Ute Creek Road

Idaho Springs, Colorado (ClearCreek County)

Last Updated: 08/14/2021
4.1 / 5 ( 10 reviews )
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Information
Nearby Trails
Status: Open
Typically Open: Year Round
Length: 3.96 miles
Highest Elevation: 10593 feet
Duration: About 30 minutes
Shape of Trail: Straight Through
Best Direction to Travel: N/A
Nearest Town: Idaho Springs
Nearest Town w/ Services: Idaho Springs
Official Road Name: 712.2A
Management Agency: Arapahoe National Forest
District: Clear Creek District

Highlights

Highlight: Ute Creek Road
Ute Creek Road is one of the ways to access the multiple trails in the Saxon Mountain area. It is an easy trail that follows a residential road as you get towards the south/lower trailhead. Ute Creek Road offers clear views of Mt Evans when you are at higher elevations. The few camp spots along the top of the Ute Creek Trail have the expansive views of the mountains as well.

Video

Route Information

Technical Rating

( EASY )

Read more about our rating system

Waypoints

1. North Trailhead (0 mi)
Intersection of NFSR 712.1/[South Spring Gulch](https://www.trailsoffroad.com/trails/2055-south-spring-gulch) going east/southwest, and NFSR 712.2A/Ute Creek/Lamertine Rd going southeast. Turn to go southeast on NFSR 712.2A/Ute Creek to begin the trail.

Directions to Trailhead

Starting Point: South Spring Gulch

North Trailhead The north trailhead is located at waypoint 9 along [South Spring Gulch Trail](https://www.trailsoffroad.com/trails/2055-south-spring-gulch) South Trailhead From I-70, take the Idaho Springs/Mt Evans exit (exit 240) and turn south on Colorado 103. Continue for 4.9 miles and Ute Creek Road/Colorado 118 will be on the north side of the road. There is a wide dirt shoulder across from Ute Creek Rd/Colorado 118.

Camping

Dispersed

Trail Reviews (21)

Author:
Status: Open
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On
Offroaded on:
Rating:
This is primarily a road, and it is pretty boring overall. It is really just a way to get back down to the highway. Some local residents were putting dirt down on the lower portion of the trail, and this may have filled in some of the washed out areas mentioned below.
Author: Official Crew
Social Media:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
I ran this trail for the first time to collect new data and pictures to update our files. This trail appears to be in similar shape to the original writeup, this trail is a little rougher than listed here and appears to have some washouts in places. Just go slow through this bumpy one.
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Pretty easy trail, feels like some areas might be a little more beat up right now.
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Ute Creek has deterioated recently to the point where I'd recommend this move up to a rating on difficulty. There's nothing 'technical' per se, but lots of boulders and rocks in the road in the upper portions. I would take a stock vehicle up it.
Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
As a follow up to the 5/23 report... that user must not have been on the same road. I ran the road again yesterday, same route as the 16th. This trail is dry all the way through from waypoint 1-5. Surrounding trails still have snow, but nothing on this one. Pics are from waypoint 1, halfway between 1 & 2, and at 2. Waypoint 2 is showing a little road damage from heavy runoff. But nothing too bad right now.
Author:
Status: Partially Open
Offroaded on:
I don't know what route others took, but the route displayed on the map is NOT passable without an atv or serious jeep rig. Lots of snow at the top.
Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Trail is open and clear all the way. No snow.
Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Surprisingly, this trail is 100% passable right now. We ran it from the top down after coming from Cascade Creek, to Molly Brown, and then to South Spring Gulch. The trail is extremely tracked out. It has been heavily used since the last storm. Lot's of dirt still and the snow wasn't more than 8"-10" at its deepest. No big drifts to deal with. Until a few big back to back snows come in, this was be traversable for awhile. I didn't get really any good photos of conditions just because there was literally nothing to take pics of. You can see in the one photo though how bare Mt Evans is and the surrounding hills.
Author: Official Crew
Social Media:
Status: Impassable
Offroaded on:
This trail is at a high altitude within the state of Colorado and has no maintainence. As such, this trail should be considering impassable until spring.
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:
Trail is closed due to fires in the area. We will update this page when these areas reopen.
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Super easy, little bit of early snow. great views and great fun.
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Pretty rocky in some areas. No difficult ledges or anything but I would not take a subaru on it. Ran cascade to south spring gulch to ute. No traffic which was surprising for a Sunday.
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Pretty rocky, I ran it south to north with my lifted Subaru crosstrek. I'd agree with the other reviewer about uping it to a 2-3 if going south to north, opposite of what it shows, lots of Aspens on the way up, it would be pretty in the fall
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Nice little trail. A bit on the rough side at some points... Might consider upping the rating to a 2-3 Trail has beautiful views that I'm sure are amazing in the fall with all the Aspens growing around.
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
The good things about this trail is that it is easy, there is no exposure to steep drop-offs, there are several places to park for awhile and have lunch, the access to the trail is easy, and in less than an hour you should be at the top of the trail where it meets the trails going to Georgetown and Idaho Springs. These are the reasons why I gave it 5 stars. Plus, it's just a short drive from Denver. The only thing to be mindful of is your vehicle will need more-than-average clearance as there are many rocks that could potentially damage your undercarriage, bumpers, and muffler. My Land Cruiser is almost 9" and I had zero issues with rocks. Though it is an easy trail, you still need to pick correct tire placement. If you want a trail to be your first experience on a real CO 4x4 trail, consider this one. FYI - at the top, do NOT take the trail down to Idaho Springs (there are two of them) that is the Saxon Mountain trail unless you have the right vehicle, you know what you are doing, and you know the road conditions.
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Really nice trail for beginners. Minimal risk for damage and a good place to practice taking the right line. Saw one other group coming up as I was going down.
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Going up was a really nice novice trail. For me it was rocky enough to be interesting but no bottom scrapes with a stock Rubicon.
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Trail was partially snow covered, but completely manageable going downhill with a stock Wrangler Sport and mostly stock FJ100 Land Cruiser. Snow was 4 to 6 inches max. Coming up might have been a challenge. Very fun little trail.
Author:
Status: Impassable
Offroaded on:
Got to the end of the county road where the forest road starts. Impassable due to snow for a stock 4WD with good A/T tires. Another month or so should do the trick if the area doesn't get more snow.

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.