Huerfano/Lily Lake Trailhead
Added by BillMiddlebrook

Location:  Sangre de Cristo Range
14ers Served:  Mt. Lindsey
Road Type:  Easy 4WD, good clearance recommended. 3   (0=Paved, 6=Very Difficult 4WD)
Very Rough 2WD access to the upper trailhead at 10,700. Good clearance required. 4WD may be required in spring when large puddles and mud are present.
- Drive to the town of Gardner, northwest of Walsenburg on Colorado 69.
- From Gardner, head west for about 1/2 mile on CO 69 and turn west on the road to Mosca Pass. There should be brown Forest Service signs on CO 69 indicating the turn.
- Just after the start of this road, a Forest Service sign states "Upper Huerfano - 21.5" and "Lily Lake Trhd - 22.5".
- After 7.0 miles the road turns to dirt.
- Continue 4.8 miles to a junction and stay left on Forest Road 580.
- Drive 3.4 miles and enter private property where a "Forest Access" sign reads "Upper Huerfano - 5.3 mi."
- Continue 0.5 mile and stay left at the entrance to the Singing River ranch. The road becomes rough, narrow, but still 2WD.
- Continue 0.9 mile and pass the entrance to the Aspen River ranch. The road becomes more difficult.
- Drive 3.4 miles to enter the San Isabel National Forest.
- Drive 0.8 mile and pass a small sign for the Huerfano and Zapata trails.
- Drive 1 more mile to the end of the road at the Lily Lake TH.
Winter Access:  Usually closed near the ranches, many miles below the TH.
14er Trailheads on Google Maps
Date Status Information Posted By  Photos  Comments Likes Dislikes    
2011-05-21 Can now get to within 0.4mile of the upper th BillMiddlebrook         
2011-05-15 Someone cut the big aspen tree that was right by the lower trailhead. It was there on Saturday night, but not on Sunday morning. I saw some trucks about another mile from that point. SchralpTheGnar         
2011-05-07 As the others have mentioned, the snow is still in drifts at about 10000, just before the yellow grate at the national forest boundary. However, even if the snow melts, you may still have to stop at the parking area just inside the national forest boundary, as there is a large aspen tree still down across the road just beyond that parking area. Scanner         
2011-05-07 Partners got a Chevy Blazer to within 1 mile of the Lower Huerfano trailhead (2 miles from Upper Huerfano TH). Got my Honda Fit to within a couple hundred yards of the Blazer. If current warm-up continues, Im guessing the road will probably be clear at least to Lower Huerfano in no more than a couple of weeks. Edit: But as Scanner points out, even if the road is clear of snow, there is at least one big tree across the road before the Lower Huerfano TH. Bring a chainsaw. CarpeDM  2       
2011-05-06 Road dry to within 2 miles of trailhead - blocked by snow. BillMiddlebrook         
2011-04-17 The road is clear about a mile or so past the Singing River Ranch and is impassable just before the first large clearing where you can first get great views of Blanca. Big snow drifts exist in the road past this point, as well as a downed tree. mattpayne11         
2011-03-29 I got my Ford Focus to within about 500 yards of the Aspen River Ranch (about 5.5 miles short of Lily Lake TH), before being stopped by snow. If I had brought a shovel, I probably could have made it about another mile or so without too much trouble. JROSKA         
2010-10-23 As of Saturday evening, 10/23, the 4x road was clear of snow all the way to the trailhead. Shogun         
2010-10-15 Climbed Lindsey from the Lily Lake TH. Road was easy in a stock Jeep Grand Cherokee. Only one minor water hazard. Trail was beautiful all the way up. Minor bumps, but nothing stock vehicle couldn‘t do. I did not put it into 4X4 at all. Wet conditions would make it bad in a few spots, however. mtndude3737  1       
2010-09-18 Saw a Geo Metro parked about halfway between the Zapata and Lily Lake trailheads. I kid you not, a Geo Metro. I guess if your Metro conks out on this road you can just abandon it and buy another car. Personally I'd want something with better clearance. Be prepared to encounter cattle, I ran into (well not literally) two separate herds on the way up. TravelingMatt         
2010-09-11 Made it all the way in a Subaru Legacy...NOT recommended. Higher clearance vehicles would have no problem but it was rough on my car. GREENSon14s         
2010-08-28 Excellent gravel road up to the Singing River Ranch, then deteriorates in several spots, mostly water damage, not a lot of rocks, nor steep slopes SkiAndClimb         
