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

Quick Facts

South Fork Clear Creek Four-Wheel Drive Road

Beginning Elevation: 10,226 Feet (3187.7 Meters) Winfield
Difficulty: Difficult extremely rough, high-clearance vehicles only
Elevation Gain: 474 Feet (147.8 Meters) approximate
Ending Elevation: 10,700 Feet (3335.4 Meters) South Clear Creek Trailhead
Length, One-way: 2.0 Miles (3.33 Kilometers)
Road Number: 390 Forest Service Road

Satellite and Topo Map

General Description

South Fork Clear Creek valley from the Banker Mine dump
Copyright: David Cys
South Fork Clear Creek valley from the Banker Mine dump
The South Fork of Clear Creek Road begins at Winfield and ends at the road closure just south of the Banker Mine. The road passes the turnoff to the Banker Mine, a large privately owned patented mining claim, and continues on into and open alpine meadow with some excellent undeveloped camping sites. The road is extremely rough and recommended for high clearance vehicles only.
The following hiking trails may be accessed from this road: Continental Divide Trail, Lake Ann, Three Apostles, Huron Peak.

Directions from Highway 24: Clear Creek Road is about 19 miles south of Leadville or 14 miles north of Buena Vista, Colorado. Forest Road #120 is graveled and sometimes rough but satisfactory for most vehicles. Drive on Clear Creek Road for approximately nine miles to Vicksburg

Seasonal Information:
Normally Accessible: May through September (NOTE: Snow, mud and rock Falls may obstruct the road.) .

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

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Filed By: John Cys (Wichita Falls, TX)
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: In Winfield take the left road fork across the bridge. Standard vehicles can drive 1/4 mi. to the base of a moderately steep hill where a USFS sign advises only high-clearance vehicles should continue. This hill is the steepest part of the road. On top of the hill the road is quite bumpy and rough and is in forest and has very few places where 2 vehicles can pass. After 1 mile the road becomes less bumpy and enters a beautiful open alpine valley where Granite Peak is a prominent landmark. In 1/2 mi, the Banker Mine is on the left and is definitely worth exploring. 1/4 mi. beyond the mine is the gate closure at the South Clear Creek trailhead where there is ample parking. I have trip photos I will share by e-mail.
Conditions: Road was dry. In the forest section be prepared to back up if you meet some one since there are very few wide places where vehicles can pass..
Water Availability: My friend and I each had 2 qts. of water which was plenty.

Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: Rough but good hikes accessible.

Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Backpacking South Fork Clear Creek Road - Collegiate Peaks Wilderness
ICON Camping South Fork Clear Creek Road - primitive
ICON Four-Wheel Driving South Fork Clear Creek Four-Wheel Drive Road
ICON Hiking & Walking Continental Divide Trail, Lake Ann, Three Apostles, Huron Peak.
ICON Mountain Biking South Fork Clear Creek Road
ICON ATV Riding South Fork Clear Creek Road - to wilderness boundary
ICON Motorcycle Riding South Fork Clear Creek Road - to wilderness boundary

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.

Clohesy's Lake Four-Wheel Drive Road - This road is a fork from Clear Creek Road that leads to Clohesy's Lake with hiker access to Pear Lake. Clohesy's Lake Road is recommended for high clearance vehicles only as it is extremely rough.

North Fork Clear Creek Four-Wheel Drive Road - The ride is a gradual, bumpy climb into an open alpine valley with meadows, willows, wildlife and wildflower viewing.

North Fork Clear Creek Trail - The North Fork Clear Creek jeep road continues as the North Fork Clear Creek trail beyond the wilderness boundary barrier.

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.

South Fork Clear Creek Trail - This easy family hike gently climbs through both forest and open meadows with magnificent views of the Three Apostles.

Winfield Historic Site - Once a thriving silver and copper mining town, Winfield now claims it's fame as a Colorado ghost town. The schoolhouse, cemetery and church have been restored by volunteers.

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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