Saxon Mountain

Georgetown, Colorado (ClearCreek County)

Last Updated: 07/20/2021
4.5 / 5 ( 16 reviews )
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Information
Nearby Trails
Status: Temporary Closure
Typically Open: 06/15 - 11/15
Difficulty: 7-7
( SEVERE )
Length: 6.6 miles
Highest Elevation: 11433 feet
Duration: About 2 hours
Shape of Trail: Straight Through
Best Direction to Travel: East
Nearest Town: Georgetown
Nearest Town w/ Services: Georgetown
Official Road Name: 712.1, 712.2C
Management Agency: Arapaho National Forest
District: Clear Creek Ranger District
Distance:
Showing 0 trails within 2 miles

Highlights

Highlight: Saxon Mountain
Saxon Mountain is 6.6 mile route that follows an old mining trail that very quickly climbs from the 8500ft starting elevation to nearly 11,500ft. You are quickly provided with views up, down and across the I-70 corridor as you climb. This trail is NOT for anyone who gets nervous around ledges, since the trail decreases in width as you gain elevation. Combine the narrow trail with the likelihood of rock slides or new rocks on the trail, and it can be nerve wracking. But the view from the top is fantastic. Along the trail, there are mine ruins of the Anglo-Saxon, Loranzie, and Highland Mines, as well as old cabins. The trail in one spot leaves NO room for error. Near the top, there is a boulder that you must drive around, on the cliff side. With a Tacoma that has the same track as a Jeep, the passenger side tires rubbed against the boulder as the driver side tires were ON the edge of the shoulder of the roadway. Any further to the drivers side is a few hundred feet straight down. Even just having wider tires may make this obstacle impassable by pushing your drivers side tires off of the very narrow trail. The trail is not officially a directional trail, but we recommend only running this trail uphill. The narrow portions can be very dangerous if you have to yield to uphill traffic. Wide vehicles are not recommended and anything wider than a Tacoma or Jeep could have major issues.

Video

Weather

7 day forecast for Saxon Mountain

Route Information

Advanced Rating System

Recommended Vehicle:
Lightly Modified 4X4 (Small Lift and Larger Tires)
Concerns:
Summary:
This trail has a number of places along its shelf roads that make the trip off-camber. These sketchy sections are not technical obstacles but do make the trip more dangerous. Do not attempt this trail in a full-size truck, Jeeps and similar wheelbase vehicles will be the only ones small enough to get through some of the rockfalls.

Technical Rating: 7-7
( SEVERE )

Rocky or undulated road surface. Rocks and less than 54" tall and/or vertical ledges less than 54" tall and/or near vertical ledges or waterfalls less than 10' foot. Tire placement not good. Can be steep and off-camber.
Read more about our rating system

Description

Saxon Mountain provides amazing views as you climb 20 switchbacks and gain nearly 3,000ft of elevation in 6.6 miles. The trail is very rocky, and airing down is advised to make the ride a little smoother. The majority of the trail is a rocky, double vehicle width trail. BUT, as of this time, near the top there are two rock slides that you must drive over, and a boulder that you must drive on the ledge side to pass. With a Tacoma that has the same track as a Jeep, the passenger side tires rubbed against the boulder as the driver side tires were ON the edge of the shoulder of the roadway. Any further to the drivers side is a few hundred feet straight down. Even just having wider tires may make this obstacle impassable by pushing your drivers side tires off of the roadway. The trail requires the driver being ok with and having experience driving on narrow shelf roads. The trail is not officially a directional trail, but we recommend only running this trail uphill. The narrow portions can be very dangerous if you have to yield to uphill traffic. Wide vehicles are not recommended and anything wider than a Tacoma or Jeep could have major issues. The trail itself is wide enough for two vehicles at the bottom, but gets narrower as you climb, at some points it is just wide enough for one vehicle. The trail has a few obstacles, all from rocks falling on the trail. In addition to the boulder that you must go around, there are two small rock slides that require a decent breakover angle to avoid scraping. There are many other trails in the immediate area that you can access by [South Spring Gulch Trail](https://www.trailsoffroad.com/trails/2055-south-spring-gulch) (Waypoint 9) that will bring you back to the Georgetown, Idaho Springs, or Mt Evans area so you do not need to drive down Saxon Mountain Trail and worry about yielding to uphill traffic in the dangerous areas. Near the trail are mine ruins of three different mines; the Anglo-Saxon, Loranzie, and Highland Mines.. [Saxon Mountain Trail status](http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/arp/recreation/scenicdrivinginfo/recarea/?recid=28494&actid=34)
Full exposure on shelf roads for majority of the trail.

