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Capitol Creek Trailhead
Added by BillMiddlebrook

Location:  Elk Mountains
14ers Served:  Capitol Peak
Road Type:  Easy 4WD, good clearance recommended. 3   (0=Paved, 6=Very Difficult 4WD)
Rough 2WD to the horse-trailer parking spot, approx. 2 miles before the trailhead. Easy 4WD dirt to the TH. In spring and early summer, the road can get slippery on a steep hill. 4WD and good clearance is recommended in early summer.
Directions:  From Glenwood Springs, drive about 26 miles southeast on Colorado 82 and turn right on Snowmass Creek Road (this is not Snowmass Village). From the intersection of CO 82, it’s 9.9 miles to the trailhead and the remainder of these directions assume you reset your trip-odometer at the intersection. Drive 1.7 miles to a junction and turn right on Capitol Creek road. Continue to 6.4 miles where the road turns to dirt. There’s horse-trailer parking in this area and it’s a good place to park if you have a low-clearance vehicle or the upper road is muddy. Continue up the rugged, narrow (and sometimes slick) road to reach the trailhead at approximately 9.9 miles.
Winter Access:  Unknown
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Date Status Information Posted By  Photos  Comments Likes Dislikes    
2014-09-18 The first 8.5 miles are as good as paved. At 9.0 miles it gets significantly rougher; there are a couple of parking spots at a Y-junction here that would be a good place to stop if you have a passenger car. Jim Davies         
2014-09-13 There are some sections of the road with big dips and/or rocks, requiring decent/typical SUV clearance at least. A 2wd vehicle with good clearance can make it if the road is dry (which is was), but a typical 2wd sedan would probably not make it to the TH without scraping and perhaps getting stuck. bdloftin77         
2014-08-10 You could make it up in a 2wd. And there was a Honda Civic at the top. I don‘t know how she made it up. It is a class 3 road and requires lots of clearance. Both of our parties were glad to have high clearance 4wds. mspalding         
2013-09-21 Last 1.5 miles have seen some serious water damage which made things a little more challenging. My Accord still made it, but it took some time. I was the only 2WD at the TH when I arrived and when I left, but it is possible. forbins_mtn    1      
2012-11-02 Drove up Friday morning. The last mile to the trailhead is covered in snow, ice and mud. Most of this portion doesn‘t get any sunlight this time of year so it doesn‘t melt. The up hill sections are especially bad. I have a 3/4 Ton GMC with mud tires and a Winch so I was fine. I wouldn‘t advise trying in anything less than a truck or a Jeep with good tires. Good chance you could just slide into a ditch or a tree. On the way down I slid in a couple spots so be careful. Sidenote. Good amount of snow on trail to Capitol. Didn‘t feel like post holing the whole way up. I could see a good amount of snow collecting on the the North side of Capitol. The picture of Capitol is from the trailhead. The other picture is a Good section of the road down. Taillon75  2  1      
2012-08-27 I was able to drive a Toyota Yaris all the way to the TH. Capital Creek Rd. is paved most of the way. Eventually it turns to red dirt and gets very rough from rocks, pot holes, and wash-out ruts. If you drive very slow and are careful you can maneuver around or straddle the bad spots. The road gets steepest just before the TH. and if this red dirt road is wet it will be too slippery to drive up it. CHOOSE WHISLY... The road is very narrow and there are not many spots anywhere to turn around at if you commit to this road in a car (or anything). There were other cars up there the day I went up. bking14ers         
2012-05-07 Clear and dry all the way to TH on the way in 5/6. Snowed most of the afternoon on our way 5/7 out, so the road was wet and slick. It should dry out in a couple days. summitbound         
2011-08-23 Made it to TH in 2wd Dodge Caliber. Road bed dry. Took it slow over the humps, didn‘t bottom out. 2giqs         
2011-08-13 Dry, and barely doable for a mid-size sedan. I think it is a little bit harder than Kite Lake road(last summer‘s condition). mountain hiker         
2010-09-12 Trailhead is in good condition still. Many ruts which are avoidable, and plenty of big rollers that need to be taken slowly but I was able to get my Subaru Outback to the TH no problem. Doggler was also able to get his Nissan Maxima up there. crossfitter         
2010-08-04 Road in good condition 7/30 - 8/1. Spotted a BMW/Mini Cooper at the TH. GoHigher         
2010-06-12 As of June 12th, the road to the Capitol Creek/Ditch TH was wet and muddy due to heavy rain. Capitol Creek had swollen an estimated four times its normal height, making the crossings along the creek trail difficult or impassable. The ditch trail was also slippery and muddy, with ankle high to waist deep snow/slush encountered approximately two miles from Capitol Lake. Conditions further up the mountain past Capitol Lake appeared snowy, unknown depth as our team did not venture further than the lake. BoboKnickers         
2010-04-17 Parked .6 miles from summer trailhead. Will still be a month or more before you can drive to the summer TH. Drive to where we parked was on mud. No 4wd needed. Snow conditions were miserable. Postholed to the lake wearing 30" snowshoes. Snow is rotten everywhere. A pair of skiiers skinned along slightly better than we did on shoes, but were still very slow and had to re-skin a lot. We put up a good booter between the four of us so that others can hopefully enjoy some of our packed out posthole steps. We‘ll be back in about a month --- ikkythump         
2009-10-28 Road is semi dry to the trailhead. It isn‘t as rutted or spun out as it has been in years past. Dry as of Monday all the way to the end. Kiefer         
2009-10-17 17 Oct 2009, late evening. Road up was dry and easily in the best shape I have seen it. I kept going upward to the Hell Roaring Creek TH--some wet spots, but also in good shape. XPLSV         
2009-05-17 The road is dry and dusty all the way to TH (even up towards Hell Roaring TH giarcd         
2008-07-11 Dry to the trailhead. BillMiddlebrook         
2008-06-18 Road is dry. The waterbars might have grown an inch or two in the last year. Snow pretty much continuous on the Capital Lake trail above 9900 feet. cheeseburglar         
2007-06-23 road is open and dry---ditch trail is sweet! giarcd         
2006-08-19 As of 8/17/2006, there was a sign at the trailhead stating the bridge was out on the Capitol Creek trail. The Capitol Creek "Ditch" trail that starts on the west end of the parking area is recommended instead. BillMiddlebrook         
2005-05-31 Trailhead is open and dry as of May 28. Scott P         

Capitol Creek TH – upper parking area and access to Ditch Trail (Added by: BillMiddlebrook on 2006-08-19)The trailhead and start of the Capitol Creek trail (Added by: BillMiddlebrook on 2006-08-19)

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