Trail Creek Road

Idaho Springs, Colorado (ClearCreek County)

Last Updated: 07/16/2021
4.2 / 5 ( 6 reviews )
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Information
Nearby Trails
Status: Open
Typically Open: Year Round
Length: 4.79 miles
Highest Elevation: 10275 feet
Duration: About 30 minutes
Shape of Trail: Connector
Best Direction to Travel: N/A
Nearest Town: Idaho Springs
Nearest Town w/ Services: Idaho Springs
Official Road Name: Trail Creek Road
Management Agency: Arapahoe National Forest
District: Clear Creek District

Highlights

Highlight: Trail Creek Road
Trail Creek Road is an easy addition to the trails in the Saxon Mountain network of trails. The area has many old mines, and you will drive along one active mine, and at least one mine ruin that you can see from your vehicle. As you gain elevation you will be rewarded with views to the north across the valley. At the west trailhead you will be on [South Spring Gulch Trail](https://www.trailsoffroad.com/trails/2055-south-spring-gulch) where you can decide if you wish to continue climbing up Saxon Mountain or if you want to return to Idaho Springs.

Video

Route Information

Technical Rating

( EASY )

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Waypoints

1. East Trailhead (0 mi)
Turn to go west on County Road 136/Trail Creek Road to begin the trail. Intersection of County Road 312/Stanley Road going northwest/southeast, and County Road 136/Trail Creek Road going west.

Directions to Trailhead

Starting Point: Idaho Springs

North Trailhead From I-70, take exit 239 toward Idaho Springs and turn south onto Stanley Road. Continue on Stanley Road for 1.1 miles, and Trail Creek Road will be on your left. This is the beginning of the trail. South Trailhead The West Trailhead is located at waypoint 10 along the [South Spring Gulch Trail](https://www.trailsoffroad.com/trails/2055-south-spring-gulch)

Camping

Dispersed

Trail Reviews (13)