Waypoints

1. West Trailhead (0 mi)
The beginning of the trail begins next to residential driveways. Begin climbing, the trail will immediately switchback to the right.
2. Gate (0.7 mi)
Gate that is normally open when the trail is passable.
3. Dead End Spur (1.8 mi)
To continue on the trail, stay to the right and uphill. This short spur goes down about 200 feet before it is covered by rocks. You will have to back out if you drive down it, there is nowhere to turn around.
4. Spur to Mine (2.3 mi)
To continue on the trail, take a sharp right turn up the hill. The spur will take you to the Anglo-Saxon Mine ruins. You may have to back all the way out of the spur if you drive down it.
5. Spur Above Mine (2.5 mi)
To continue on the trail, take a sharp right turn up the hill. The spur will take you to directly above the Anglo-Saxon Mine ruins where it is blocked by a rock slide.
6. Old Cabin Ruins (3.2 mi)
Multiple old cabin ruins as well as camp spots along the trail. Just past the ruins there is a wide open view of Georgetown below.
7. Spur (3.9 mi)
To continue on the trail, stay right to continue climbing. The spur will take you near some small fire rings and camping areas and continually gets narrower.
8. Cabin Ruins (4.6 mi)
Small cabin ruins to the right of the trail.
9. South Spring Gulch West Trailhead (5.4 mi)
Intersection of NFSR 712.1/Saxon Mountain going north, NFSR 712.2C/Saxon Mountain going south, and NFSR 712.1/[South Spring Gulch](https://www.trailsoffroad.com/trails/2055-south-spring-gulch) going east. To travel to the summit, continue straight to go south on NFSR 712.2C. To access the other trails in the area, turn to go east on NFSR 712.1/Upper Spring Gulch.
10. Saxon Mountain Summit (6.6 mi)
You made it! There are picnic tables and interpretive signs in the area as well as beautiful views. Please respect the cell towers/buildings that are in the area and stay away from them. The good news is, you should have full cell service to knock out that conference call while taking in the views of the mountains in the distance.

Directions to Trailhead

Trailhead Coordinates: 39.722748, -105.689796

Starting Point: Georgetown

West Trailhead (Georgetown) From I-70, take exit 228. Go east on 15th Street. At the roundabout, take the second exit to continue on 15th Street. Take a left to go north on Main Street. After 0.4 miles, the road will turn into Saxon Mountain Road, continue for another 0.3 miles and the trail begins. There is not a large area to meet up with a group at the beginning of the trail. End of the trail near the summit The end of the trail is near the summit of Saxon Mountain. The west trailhead of [South Spring Gulch Trail](https://www.trailsoffroad.com/trails/2055-south-spring-gulch) intersects the Saxon Mountain trail 1.2 miles from the summit.

Camping

Dispersed
When camping, please always make an effort to leave the campsite/trail in a better condition than you found it, just like the last campers did for you. There is dispersed camping as per the MVUM for the area. There are small campsites along the length of the trail. Most would be able to accommodate 1-2 vehicles. There are a few campsite locations where you could assemble a small group of vehicles. Expect it to be windy, most are somewhat exposed. [Clear Creek Ranger District Camping Information](http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/arp/recreation/ohv/recarea/?recid=28372&actid=29)
Camping: Saxon Mountain

Trail Reviews (24)

Author: Official Crew
Status: Temporary Closure
Offroaded on:
This trail is temporarily closed with local off-roading groups works with the county for trail repairs. The current closure is slated to last 15 days.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
I ran this for the first time yesterday, starting in Georgetown. While there isn't anything that's going to test your rig really hard, this trail is dangerous. There are a number of spots that are narrow, a shelfy climb over off-camber sections, and more. This trail should be considered Severe until/if maintenance is done to clear some of these rockslides.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Ran this one top to bottom. Has definitely gotten more technical as the trail has degraded. The trail is pretty much rocks top to bottom with several slides that get off camber and in some places pretty tight. Not sure you could get a full size truck up it. There are some awesome views from it and kind of fun to sit at the bottom and look up and see that the trail disappeared.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
There are a few narrow spots on this trail but it's not as bad as I expected running it backwards from the top down. Running it this direction allows you to see all the lower switchbacks and potential traffic. Fun trail as we came up from Cascade creek which was more difficult. Great day!

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Great trail, as always, but it seems to be degrading by the year. I'd argue this is no longer a "moderate" trail due to the handful of obstacles where a stock vehicle is likely to incur damage even with a good spotter. I'd highly recommend a lift, larger tires, and rock rails to safely navigate the back-to-back rock obstacles. The 4-Players of Colorado is the group that was happy to help Jose and crew get over the handful of obstacles. With a little bit of instruction and carefully-placed tires, they crushed it!

