Hall Valley is a quick, relatively easy, scenic 4x4 trail that is close to Denver, Colorado. It leads you through aspen, pine, and finally into an open basin where you can explore the old structures of the Missouri Mine by foot. There are other four-wheel drive trails nearby such as Red Cone, Webster, and Beaver Lakes along with the Gibson Lake and Whale Peak hiking trails. Hall Valley is named after Colonel William Jairus Hall, a local mine owner.
Turn left/southwest towards Hall Valley Campground. The trail gets fairly bumpy, you can air down here, or wait until you get to the campground which is just a minute or two after you turn. To find the famous Red Cone route, continue straight. http://www.trailsoffroad.com/trails/432-red-cone
From Denver: take Highway 285 South. Just past the town of Grant, turn right on County Road 60. You will see signs for Red Cone, Webster and Hall Valley. Follow signs to Hall Valley Campground. The trail is Forest Service Road 120C.
There are multiple large, downed trees 8.4 miles into the trail from 285 that make the trail impassable. This is just an unusually bumpy/uncomfortable trail even with a soft suspension. I wasn't able to air down, though, so maybe that was the main issue.
Had nice run on Hall Valley/Handcart Gulch. Went out to the top mine turn around and then back; down the Missouri Mine spur (which was open and showed no signs of being closed or slashed off). The spur to the Missouri Mine is quite a bit more difficult than the rest of the main trail. Very rocky, some large boulders, and most of the trail is also a creek bed where melt and mine runoff descend down to the larger creek. It is also very narrow so be prepared for pinstripes in almost any vehicle. The mine itself is in decent shape with 1 remaining building and lots of large piles of tailings.
This is a nice area to go explore. Once you get out of treeline the road opens up to some great views of the valley and old mining operations. I would give a higher rating but there is just not a whole lot to do or see other than the drive the road out and back. This is a great trail for fall foliage!
Spur to Missouri Mine closed permanently by USFS - new barrier across spur before stream crossing with "No Motor Vehicles" sign.
Trail in great condition, light traffic. Snow on road at higher elevations, less than 2" deep. Snow on mountains beginning to accumulate, evidence of slides visible at higher elevations. Turnaround in front of gate at the end of the valley is beginning to get overgrown, trailers will have difficulty turning around here.
Walked spur to Missouri Mine - spots covered by snow to over 12" deep.
We rode the trail to the Beaver Creek trailhead. The trail was open and clear but there was a lot of traffic, 4x4's and ATV's. Not surprising considering the holiday weekend.
There is a fire ban in the area and we stopped to talk with some rangers who were out handing out tickets to anyone firing up. Mind the signs, they are enforcing.
It was a nice day and the trail was relatively normal with no special notes about physical trail conditions other than weather. The current state is snow/muddy in some shady places and it looks like the area has gotten some snow. The creek is frozen about a 1/4 inch thick and we stopped about .25 miles after the river crossing because the shade on that side of the mountain was leaving some sketchy drifts. We were out for a joy ride and didn't have our winched rig so no risk. Snow capable vehicles and groups should be the only ones to attempt to get to the mine unless temps stay high during the day and it doesn't snow in the next few days.
Otherwise a great day on a beautiful trail, highly recommended for a fun afternoon!
It was the day before Thanksgiving, and me and another friend decided to go see how much snow was up above the town of Grant. We decided on Hall Valley as it is normally a smooth dirt road in the summer and we didn't want to get caught with any surprise boulders as we were throttled down blasting through the snow.
The snow down in the trees wasn’t nearly as deep as I expected it to be, only hitting depths of 8’’-12’’. Once out of the trees, we continued to run into deep drift after deep drift. The LS motor and 42s had met its match for the day. Our trip odometers read 3.5 miles from the start to where we turned around; however that was a lot of back and forth driving at the end, so it was definitely closer to 3 miles total for the trip.
Please remember, do not attempt to snow bash alone, and always be prepared for a worst case scenario. It is a good idea to have extra food, water, and clothing on a snow trip like this one today. Also, recovery gear is essential in case you get into a sticky situation.
Hi, I'm Ryan!
I am a Colorado native and I've been wheeling since I was 16 years old. I grew up with a relentless passion for all things Jeep and off road related, and that passion has never died out. I am a member of the Mile-Hi Jeep Club, Patrol 16 Sasquatch Jeepers and currently own an '06 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited (LJ) nicknamed "Minion".
I am a huge supporter of Stay the Trail and Tread Lightly, and have participated and even been in charge of many trail restoration projects. I have been a trail leader several times for events such as All-4-Fun, ColoradoFest, Set Them Free, 14er Fest, and other. I am also the creator of the Unlimited LJ Adventure.
My rig is built for extreme offroading, but I love to get my tires dirty on any kind of trail whether it's rock crawling or just scenic high Alpine drives. I've wheeled all over the country including Colorado, Utah, Kansas, the Carolinas, AZ, and California. I love a great adventure, and love even more to share those adventures with others.
If you see the "minion" out on the trail, make sure to stop and say hello.