Water and water-crossings highlight Silver Creek Road which travels from the base of Owl Mountain eastward toward the Continental Divide at the edge of the Never Summer Wilderness Area. The terrain is rugged, heavily forested, and wet, but the views of the peaks in the wilderness area make this trip a worthwhile adventure. Winter ends late and begins early in this part of the high country. The trail is often saturated from the late snow melt or the typical afternoon showers during the summer.
The trail proceeds east from Jackson County Road #21 (AKA USFS 740). A large sign points out the trail’s start, making the trailhead easy to find. Silver Creek Road is open to all types of transportation including 4WD, ATV, UTV, horseback and bicycles. You could encounter any of these along the trail. Dispersed camping is common just past the start of this trail.
Late out of camp so we turned back at the crossing. Looks like its days are numbered due to all the ATV/UTV abuse - there is a culvert staged nearby so I’m guessing there will be a bridge at WP3 at some point. Bridge or not, I’ll definitely be back to see the end of this run!
This is still one of my favorite trails in the Gould area. There were several large groups of campers along the first part of the trail and the area was heavily used during the weekend. The trail was in great shape. The water crossing at Waypoint 3 was surprisingly low considering the late season snow fall.
The lower half of the trail has had some recent snow, but remains passable. On the upper portion of the trail from waypoint 4 and on, the snow gets deeper and the trail is difficult to manage. The snow front last week's storm is crystal like and does not allow for good traction making it impassable for most vehicles. More snow is expected this week and the trail is likely impassable for the remainder of the season.
Fun trail with lots of solitude and rugged views of the Never Summer wilderness. Drove to the "Rocky Climb" waypoint described above in my full-size Silverado, but turned around there due to larger rocks and narrowing width. Parked lower down and hiked the rest of the trail and on to Mt. Mahler. Great trail, but use caution with a full size!
The lower half of the trail, which hold the most dispersed camping opportunities, is open and free of snow. The Silver Creek river crossing at Waypoint 3 is deeper than normal because of the late season snow melt. Snow still exists on the trail in the trees at Waypoint 4. It might be another few weeks before the trails end is reachable.
Although the temperature was in the mid-90's along the front range, mother nature turned on the air conditioner to a comfortable 74 degrees. What a great day to wheel in the high country. Silver Creek is in prime shape and the regular water crossing are running a typical depths. When we reached the end of the trail, it was peaceful and serine. What a great escape.
Tim lives and works in Northern Colorado. He has owned and driven 4X4 vehicles his entire adult life including Jeeps, pick ups, ATVs and UTVs. After high school, Tim's first 4X4 was a 47 Willy's CJ-2A with a flat 4 and a 6-volt electrical system. Typically wheeling in Northern Colorado or Southern Wyoming, Tim loves being in the mountains and the back country. Because of a desire to enjoy and promote responsible off-roading and to keep it available for the future, he belongs to a local 4X4 off-road club. Being part of the Trailsoffroad.com community furthers that goal as well.
A love for off-road adventures, camping, fishing, and hunting keeps Tim away from pavement and always exploring. While his wife likes the comfort of a Jeep Grand Cherokee, Tim prefers the ruggedness of the Jeep Wrangler. Although most off-road time is spent in Colorado and Wyoming, an occasional trip to the Moab area is common. Tim will spend the summer going topless and enjoying the value of the great outdoors. Amateur Radio Technician license call sign: ke0npg