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
This one got a little harry. Rocky from the beginning. Came up here on stock FJ, Tacoma, and 4runner. Me and my group are beginners at this so we had a little trouble getting over big boulders, we had to pile up rocks on side of boulders to make ramps. We had the most difficulty getting tacoma and 4runner over boulders. Tacoma because its weelbase and 4runner because it had running boards. Lucky for us a nice group of experts on Jeeps showed up to share their knowledge and help. Not sure what Jeep club it was but thanks a million! In the end we got to the top and had lots of fun and got great views and pictures. Great trail.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Ran this about 2 weeks back in my Cherokee along with a couple other trails in the area. Full width guys, take note: My Cherokee is on full width axles and is 84" wide. The narrow rock section mentioned in the description? Fairly terrifying. I would not try this in a vehicle this wide without a spotter to gauge your clearance around that rock. We failed to get video/photos of that section, but my driver side tires were pretty close to the edge of the road. Hard to tell if it's well packed or about to collapse there. As well, the rock-fall sections immediately afterwards are a very tight squeeze. If you have multiple people, get someone to walk ahead and hold downhill traffic at the turn after the rockfall section. Neither of you will want to reverse once you're in there. Good views, fun trail, not for those with fear of heights. Take caution if you're in a fullsize rig.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Came up from Georgetown. Didn't see any other vehicles, just hikers. The road has a ton of rock fall leaving randomly placed large boulders throughout. I think it has drastically increased the difficulty. I'd recommend large tires for this trail, and any pickup trucks with running boards BEWARE! I hit snow at 11,000' with some big drifts across the road. No one had made tracks on them yet. I was able to bust through them completely. Even cleared a downed tree from the trail. Once I cleared the trail to waypoint 9, there were some tracks on the remainder of the road. They were old tracks so could have been vehicles on tracks. I'm not sure. Either way, continued on with very little issue. Maybe 1 remaining drifts caused me to hit it a couple of times, but otherwise made it to the top of Saxton Mtn just fine. I have 40" tires, so the drifts will probably need a few days to melt down for vehicles on tires smaller than that, but otherwise this trail is open for the season!

Author: Official Crew
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
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:
Ran from Georgetown up and over to Idaho Springs in stock JK and Xterra. Tight around the rockslides and had to stack rocks in a couple places to get through without tapping the rocker panels but it was a fun day run overall.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Nothing is particularly challenging about this trail. HOWEVER! What a rush with that cliff. It is scary near the rock slide section. Plenty of scars on rocks from people hitting them. It is narrow. Best to run on a weekday. We ran it starting from Cascade Creek. Beautiful views but narrow and bouncy. One obstacle was a bit challenging but nothing good tire placement couldn't handle.

Author:
Status: Partially Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Dry as a bone right until the top right around waypoint eight. A stock Xterra and Tacoma were able to get up there just fine. Half of the trail past waypoint 8 is exposed with the other half a deep snow embankment. Should be ready by Memorial Day. Turns out Clear Creek County does not allow traffic on any county roads until further notice due to Covid. There were a lot of people on this one but I don’t know if we were supposed to be or not.

Author:
Status: Partially Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Made it roughly 2 1/2 miles in on a 2-up quad w/ oversized tires. Saw a stock RZR make it up, and turn around. I went about 1/4 mile further into deep snow following ruts from what looked like a tracked SXS, then drifts got closer to 3' and weren't worth the fight to get any more along. Definitely a few more weeks of melting needed. Beautiful views, a few tight points with boulders in the trail definitely would make it tricky for large full-sized trucks. ATVs and smaller trucks/SUVs should be fine with careful placement.

Author:
Status: Not Reported
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Saxon Mountain is one of my favorites, but also one I only do occasionally. Definitely a moderate trail, but the pucker factor is huge for me on this. I first did it in 2014 when the rock slides were fresh and way worse than they are now, but they still make me cautious. In reality, now, they’re decent, but still a bit unnerving. I made a youtube guide here, not my best, but hopefully it shows you the trail a little, but definitely rely on trailsoffroad updates for this one. I’m likely not going to run it this summer.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
We drove from Idaho Springs over South Springs Gulch to intersect Saxon Mountain Road and drove it into Georgetown downhill, opposite the direction in the description. We did not drive to the top of Saxon Mountain which would be the easterly quarter of the trail. The trail is mostly rocky and bumpy switchbacks on some exposed ledges. Those parts are not difficult but require the drivers full attention. Most of the switchbacks are wide easy turns but one near the top required a three point turn. There are three obstacles that need to be addressed however. The first near the top is a rocky bump with a boulder on cliff side and a rocky outcrop on hill side but side view mirror height. You'll need to negotiate between these while going over the bump. Not hard, it just requires some careful wheel positioning. A bit further down, you'll encounter a boulder that blocks the road and forces you to go around cliff side. In a stock Jeep Rubicon, it was no issue at all but we're beginners so I had my partner spot me. Again, only intimidating because of the drop off. The third obstacle is half way down the hill where you'll encounter a boulder pile that will force you to hug hill side and drive partially over the boulder on cliff side. Our stock Rubicon did this without any undercarriage contact but it required some spotting for wheel placement. As I said, we are beginners so take this review for what it's worth. The views from Saxon Mountain are great and mostly it's a rocky ledge road but there are a few obstacles that require negotiating.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Had the rain, hail treatment on this one. Took the rating up a notch!

