Badger Creek / Powerline Road

Scout Route
5/5 (1 reviews)

Every trail guide in full detail for $0.80/week*

Get access to thousands of Trails Offroad™ Trail Guides with
  • Detailed Waypoints
  • Photos and video on the trail
  • Comprehensive list of concerns
  • Community trail reviews
  • PLUS Trails Offroad™ Scout Routes
Check out a nearby All-Access Preview trail guide:
*Billed annually at $39.99/year
Hero: Badger Creek / Powerline Road
small-sr Icon

The Badger Creek / Powerline road is a lesser-known but highly scenic trail in the Arkansas River canyonlands between Salida and Canon City, on BLM land in the Royal Gorge Field Office. It starts in the little village of Wellsville just outside Salida and forms a loop with Sand Gulch Road, climbing high into the rugged hills above the Arkansas River. The road was built to service a high-voltage power line, which gives it a roller-coaster-like feel as it climbs and descends through hills and valleys following the power line route. From the top of each hill with a power line tower, panoramic views look out across the Arkansas River valley to the Sangre De Cristo mountains and closer peaks to the north like Big Baldy Mountain and Jack Hall Mountain.

The road surface is mostly rough dirt with embedded rocks, with several small creek crossings along Badger Creek. Any stock four-wheel drive vehicle can easily drive it, but low range helps with the steep climbs and descents. While the road may appear on maps to connect to County Road 12, the main trail following the power line dead-ends at a private property boundary. There is a gate that may or may not be open, but the road beyond the gate is private. Return to the junction with Sand Gulch Road to head back to Highway 50.

While you can camp in any number of places along the road, the main established campsites are under power line towers on various hilltops. One of these is pictured. They are somewhat exposed and close to the road, so it's not ideal. Better campsites can likely be found off the various short spur roads that connect to the main route.