Chihuahua Gulch

4.9/5 (33 reviews)
Keystone, Colorado (Summit County)
Last Updated: 08/11/2022
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Trail Information

Highlights

One of the more popular trails in the Keystone area, Chihuahua Gulch is used by 4x4’s, hikers and sometimes a little horse traffic will be seen. The first 2.1-miles of this trail is used by all, but the last four are for hiking only. The scenery on this trail does not disappoint and packs a lot into a small trail. After the climb to the marsh, the views of the mountains open up as you look into the valley. With two stream crossings and a little rough rock here and there, this makes for a great trail for beginners and seasoned wheelers. The Forest Service road once went to Chihuahua Lake, but is now blocked off. The hiking trail has been rated as moderate and shouldn’t be taken on by someone with no training. This is a great trail to pair with Warden Gulch (FS 265) for a day of off-roading.

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Navigation

Trail Reviews

4.9/5 (33 reviews)
John
Official Crew
29250
Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 08/11/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

We ran Chihuahua Gulch and hiked up to the lake. Just an awesome trail so close to Denver. This one will definitely test a stock rig!
Trail Review: Chihuahua Gulch - John
Trail Review: Chihuahua Gulch - John
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John
Official Crew
29250
Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 07/24/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

This was my first time running this trail, which was awesome for several reasons. The main reason, this is a great 4x4 trail that connects to a hiking trailhead up to a gorgeous Colorado mountain lake. The mosquitos were awful, but a small price to pay for views of mountain lakes and streams surrounded by peaks. There was awesome camping as you neared the top, making the morning pretty easy for us to wake up and hike to Chihuahua Lake. I think this trail guide rating is pretty darn accurate. However, I would say it's a well-deserved 4-difficulty rating. I had no issues in my JLU with a 2.5" lift and 35" tires. I only bottomed out on a few spots, mostly due to looking at my surroundings instead of the trail. We saw a few stock rigs up there, so it's definitely possible, but I would wager a guess and say they got out a few times to spot lines. All in all, the 4x4 trail is a 4-star trail, but the fact this trail has awesome hiking access and nice dispersed camp spots bumps this up to a 5-star review. I would easily go hike this again and camp along this trail! A lot of Colorado counties have Stage 1+ fire bans, but Summit County did not while we were up here, hence the pictures of the fire. If you are unsure, the best thing to do is call the Ranger District where you plan to travel.
Trail Review: Chihuahua Gulch - John
Trail Review: Chihuahua Gulch - John
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Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 07/23/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Harder

Love this trail. Just a heads up, Difficulty Ratings have some subjectivity to them, but I think this trail should be rated a bit harder (4/5). My reasoning is on my way down I saw a Tacoma TRD Pro and Jeep Gladiator Rubicon have some issues on the rocks (mud pit area and on the exposed rocks between the trailhead and water crossing). I doubt either of those vehicles would struggle on a 4. Hikers also thought it was crazy we were driving this trail. I’d just be careful and not make this your first 4 if you are working up from 3s. Maybe I’m wrong, it was a breeze in my stock rubicon two door, but the last trail I did was Mount Blanca.
Trail Review: Chihuahua Gulch - Dewie Jones
Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 07/03/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Super fun trail that seems to have a little bit of everything from big rocks to open meadows to water crossings. The trail had a lot of hiking traffic on it from people wanting to hike up to Chihuahua Lake but it wasn't a big deal. There are some amazing campsites on this trail so if that's what you're looking for, you're in luck. As for the trail itself, there are some areas where choosing the right line is important; even with 33s and a 2.5" lift, I scraped a couple times (I felt like I was rushing it though because I was wanting to do more exploring in the area after running this trail so it was definitely my own fault). I'll definitely be back!
Trail Review: Chihuahua Gulch - Andrew
Status: Open
Visited: 06/06/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Trail is clear to waypoint 6, then drifts up to 2 feet. Could be bashed/winched since it's pretty flat, but it started raining hard so we headed back. At waypoint 5, we cleared the 4 foot drift on the far shore of the water crossing with shovels before winching up the remaining snow and ice. It's likely passable with a bit of a run at it now.
Trail Review: Chihuahua Gulch - Andrew
Trail Review: Chihuahua Gulch - Andrew
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