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Several boulders still obscure the trail in several places so a spotter is really helpful.. We ran the trail down-hill into Georgetown (opposite direction from the intro above) and with care was able to navigate the tight spots which are many for a stock rig. There are actually 2 boulders blocking the road in separate spots and caution is certainly needed if for no other reason than to save your undercarriage. I ran this road in a stock WJ with undersized tires, and much to the surprise of the guys in their 8" Tera-Flex rock climbers, was able to navigate some very tight and steep portions while steering around them. This is a great trail with spectacular views, and barely 1/12 hours from Denver Trail Review: Saxon Mountain

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
went up the switchbacks and down cascade creek...not packed and the few places we met people there was ample room to pass...most were hiking anyways...did in stock xj

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Drove up to the summit from Georgetown, then out to Idaho Springs via the northern stretch of Cascade Creek (Lamartine Rd). I also think the rating on this should be Moderate due to a couple of obstacles on the way up. Helped a guy in a 4x4 pickup backup and turn around when he lacked the clearance/traction.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
ran lamartine over to saxon and into georgetown yesterday. trail was in good condition and fairly clean. there were a few other users, but the trail is in general, not as overused as some other trails in colorado. the rock obstacles are all still in place, so you have some tight squeezes on the shelf road on saxon, but otherwise trail is easy

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
We gave this trail a try yesterday. As newer Jeep owners (1 year) with some great experiences under our belt, I would rate this trail as a very difficult blue because of some of the trickier spots on this trail. The description is very accurate, especially the part about the boulder on the road that forces you to pass next to the cliff's edge. There is absolutely no room for error and I would not attempt this trail in a larger/wider wheel base SUV. We did it in our Jeep JK and it was scary in places but then again I'm not a huge fan of narrow roads with a lot of exposure to steep drop offs. The road is extremely rocky and there are MANY switchbacks up and as mentioned in the description,the road gets much narrower as you climb up. Despite the long sometimes scary bumpy ride up, the views from the top were amazing! There are picnic tables and fire rings and great cell signal as there is a T-Mobile tower right up there at the top. If we were to attempt this one again I think we would approach it from Lamertine Rd/Spring Gulch Rd (we used this for our decend). If you want to reach the Saxon summit without the craziness that we ran into then I would recommend taking that other route to up.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
The trail is 100% open currently. We ran Saxton down from the top today as our exit from Spring Creek. For the first bit of the trail we were above the clouds but as we started dropping in elevation we drove through the clouds and the lower we got the more rain we ran into. It certainly was creepy driving through the clouds. Towards the top there are a handful of rock falls along the trail. A couple do squeeze you close to the edge, but we had 2 jeeps on full width axles and didn't have issues. Yes they were on the edge, but not hanging off or anything like that.

Questions & Answers (3)

Q: I have to trailer my rig. It's street legal, just won't handle driving the interstates. Is there anywhere in Georgetown where I can park my tow rig overnight while offloading and hammock camping up on Saxon Rd and connecting trails?
–Paul Sojourner (07/17/2019)
A: Around Georgetown Lake is really all I can think of unless you drop off at the start of Spring Creek.
–Ryan Boudreau (07/18/2019)
Q: How is Saxon this season? In two weeks we'll be staying in Keystone and would like to visit Mt. Evans...of course, we'll be coming from Georgetown were hoping to catch Jeep trails to get there instead of going all around on the highway. An update on those trails that go through to 103 would be great! Thank you in advance :)
–Shawna (07/03/2019)
A: The trail is 100% open.
–Ryan Boudreau (07/17/2019)
Q: the rockfall that forces you towards the ledge, roughly what waypoint is that at? I was thinking about coming up from Georgetown and exiting via waypoint #9, having completed Webster & Radical this year I think I've had enough tight ledges. thank you
–J Ranello (10/01/2018)
A: There are multiple rock falls along the switchbacks between waypoints 4 and 6.
–Ryan Boudreau (10/09/2018)

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.