesy's Lake Road.

Seasonal Information:
Normally Accessible: May through September (NOTE: Snow may obstruct the road during the Spring, Summer and Fall months.) .

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

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Filed By: Amanda Collen (colorado springs, CO)
Time of Day: three days
Length of Time: three days
Difficulty: Easy
Number of People Encountered: 11-25 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: We went camping up by the lake which we've done before and encountered only friendly fisherman and seasoned outdoorsman. Very scary was a large group of about 15 that clearly had no knowledge of the area or terrain, they also camped, leaving food out, litter, were unprepared for any wildlife encounters, lost the small children in their group SEVERAL times, then held up four vehicles that were prepared for the trail on the way down by not moving over and being in vehicle that required they get out and build rock-ramps every few hundred yards to avoid scratching bottom of their vehicles. PLEASE DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS AREA FOR A DAY OR NIGHT WITHOUT BEING FULLY PREPARED AND KNOWLEDGEABLE! You bring risk to others who know what they're doing.
Conditions: Lots of mud and light rain, some frost one morning but nothing unmanageable. Pack for all four seasons if camping. Otherwise is beautiful and peaceful, a rare find.
Water Availability: Three coolers full.

Filed By: Seth Cutter (Erie, CO)
Time of Day: 1:00pm
Length of Time: 4 hours
Difficulty: Hard
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: May 15 was too early in the year to get to the lake. We winched through several 3' snow drifts, but had to turn around only halfway to the lake. Based on what I saw, it should be passable in 4 weeks for vehicles with lockers, and 6 weeks for stock vehicles with sufficient clearance.
Conditions: Heavy, deep snow drifts in the forested areas. Winch and lockers were used heavily to power through the snow. In the end, I could not get to the lake with a Wrangler lifted 6", lockers front and rear, and a 9,500lb winch.
Water Availability: Stream at beginning of the trail was 22" deep at the deepest point. We had 3 gallons on board and it was sufficient for three people for the four hours on the trail.

Filed By: Gary Moran (Agency, MO)
Time of Day: early afternoon
Length of Time: less than one hour total maybe 15- 20 min walk to the lake
Difficulty: Easy
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: Steep rocky section just after the creek crossing, but not difficult. Very enjoyable drive and the lake is beautiful, but the hatchery had burned down.
Water Availability: I always have a 5 gal can with me.

Filed By: Rob (Northglenn, CO)
Time of Day: 1:00PM
Length of Time: 1 hour
Difficulty: Easy
Number of People Encountered: 25-50 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Neutral
Report: Toughest part was getting around all the stock unexperienced 4 wheel drives. Please remember the vehicle traveling down hill needs to yeild to vehicle going up hill. Remember it is easier to maintain control backing up hill then rolling down hill in reverse. Don't let the difficult water crossong scare you it is real lame and not as steep as you are lead to believe. Wildcat canyon had more dificult water crossing than this place. Altough, if you are from texas or never four wheeled before this may look difficult. I let my 16 year drive the trail to cut his teeth on an easy beginning trail.
Conditions: Some small easy mud bogs but nothing a stock 4wd couldn't handle
Water Availability: Gallon of water.

Filed By: John M. Cys (Wichita Falls, TX)
Time of Day: Morning and part of afternoon
Length of Time: 6 hours (including time spent at the lake)
Difficulty: Easy
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: The toughest part of the trip is at the start. Clear Creek has to be forded. My friend and I inspected the crossing before attempting it. The water was 2 to 2.5 ft. deep, clear and smooth and presented no problem. However, earlier in the season during spring runoff extreme caution should be used. After crossing Clear Creek there is a steep rough road up the slope into the Lake Fork valley. Once in the valley it is an easy ,gradually climbing 4-wheel drive road to the parking area 1/2 mile from the lake where there is plenty of parking. I drove up a moderately short steep stretch of road above the main parking area to a metal gate across the road where there is limited parking. From here it is a 1/4 mile walk to the lake. The most interesting feature is an old fish hatchery dating from the 1880's which has been restored and enlarged. This is where we ate lunch while enjoying a splendid view of the lake and surrounding peaks. The only people we met were a few fishermen at the lake. Although the road up the valley is primarily in forest, there are several open areas which give good views up and down the valley. Near the start there are the remains of a couple of old miner's cabins to the west of the road. A very enjoyable trip.
Conditions: Light rain for 30 minutes at the lake. It did not affect the road any.
Water Availability: The two of us had one quart of water each which was enough.

Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Cold Water Fishing Clohesy's Lake
ICON Four-Wheel Driving Clohesy's Lake Four-Wheel Drive Road
ICON Hiking & Walking Pear Lake Trail
ICON Mountain Biking Clohesy's Lake Road
ICON Motorcycle Riding Clohesy's Lake Road

Related Activities
Clear Creek Road - Clear Creek Road is passable by most two-wheel drive vehicles. Many recreation opportunities are accessible from this road including hiking, fishing, viewing scenery, touring historic sites, mountain biking and four-wheel driving.

Pear Lake Trail - Pear Lake Trail continues into the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness beyond Clohesy's Lake Road (Forest Road 338). The trailhead is located approximately 1/3 of a mile from the end of the road to the east.

More Information

Visitor Information:

Leadville Ranger District, U.S. Forest Service, 2015 North Poplar , Leadville, CO, 80461, Phone: 719-486-0749, Fax: 719-486-0928


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