My Trail Reviews (13)
(within last 6 months)
While I have not yet had a chance to drive this trail, it is worth noting that the famous Utah Monolith that has recently been all over social media is just off this trail near waypoint 34, at 38.34310, -109.66624. Who knows how long it will be until the BLM removes it, so if you're driving this trail anytime soon be sure to stop by and see it.
Ran this trail on 9/19. I was able to complete the main loop portion, plus the spectacular overlook on FR 285. I was only able to make it to about waypoint 13 on the road to the summit of Mount Bross before I found the shelf road increasingly blocked by snow banks leftover from the storm two weeks ago, and had to turn around. That snow could melt out still this year, but my guess is it that upper portion of the trail will likely be impassible until next year. Beautiful scenery and I hope to try again to reach the top next summer, hopefully with less smoke in the air spoiling the views.
I'm sure Marcus will update the main entry soon, but CORE cleared the last avalanche slide at the top of the trail on September 12. You can now drive all the way to the gate at the end of the road, where we cleared a parking/turn-around area that can accommodate around 5-10 vehicles. There was about a foot of snow at the top yesterday morning and the last half mile of the trail was quite icy. We had to recover a truck that had slid off the road the night before. By mid-afternoon a lot of the snow had melted and most of the remaining snow was just slush. It will probably all be gone in a few days.
Just so everyone is clear on this, Hagerman Pass has reopened now that I-70 and Independence Pass have reopened from the fire closures. I ran it on Labor Day and it was extremely smokey and parts of it were pretty rough and dug out, but it was fully open. The Leadville area has since gotten significant snowfall at higher elevations, but that is melting fast now that it's warmed up, so it should be passable again soon if it's not already.
I called the Forest Service this week and this road and the others in this area have reopened now that I-70 is back open.
According to the latest update on the Cameron Peak Fire, the fire has burned everything on the southern end of this trail between approximately waypoints 1 and 8. Depending on how extensive the damage from the fire is, it could take years for this trail to be reopened, if ever. The offroad community will need to be active in pressing the Forest Service to reopen this road when it is safe to do so rather than using the fire an excuse to close it permanently.
Hagerman Pass is temporarily closed along with nearby Crooked Creek Pass (FS 400) due to people with inappropriate vehicles attempting to drive it as a detour around the I-70 closure in Glenwood Canyon. Latest updates here: https://www.basaltchamber.org/2020/08/13/travel-notice-grizzly-creek-fire-related-detours/
Fully open to the end as of June 28. Beautiful trail with some spectacular views at the top, and a nice posing rock as well.
As of June 27, the main trail was clear to the locked gate to Champion Mill. The trail to Champion Mine was blocked by a snowdrift shortly before waypoint 11 (pictured). The trail to Iron Mike was clear to the Iron Mike Obstacle. I briefly attempted the bypass to the right but it proved more challenging than I expected, with a 90 degree turn to the left right after a steep ledge, that was hard to do without getting hung up on a rock right where I needed to turn. It was late and I was alone so I didn't feel comfortable attempting that further and turned around. I found a nice campsite a little ways below the obstacle which was nice and secluded away from the crowds camped along the main Halfmoon trail. I definitely need to go back and finish both prongs of this trail with a group next year, when hopefully it is fully reopened when the new travel plan is done.
Both Birdseye Gulch and the side trail to the top of Prospect Mountain were open and clear of snow as of June 27. The side spur to the left at waypoint 4 had a nasty mud bog shortly after it crosses the creek which I narrowly avoided getting stuck in. Even if it looks dry on the top, a vehicle will sink right in. Recommend avoiding that spot. I do highly recommend taking the side trail up Prospect Mountain. The views down into the Leadville valley and the Leadville Mining District below are phenomenal.
Ran this today. All the trails in this trail system are fully open and in good shape. Nice scenic drive from the top of Kenosha down to Hall Valley Road.
Ran this today and the trail was fully open to the end at the gate for the mine. There were a few snow drifts partially covering the road near the end that look like they had only recently melted to the point where they left enough of the road uncovered to get through. The trail being on the southwestern face of the mountain helps it melt out faster. The opposite side of the valley still has a lot of snow, but the whole area is melting fast. This was a fun trail with some nice scenery but nothing technically challenging. I even saw a Subaru Outback near the top that had apparently made it. Lots of people camping along the first couple miles. Definitely a popular dispersed camping area.
This past Saturday my wife and I spent the day Jeeping and hiking off the Winding Stairs / Ice Cave Creek loop in Rampart Range. After pulling a sedan out of a ditch along Rampart Range Road with my winch, we hiked a lesser known trail to the Sidney Harrison plane crash site from the 1950s, where a military pilot got lost in a snowstorm and crashed. Most people hike up from Palmer Lake, but we hiked down the much shorter route from FR 324.B (5 miles round trip vs. 10). We only saw a couple people at the crash site, and none on the trail.
We then explored the cool rock formations and overlooks at the ends of FR 323 and FR 324.B. The roads were completely clear of snow, the views were spectacular, and we found quite a few people camping on FR 323. It is such a shame that the Forest Service plans to close both of these amazing roads in the proposed travel management plan for the Pike National Forest, cutting off access to all these amazing locations.