Cloverdale Mine

Westcliffe, Colorado (Custer County)

Last Updated: 05/17/2020
4.8 / 5 ( 12 reviews )
Information
Nearby Trails
Status: Open
Typically Open: 06/16 - 11/30
Length: 5.9 miles
Highest Elevation: 11509 feet
Duration: About 2 hours, 30 minutes
Shape of Trail: Out & Back
Best Direction to Travel: N/A
Nearest Town: Westcliffe
Nearest Town w/ Services: Westcliffe
Official Road Name: County Road 198
Management Agency: San Isabel National Forest
District: San Carlos Ranger District
Showing 0 trails within 2 miles

Highlights

Highlight: Cloverdale Mine
The trail to Cloverdale Mine is a mix of great scenery, history with a small amount of technical driving. There are two lakes on this route, each making a great place for lunch or overnight camping. Fallen trees, loose gravel, large rocks, muddy areas, and narrow roads are all things you should prepare for on Cloverdale Mine. Even with the lower elevation countryside burned from past fires, the scenery is amazing. New vegetation is beginning to grow and wildlife can be seen throughout the forest.

Video

Weather

7 day forecast for Cloverdale Mine

Route Information

Technical Rating:
(MODERATE )

Read more about our rating system

Waypoints

1. Parking (0 mi)
There is a small parking spot which is a great place to air down your tires which is recommended. The trail starts out pretty rough so it is best to get your affairs in order before starting.

Directions to Trailhead

Trailhead Coordinates: 38.264200, -105.666120

Starting Point: Westcliffe

Take Highway 69 north for 12.5 miles to County Road 198. From Canon City, take highway 50 west 26 miles and then Highway 69 south for 11.3 miles to County Road 198. Follow signs to the Rainbow Trail Camp.

Camping

Dispersed
Improved

Trail Reviews (15)

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Trail review by Jeffrey A is spot on. 2.5 hours of bouncing and jarring to reach the mine/cabins. Like driving a rocky riverbed the entire way. 4wd low and clearance required. About 1.5 hours back down. The two lakes, the mine, and related structures are completely worth it. Very remote.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Beautiful trail. We did a night run and camped by the lake. It's very rocky the majority of the trail. Need 4L and clearance.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
This is a tight trail with large (8' -18"+) rocks and boulders the ENTIRE way up. The trees are thick, so views are limited the majority of the way but, occasionally, an epic scene emerges. You will be rocking and rolling for two and a half hours at 1.5 MPH to reach the top. Plan on some pinstriping, at minimum. The mining ruins at the top were cool. Definitely not advisable without 4WD and high clearance. NOTE: There are very few places for two vehicles to pass one another on this narrow, rocky and often steep trail.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
This trail is a rough one. By that I do not mean it’s particularly difficult, it just beats you up. There is a pull-off right before the Lutheran camp and I would suggest you use it to air down. From the Lutheran camp, expect football and basketball sized rocks and some granite outcroppings. A few technical spots where you might have to think about wheel placement, but not many. This trail could be done in 2wd, at least in the dry, but you will want high clearance. 4wd low makes it much easier. Not for something like the Chevy Traverse we saw giving it a go. I doubt they got much beyond the start of the trail, where we saw them. By the way, the 2.5 hr duration shown for this route is one way, assuming you don’t stop. Of course it depends on vehicle and conditions but I would say closer to 3 hrs one way plus some time for exploring. Some young aspen coming up in the Duckett burn scar... will be beautiful in a decade or two. Above Balman Reservoir, the trail narrows until Rainbow Lake, where it is down to a single vehicle wide. Above this point there are spots that are no wider than a Jeep Wrangler... 75” or so... due to fallen timber. If you are taking anything with a long wheelbase you’ll be doing some three-pointing in the switchbacks and, for full-size trucks, you should be prepared to move some logs. Still snow above 11k. The last couple of winters have not been kind to the mine and the upper story has collapsed and no longer displays it’s namesake title. For what it’s worth, the best camp sites were already picked over on this holiday weekend until Balman; after that we only saw ATV’s exploring and no camping.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Trail is fully open to Waypoint 12 and on above to the hiking trailheads. Bashed several snow drifts and removed some trees.

