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Backpacking: Colorado > White River National Forest > Holy Cross Ranger District

Quick Facts

McAllister Gulch/Hornsilver Mountain Four-Wheel Drive Road

Beginning Elevation: 9,200 Feet (2867.8 Meters) at Camp Hale
Difficulty: Intermediate
Elevation Gain: 3,050 Feet (950.7 Meters)
Ending Elevation: 8,650 Feet (2696.4 Meters) at Redcliff
High Point: 11,700 Feet (3647.1 Meters)
Other Maps: Vail Pass Winter Recreation Area
Road Number: FDR 708
Ti Topo Maps: #109 Breckenridge, Tennessee Pass; #108 Vail, Frisco, Dillon
USGS Maps: Pando and Redcliff

Satellite and Topo Map

General Description

Sunset from Resolution Mountain
Copyright: - US Forest Service
Sunset from Resolution Mountain
Steep, steep, steep!!! And narrow, too! This trail's difficulty primarily comes from the steep switchbacks on both the ascent and descent. The trail switchbacks through thick, narrow pine forests.

The summit rewards you with spectacular 360 degree views, and one of the 10th Mountain Huts is visible from a short walk east at the summit. On the descent where the trail becomes Hornsilver Mountain, you'll see remnants of an old saw mill.

DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS TRAIL WHEN WET!!! Due to erosion, and loss of traction from the oily, muddy dirt. This trail is very, very steep. Keep your vehicle in "4-low" at all times, and avoid spinning your wheels. The trail has many switchbacks. Please stay on the trail.

Directions from Vail: Follow I-70 west to the Minturn exit (#171). Follow Highway 24 south through the town of Minturn, and continue a total distance of 14 miles from the interstate until you reach a valley opening. Look for the first major turnoff on the left (east) side onto a dirt road entering Camp Hale. Follow the road to the immediate right and at .5 miles from Highway 24 take a left at the "Y" and then a left at the immediate next "Y". Follow this road north along the mountain side until you enter the pine forest. At the beginning of this trail you'll notice that the trail crosses private land. Please respect this crossing and stay on the trail. The summit is about 8 1/2 miles from the private land area, and Hornsilver road ends in a junction with Wearyman Jeep road. Turn left (north) onto Wearyman, which will quickly end at a junction with Shrine Pass. Take a left onto Shrine Pass, and follow the graded dirt road into the town of Redcliff. Go through Redcliff, and you'll be at Highway 24, just north of Camp Hale.

Seasonal Information:
Normally Accessible: Summer through Fall (NOTE: Seasons vary depending on snow depth) .

Current Conditions & Trip Reports
OPEN. Updated: 2000-07-10 18:08:00.0

Add your own trip Report! Newly re-released feature. One of the most popular features on Wildernet, trip reports allow you to share your experiences with others. This is an invaluable resource for determining what to expect on your outdoor adventure, so please participate! To prevent spamming, you must be a registered user of Wildernet in order to submit a trip report

Filed By: Robert Barnes (Thornton, CO)
Time of Day: 14.30
Length of Time: 2 hours
Difficulty: Moderate
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: traveled the trail while it was raining pretty hard and was aware of slick rocks and slippery mud but didn't encounter any problems just needed a challenge. it was fun on my atv

Filed By: Lance (Denver, CO)
Time of Day: Late Morning
Length of Time: Approx. 1-1/2 hours
Difficulty: Moderate
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: I actually encountered this road by mistake after I was coming back down from Ptarmigan Pass. The road is definitely EXTREMELY steep in places, both on the ascent and the descent. It is rather rocky in some spots and it's important to stay in 4 Low the whole trip. At the top, there are some amazing views, and then after that, it's straight down the other side. It's an excellent drive and not too crowded at all.
Conditions: It was completely dry the entire way, except for a stretch along Wearyman Creek where it criss-crosses the road.

Difficulty: Hard
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: This is a tough trail with an unbelievable views once above treeline. If you continue to where this trail hooks up with Wearyman Creek trail, you can make a loop going over Ptarmigan Pass and bringing you back to Camp Hale area. The whole trip is roughly a 20-25 mile ride/drive, so likely a good length trip in a vehicle, or a shorter ride on a dirt bike. If you make to the summit of McAllister Gulch, you should have no problem making the entire loop. In any case, the ride is fun and the views are spectacular from both McAllister Gulch and Ptarmigan Pass.

Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Cross-country Skiing
ICON Four-Wheel Driving
ICON Motorcycle Riding
ICON Snowshoeing

Related Activities
Camp Hale Memorial Campground - The Camp Hale Memorial Campground is located in historic Camp Hale, south of Minturn, at an elevation of 9200 feet. The campground consists of 21 sites and reservations are accepted.

East Fork Group Site - East Fork is a group campground site, designed to accommodate large groups. It is located in Camp Hale, south of Minturn.

Shrine Pass Road - The Shrine Pass Road is an improved gravel road which runs from Redcliff, over Shrine Pass, to the top of Vail Pass.

Upper Eagle River General Forest Area - The Upper Eagle River General Forest Area includes most of the area from Minturn, south to Tennessee Pass.

Wearyman/Resolution Four-Wheel Drive Road - The Wearyman Jeep Road begins east of Redcliff and eventually links to the Resolution Road, which leads to Hwy. 24 at Camp Hale.

More Information
Frequently Asked Questions
Email the Local Ranger

Visitor Information:

Holy Cross Ranger District, 24747 US HWY 24, P.O. Box 190 , Minturn, CO, 81645, Phone: 970-827-5715, Fax: 970-827-9343


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