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Looking for an offroad adventure close to Denver that's guaranteed to get your blood pumping and take your breath away? Argentine Pass is a beautiful journey through stunning scenery, with moderate obstacles, thrilling switchbacks, and shelf roads that excite your adventure. Along the way, you'll even have the chance to explore the historic Waldorf Mine and Santiago Mines, adding a touch of history to your journey. But the real highlight of the trail is the view from the top - at over 13,000 feet you'll see Gray's and Torrey's Peaks and, on clear days, awe-inspiring Colorado Mountain vistas in the distance. So grab your vehicle, buckle up, and get ready for the offroad adventure of a lifetime on the Argentine Pass trail.
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From the I-70 exit, follow the signs to Guanella Pass that pepper the town as soon as you pass the visitor center. The signs have a blue background and the Columbine flower with Guanella Pass Scenic Byway underneath. The pavement switchbacks a few times before reaching the trailhead. You will come across a large parking area on either side of the road just before a switchback. At the top of that switchback is a lookout over the valley below and the trailhead for Leavenworth Creek Road. It's possible to air down here, but you should do so at the parking area below the switchback.
Follow Leavenworth Creek Road to Waypoint 10, 6.2 miles into the trailhead on the southern side of the ruins of Waldorf Mine.
Trailsoffroad spoke to Trout Unlimited to get additional details on the remediation work going on at Waldorf and was able to get additional details on the changes on the trail.
First and foremost, these trails will largely stay open. The FS is required by law to keep these trails open for a variety of reasons. The network of trails is vast in the area though and they appear to be moving things around to manage the area better.
There will be no major remediation work at the mine this year. Crews will be working to do some vegetation and prep and stabilization work for the Waldorf mine area for 2020. Access to Waldorf mine is TRESPASSING and you will receive a ticket if caught.
Late last year, the Forest Service decommissioned the spur known as the "Hill Climb" at Waldorf. We have not spoken with the FS yet, but it's believed that this wasn't part of the original network of trails and the FS may have closed it to discourage further inappropriate use of the Waldorf site.
We will provide additional updates and details as we get them.
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