Bunce School Road is an extremely busy and heavily trafficked trail nearly year-round. This trail is best traveled from north to south starting at the historic Bunce School. The first 4 miles of road surface is well packed dirt and gravel with some small sections of exposed rock. You are likely to pass through many shallow water holes if there has been any kind of moisture. The trail passes several campsites and a few trail spurs including the popular Ironclads trail, before it hits a seasonal gate at mile marker 4.14. If the seasonal gate is open, you can continue down the last mile of the trail where you will pass Park Creek and the popular T-33 Plane Crash trail. This last mile of road is the most difficult section of Bunce School Road as you make your way downhill over large, round, river rock boulders making your progression much slower than it had been up to this point. Eventually, you find yourself in Peacefully Valley where there are a couple of great campgrounds. This is a great trail to check your vehicle's capabilities, and good for new off-roading as well as experienced off roaders. Most of the trail is easy with a few moderate spots with rocks and mud holes. Overall this is a great trail that is close to town.
Extremely popular for rental OHVs such as side by sides.
1. Northern Trail Start
The northern trailhead begins on the south side of Highway 7, between mile marks 18 and 19. Look for signs on the highway that state "point of Interest". There is a small parking area directly at the turn that can be used for a couple of trailers or as an air down spot for multiple vehicles. As soon as yu start the trail, directly across from the fire station you will see the historic Bunce Schoolhouse. Constructed in 1888, the schoolhouse is one of only two log rural schoolhouses remaining in the county.
2. Parking Area
Located here is a very large parking area ideal for large groups to air down. Be prepared for many trailers to be here, including those of rental OHV companies. A short walk up the road is an informational sign for the area.
3. Stay Left
Stay left at this intersection. Here there is an informational kiosk with area information, rules, and regulations. There is also a local trail map that notes Forest Service and private property boundaries. The road to the right is a short spur that passes some private cabins and returns to the school house.
Down off the road is a large area for camping. This spot is very large and can accommodate a number of vehicles. The ground is pretty level with a lot of sand/gravel, but not much vegetation. There are a lot of good-sized trees for hammocks also.
5. Stay Right - 217.1
Stay right and continue down the higher road. Downhill to the left is FSR 217 that has a few spurs off of it before it dumps you out onto Highway 72, the Peak to Peak Highway.
6. Stay Left - 216 Ironclads
Stay left at this intersection. The road uphill to the right is FSR 216, the Ironclads Trail. Ironclads is a much more difficult trail that is open year-round. It is a loop trail that begins and ends at this intersection.
Off the trail to the south is a short spur that leads to a nice campsite that overlooks the drainage farther south. This spot is medium in size, good for a few vehicles.
Please note that after this, there are two small stretches where the trail passes private property on both sides of the road, and dispersed camping is not allowed. Refer to the Roosevelt NF - Boulder Ranger District (North Half) MVUM map for dispersed camping specifics.
One of the few obstacles along the trail, this rocky section is easily navigated with some slight off-camberness.
9. Stay Right - 213
Stay right at this Y intersection. FSR 213 is on your left and heads west a short ways to a couple of potential campsites and eventually dead-ends at a private property gate.
*Dispersed camping is once again allowed along the road here, until waypoint 10.
To your right, tucked off the road is the last dispersed camping opportunity before the seasonal gate. This spot is ideal for vehicle or hammock camping as the ground is extremely rocky and not very level.
* Note that beyond this point, dispersed camping is not allowed for the next mile.
11. Stay Right - Unknown Road
Stay right at this unknown road and follow the trail southwest as it treks along the edge of a scenic meadow.
12. Seasonal Gate
The seasonal gate here closes the last mile of the trail winter through spring (11/15-6/15) depending on snow conditions. There is a large turnaround just before the gate for those traveling the road during this closure.
*Note that dispersed camping is once again allowed
13. Stay Left - 202 Park Creek
Stay left to continue down 105. To the right is FSR 202, the Park Creek trail. This turn will also take you to the T-33 Plane Crash Trail. Both trails are more difficult than the current trail you are on. From this point forward till the end, the trail gets much rockier with a lot of large river rocks peppering the trail.
14. Southern Trailhead
The trail ends in Peaceful Valley, near Camp Dick campground. Turn left and head east to connect with Highway 72. Turn right to pass through Camp Dick and begin the Middle St Vrain trail.