Author:
Status: Open
Difficulty Accuracy: Harder
Offroaded on:
Rating:
The old structures at the Lamartine Tunnel are super cool! Some of the more interesting old mining structures I've come across in the Front Range. The road is easy until these old buildings, at waypoint 6. Past this, I thought the road was more difficult than the 2 range; there were some bigger washed out rocks between waypoints 7 and 8 that I thought were pushing the road into the 3 range. In a 4th gen 4Runner with a 3" lift, I still actually dinged the front skid plate in one place, although this was mostly a result of hubris. (For comparison, Weston Pass is rated a 2, and the upper part of this route is certainly harder than the west side of the Weston Pass road.)
Author: Official Crew
Social Media:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Open and clear.
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Ran it in reverse along with parts (WP 10-12) of south spring creek. It is open and clear all the way.
Author: Official Crew
Status: Partially Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
For the most part, the road is clear and passable with a few feet of snow off the trail on the northern slopes. However, in the switchback between waypoints 7 and 8, there is a snow drift blocking the trail from being entirely open. With a well equipped rig can likely break the drift no problem. My stock pickup was not the rig for that. The road above the drift is clear though and has tracks on the top side. You can bypass this drift entirely by taking the left hand turn at waypoint 4 which will spit you out onto spring gulch at waypoint 11, but I expect that drift to be melted in a week or less. I do think the trail is rougher than the 2 rating mentioned. There are some decent sized rocks that stick vehicles really have to watch their lines and tire placement.
Author: Official Crew
Social Media:
Status: Impassable
Offroaded on:
This trail is located at a higher alitude of Colorado and at this time of year should be considered impassable for any regular off-road user. Some people may be able to manage these trails with the correct gear, emergency equipment, and rig. Travel with caution.
Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Stage 3 fire restrictions have been lifted as of 6am, 11/10/20. The forest is no longer fully closed. Areas within fire perimeters remain closed. See closure maps here: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/arp/news-events/?cid=FSEPRD844558 Expect winter conditions on trails. Some trails may be impassable due to snow.
Author: Official Crew
Social Media:
Status: Temporary Closure
Offroaded on:
FORT COLLINS, Colo. (Oct. 20, 2020) – Due to unprecedented and historic fire conditions, the USDA Forest Service’s Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests is announcing a temporary closure of all National Forest land in Clear Creek, Jefferson, Gilpin, Boulder, and Larimer counties, effective at midnight tonight (closure begins at 00:01 Oct. 21). This decision will be re-evaluated daily as conditions change.
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
I had a great time taking my younger sons on this trail in our lifted 2x Tacoma with 31" tires, but things got rough around point 5 in the map guide - I felt confident going up and on the rocks, but we stopped at point 6 as the tight turn and gravel plus ruts in the middle photo made me consider I might be stuck there - definitely need 4x4 at this point in the trail. Ironically, we walked up and noticed it cleared out after that point... I probably would have risked it if I had a 4x4 with a tow hook with us but it was just us... Lots of cool old mining stuff and it was just a blast for two young sons. I'm definitely getting a 4x4 so I can take more advantage of all the great trails listed here on trailsoffroad.com!
Author:
Status: Partially Open
Offroaded on:
Turned back at Way-marker 8 by snow.
Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Calvary 4-Wheelers had a fun time playing in the snow on Trail Creek Road on Saturday, December 12, 2019. I was in my wife's stock TJ as my Cherokee is still having steering problems. Richard was in his new-to-him stock Ford Ranger and Karen drove her stock JK. The weather was nice with skies sunny to partly cloudy and temperatures in the upper 30s to low 40s but it was a bit windy at times. The road was plowed to Waypoint 4 and we didn't need 4wd until then. Above that intersection there were old tracks that had drifted over with snow about 6 inches deep. We shifted into low 4 and headed up. Even though the snow was not very deep, it was quite slick and after about a quarter mile we decided to chain up. With chains on we made good progress to Waypoint 5. From there, the snow got deeper and breaking trail became much more difficult. We made progress a few inches at a time and finally arrived at Waypoint 6 around 12:30 where we stopped for lunch. After luch we debated whether is was worth trying to continue as the snow was continuing to get deeper. We decided to give it a try and worked our way over the first little hill and around the corner. The steeper hill around the corner proved to be too much, though. With a lot of effort and multiple attempts I made about half way up to where the is a curve to the left. At that point the snow was over my bumper and I wasn't making progress even with multiple attempts so I backed down (an adventure of its own) and we turned around and went back the way we came. Well-built rigs on 33s or bigger should be able to complete the trail.
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
My first real off road drive. I've got a 2016 Toyota Tacoma OR that I purchased two months ago so zero experience. The first part of the trail no issue just a dirt road then it got interesting. loose rocks to maneuver around or over and it just kept getting funner. Actually needed 4 wheel drive in a few spots and then ruts in the road. There were two spots (poor track planning on my part) where I lost enough traction the wheels were just slipping, minor adjustments and got by there. Also had two locations where at least one wheel was off the ground (by shifting around in the seat was able to get it to rock some). Made it as far as a large fallen building under some power lines at 2970 m elevation just at the first really sharp right hand switch back and took lunch there. The view was great and looking at the next section of trail (a 4Runner passed us and was stopped not far up the trail) we decided to call it good and head back down. Steaks for dinner and dreaming about the next outing....
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Trail is open and in good shape. Cool spots to stop with good views and old mine entrances. There is still some snow on the last 1/4 of the trail, but nothing impassible. Great spot that is close to Denver.
Author: Official Crew
Social Media:
Status: Partially Open
Offroaded on:
Exploring trails up north and started with this one since we don't know where the snow is going to lead us. We made it just past Waypoint 7 before running into this snow. We weren' sure how far it went up with the snow and turned around there. Beautiful day on the trail.

Questions & Answers (0)

Writer Information

JD Marshall

Mapping Crew - Colorado

Jen & JD moved to Colorado from Chicago in May of 2015 for work and brought with them a 2001 stock Jeep Wrangler that had been garage bound for two years. Within a month of arrival, all rusty 170,000 miles of it was shaking on Colorado trails and they've never stopped. As time as gone on, their 2001 TJ had to be traded and a 2015 Jeep JK has been added to the family. JD works as a Systems Engineer for a cable company and Jen runs a business from their home during the week to pay the bills. When the weekend hits, they're almost always hitting the trail. When Sunday night rolls around, the question turns to, 'so what's next week?!'.
For individual use only, not to be shared.