The Colorado Trail follows the Jarosa Mesa 4-Wheel-Drive Forest Development Road # 547, west out of Spring Creek Pass Picnic & Campground. The first 8.6 miles of this route is open to 4-wheel-drive and other off-road vehicles. The road and trail follows the Continental Divide. Uncompahgre Peak, 14,286 feet, can be seen from several locations along the route, along with numerous other peaks and mountain ranges.
Copyright: G. Lloyd
Spring Creek Pass, Hermit Lakes, Rio Grande Pyramid
The trail and road runs through scattered spruce-fir trees and then willow brush as the route gains elevation. Once on top of Jarosa Mesa, the route traverses in open alpine parks for several miles before starting its descent just below the crest of the Continental Divide to Carson. Except for a spring near the road, about 2.5 miles from the start, water is scarce or nonexistent along the route until the vicinities of the headwaters of Big Buck, Ruby, and Kitty Creeks.
The route is closed to 4-wheel-drive motorized vehicles over 40 inches wide (including jeeps) approximately midway between Big Buck and Ruby Creeks. Up to this point, the 4-wheel-road is open to all forms of vehicles, i.e. jeeps, trail bikes, ATVs, mountain bikes, etc. From midway, between Big Buck and Ruby Creeks, the route continues as a trail southwest and west to Coney Peak and to the Carson area. The route continues as a trail and is open only to ATVs, trail bikes, mountain bikes, motorized vehicles 40 inches or less wide, and not to 4-wheel drive jeeps until you reach Coney Peak.
Just east of the Carson area lies the highest point on the entire Colorado Trail, just below 13,344 feet, Coney Summit. From the top of Coney, an indistinct jeep trail is open to jeeps from the Carson Saddle to Coney but not beyond to the east.
Directions from Lake City, Colorado: Travel 17.0 miles south on Colorado Highway 149 to Spring Creek Pass Trailhead. The trailhead is obvious where Highway 149 tops out on the Continental Divide and Spring Creek Pass. A jeep road, Forest Development Road # 547, continues west from the top of the pass along the Continental Divide and serves as the Continental Divide and Colorado Trails for the first several miles.
Directions from Creede, Colorado: Travel 33.0 miles north on Colorado Highway 149 to Spring Creek Pass Trailhead. The trailhead is obvious where Highway 149 tops out on the Continental Divide and Spring Creek Pass. A jeep road, Forest Development Road # 547, continues west from the top of the pass along the Continental Divide and serves as the Continental Divide and Colorado Trails for the first several miles.
Directions from Lake City, Colorado: CARSON SADDLE-WAGER GULCH TRAIL ACCESS: Travel south on Colorado Highway 149 approximately 1.5 miles to a turnoff which leads right to Lake San Cristobol. Continue 9.3 miles on the road up the valley of the Lake Fork to the 4-wheel drive turnoff at left, which leads to Wager Gulch and Carson. The drive is approximately 5.0 miles up this rough 4WD road to Carson Saddle, so called because it is a low point on the Continental Divide about 1.0 mile beyond the old mining town of Carson.
Mid-Summer through Fall
(NOTE: A few picnic tables and a toilet are the only facilities provided.)