Author:
Status: Impassable
Offroaded on:
Rating:
We were able to break through the snow up until the reservoir, we chose not to go further as the snow was getting deeper and it was becoming difficult to keep going.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Scenery is amazing, trail is open all the way to mine. Trail is not technical at all just be prepared for a 2 hour bumpy ride

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Trail is clear all the way up to the mine. Great camping spots along the trail, but the trail is rocky and rough. Not very technical just rough. Great scenery and the historical buildings along the trail add to the experience.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
A friend in Canon City informed me that the road is now open (Sunday, June 30th, 2019). There is still snow on the road but it is passable. He posted photos (Lexus LX470 aka 100-series Land Cruiser) on the Colorado Land Cruisers "clubhouse forum" at IH8MUD.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Partially Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Found the road impassible beyond Waypoint 9 as Cody described last week. The snowdrift in the road is probably 300-feet in length and 15-18 inches deep. We camped at Waypoint 8. Fishing was not good, but the views were spectacular!

Author:
Status: Partially Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
We were able to get about a 1/4 mile to the first cabin (waypoint 9) and the snow was too deep to bother pushing forward. The snow is melting fast, hopefully by the end of the month it will be passable.

Author:
Status: Partially Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
The 3-4 feet of snow that was blocking the trail just weeks before is now completely gone, however small snow drifts on some parts of the trail make it pretty sketchy. We removed a tree from blocking the trail, but after my rear end slid off the side a little and I had to winch up, we decided not to continue on. Didn't make it to the lake.

Author:
Status: Partially Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
We hadn't done this trail, and not many people seem to be aware of it. We were able to get past way point 7 and the snow going up the one hill was too deep to bother trying to break through. We will definitely be doing this one again! Beautiful trail!

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Open all the way. Went there on June 16th for a day trip with Colorado Land Cruisers. We had one FJ40, three FJ60S, one FZJ80, and one Tacoma. The hardest spot is an off-camber dip just before the boulders at WP 10.

Author:
Status: Partially Open
Offroaded on:
Raider Off Road - Fort Carson Jeepers: 18 FEB 2018 (13 Rigs): Nice trail until you start to climb and get above 9,000 feet. The snows were sparse at first and then constant and then deepened for the next three miles. I winched three downed trees off the trail but needed to turn back another mile or so at the crest of the trail. More trees had fallen in the path and snows were reaching 20" in depth. I was running 37s with 6 psi and fully locked with and Atlas 4 and still slid quite a bit. Great little trail but found it too snowy for some on our team to navigate.

Questions & Answers (3)

Q: Has anyone been up the trip recently? I know obviously you won't make it all the way this time of year but was curious if anyone knew how far you can go before the snow starts? looking for a weekend camp trip. Thank you for any help.
–Daniel Orcutt (04/02/2020)
Q: Does anyone know how the fishing is on this trail? Thanks
–Justin Bedard (08/14/2019)
–Tracy Barker (08/21/2019)
–Justin Bedard (08/14/2019)
–J Ranello (08/14/2019)
Q: Does this trail close during the winter? If so when will it be open during the spring?
–Austin (12/30/2018)
–Tracy Barker (01/03/2019)

Writer Information

Tracy Barker

Mapping Crew - Colorado

Tracy is an outdoor enthusiast originally from north Alabama. His family moved to central Utah when Tracy was a child, and subsequently to southern Utah, where he fell in love with the Rocky Mountains. His favorite activities are family trail rides and camping with small groups. He started many years ago in his dad's F-150 pickup truck, and subsequently his own 4x4 acquisition, a 1975 Ford Bronco (in 1991).
For individual use only, not to be shared.