South Spring Gulch

Idaho Springs, Colorado (ClearCreek County)

Last Updated: 08/15/2021
4.3 / 5 ( 10 reviews )
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Information
Nearby Trails
Status: Open
Typically Open: Year Round
Length: 8.85 miles
Highest Elevation: 11154 feet
Duration: About 1 hour
Shape of Trail: Connector
Best Direction to Travel: N/A
Nearest Town: Idaho Springs
Nearest Town w/ Services: Idaho Springs
Official Road Name: 712.1
Management Agency: Arapahoe National Forest
District: Clear Creek District

Highlights

Highlight: South Spring Gulch
South Spring Gulch is a fantastic trail that acts as a spinal cord link between all of the trails in the area and offers camping along the western portion. The trail is most difficult at the west end, and is a maintained gravel road at the east trailhead. It is a popular trail for those who are planning to explore the area with OHV's due to the trail being accessible with a trailer (with careful tire placement and 4wd).

Video

Route Information

Technical Rating

( EASY - MODERATE )

Read more about our rating system

Waypoints

1. West Trailhead (0 mi)
The trail begins at waypoint 9 along [Saxon Mountain Trail](https://www.trailsoffroad.com/trails/449-saxon-mountain). Turn east on NFSR 712.1/South Spring Gulch. Intersection of Saxon Mountain Trail/NFSR 712.1 going north, Saxon Mountain Trail/NFSR 712.2C going south, and South Spring Gulch/NFSR 712.1 going east.

Directions to Trailhead

Starting Point: Idaho Springs

West Trailhead The west trailhead is located at waypoint 9 along [Saxon Mountain Trail](https://www.trailsoffroad.com/trails/449-saxon-mountain) East Trailhead From I-70, take the Idaho Springs/Mt Evans exit (exit 240) and turn south on Chicago Creek Road/State Highway 103. Continue for 0.5 miles and South Spring Gulch/County Road 130 will be on the west side of the road. There are two entrances to the road.

Camping

Dispersed

Trail Reviews (19)

Author:
Status: Open
Difficulty Accuracy: Harder
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Xterra 3” lift with 33” tires. This was my connection trail back to Idaho springs after riding on cascade creek trail. Traveling east to west. It was more difficult that I thought a 2/3 rating would be. Lots of loose rock near wp1. Great views of mountains at the top. First paved section is likely misleading…
Author: Official Crew
Social Media:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Ran this trail for the first time all the way through. The ratings largely hold on this trail though. Traffic was super-light for a Saturday and I had a good time until the weather started to turn south. I did like the scenery in a lot of places along this trail and I'll come back here in the fall for some leaf-peeping.
Author: Official Crew
Social Media:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Open and clear.
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Fun little connect for getting around the various trails in the spring creak area,
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
We took this trail going towards Idaho springs after completing Saxon Mt. Trail. It started raining at beginning this trail so it was nice and gloomy. There are some rocky part to get true. Afther getting a quarter of the way true the trail the sun came out and got to see some very awsome views of surrounding mountains. This was another trail I really enjoyed.
Author: Official Crew
Status: Partially Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Ran in uphill, reverse from this guide and almost made it to waypoint 9. There is still a lot of snow and ice at that point making it impossible for my stock pickup. There are a lot of tracks coming down hill, but one drift looks like it has caused a lot of problems for people as there are trees and such and fresh digging. Please stay on the trail and do not drive off trail to avoid snow, as seen here at this spot.
Author: Official Crew
Status: Impassable
Offroaded on:
Rating:
I can't comment on the entire trail since I only ran a small section of it. We entered this trail at wp7 after coming from Cascade Creek. There are tracks all over the trails out here. From conditions I saw on the other trails, you can likely get all the way to the junction of South Spring Gulch and Saxon Mountain, but I can't confirm that. We ran the trail to the mine play area between wp9 and wp10, and then took Ute Creek down to 103. A lot of bare dirt patches along the section we drove. Trail is very tracked out and has been heavily used lately.
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:
Nice, scenic and historic, just not real challenging. All the same , great way to spend a few hours on a BEAUTIFUL Monday morning
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Nice views but not super challenging. Works great to get you back to Idaho springs after running Cascade or Saxon Mt.
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Easy trail with few rock obstacles here and there. We stopped at the mine halfway through, plenty of space and great views.
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
No real tough spots but a few cool rocky climbs. No snow just some runoff on the trail.
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Came down from Cascade. Easy compared to that. Was quite dry and had some fun sliding downhill, but uphill may have some traction problems without a good set of tires. No traffic on my way down. Stock high-clearance vehicles should have no problem.
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Trail is completely dry other than some very mild snow melt running down in a few spots
Author: Official Crew
Social Media:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
We started Spring Gulch from the end of Cascade Creek and traveled outwards. The trail was as expected all the way through and we even found a nice spot to eat lunch and view the mountains. The incoming storm pushed us off the mountains and back into the Idaho Springs around 4pm.
Author: Official Crew
Social Media:
Status: Partially Open
Offroaded on:
Just exploring these trails up north. Run off makes it feel more like a solid 3 when teh trail gets rough. We made it just past the Trail Creek Road entrance before we hit 2-3 ft drifts of snow. It was wet and it was slick underneath. Snow capable rigs may be able to go farther.
Author:
Status: Partially Open
Offroaded on:
This road turned to deep snow very quickly. Chains were required in order for us to get to the top of the first main hill. The second hill was worse, with only 1 of the 3 of us (Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland and 2 GX470's, one modified with custom suspension) able to make it initially (as conditions changed, 1 more made it). Throughout the day, all 3 vehicles were stuck at different points and needed assistance getting out. We learned later that this road in the winter is basically a snow cat road, and is not very accessible otherwise. If you're taking this road, be prepared with at least a 2nd vehicle, snow chains and a winch.

Questions & Answers (4)

Q: Has anyone been out on this trail recently?
–Katie Dick (03/28/2020)
–Curt Greeley (04/29/2020)
Q: Has any one been out in the past week?
– (02/10/2020)
Q: Does anyone know how the trail conditions are right now? We usually take this road up to the top to where it intersects with Saxon. We went up there a few weeks ago and there was still quite a bit of snow.
–Alex King (05/14/2019)
–JD Marshall (08/20/2019)
Q: Are the mines off this trail that are marked as private property open to all? We noticed that the trials seem to go right through the Ben Harrison Mine, and that's following Avenza and the MVUM PDF.
–JD Marshall (10/01/2017)
–Brandon Marlow (09/30/2018)

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.