2010-07-25 Made it all the way to the trail head in a 2wd Cadillac DTS. I don‘t think a 4wd is needed... but then it was a rental car! rsytek  1       
2010-06-09 The road is snow-free all the way to the upper trailhead. There are no trees in the road. Subarus can make it all the way. B[3]         
2010-05-21 The thing that is currently blocking the road is a 15 inch log across the road. If you bring a chainsaw you would be able to get a little farther. If you brought a couple of guys and some shovels you could get through the next four or five drifts. If you can do that, there is about .75-1.0 miles of dry road past that. If it is left to the weather melting it out, it will be a few weeks. About .25 from the trailhead, there is a significant, maybe .2 mile stretch of 3-4 foot deep snow that will take a while to melt out. Currently the log is at about 2.1 miles from the trailhead. cbauer10         
2010-05-09 Friday 5/7, we were not able to push through Wyoming Bob‘s drifts from the week before (though dry dground lay beyond.) According to the GPS tracker, we stopped 3.2 miles shy of the Lindsey/Lily lake TH (this is beyond the lower Hurfano/Zapata TH mentioned by Wyoming Bob the week before) Upon return fom out 5/8 climb on Lindsey, we found that a truck had breached the snow bank and make it at least another 0.7 miles, leaving current conditions about 2.5 miles short of the Summer TH. sgladbach         
2010-05-01 Made it to mile 19.1 (using Roach approach description) before stopped by drifting (Toyota Tacoma) (4/30/10). Next day melt had progressed to mile 19.5, assuming one can cross about 200 feet of 6" deep drift remnant, likely gone after next warm day. Once road goes into timber, there is 18-30" of snow with multiple hummocks to 4 feet. 10" aspen over road 1/4 mile shy of USFS boundary. Summary . . . road open to within 1.5 mile of the Lower Huerfano (Zapata/Huerfano trails intersection) given a warm day to take out the mentioned drifts. Wyoming Bob         
2009-11-23 Using 4WD (highway mud/snow tires, not chains)we drove w/o problems to a point 1/2 mile below the forest boundary. That is 1.5 miles below the Huerfano/Zapata THs or 2.5 miles below the Lily Lake TH at road terminus. sgladbach         
2009-11-03 As of 11/01 a 4WD can make it to about +/- 3 miles past the Singing River Ranch. After that it is mostly snow covered road to the upper trailhead. If you go before it snows again there is a nice trench to follow. MikeyC         
2009-10-20 10/17/09 - No snow, mostly dry all the way to the TH. A few large puddles, nothing more than ~8" deep. 2WD accessible, assuming you don‘t mind bumping around or a few dings to the car (wouldn‘t take new 2WDs up there, though). Comparable to Tigiwon Road. About an hour‘s drive from Gardner. JosephG         
2009-08-25 Trailhead is accessible by any vehicle with good clearance. Probably a truck or SUV is your best bet to avoid any bottoming out. There are four or five small stream crossings but as of 8/22/09 none are more than 12 inches deep. Several hundred feet of the road just about where the ranches are is constantly wet due to a small stream running down it but is solid, not muddy. Road is well maintained and it took right at an hour to get from the turn-off north of Gardner to the trilhead. huffy13         
2009-06-21 If you are taking I-25 south to Walsenburg to climb Lindsey or head over La Veta Pass here is a closure you should know about. From CDOT website Bridge Construction I-25 Southbound at CO 10 North of Walsenburg (Milemarker 50) (through July 2009) 24 Hours Full closure of southbound lanes for bridge rehabilitation tentatively scheduled through the end of July. Traffic detoured at Exit 52, through Walsenburg via Business Route I-25 (US 85/87 - Walsen Ave/Main St), rejoining I-25 at Exit 49 on the south end of Walsenburg. Friday 6-19-09 super time traffic on I-25 south was backed up and stopped for about a mile before Walsenburg. The back up continued into Walsenburg. There is a dirt frontage road along side the highway. High clearance vehicles were crossing the ditch to get on this road. The frontage road will take you to the parking lot of the gas station at the Walsenburg exit with the A&W inside. The other side of the parking lot is on Hwy 69 which heads up toward Lindsey. For Lindsey an alternative is to cross from I-25 (exit 56) to 69 on Red Rock Road which is a few miles north of Walsenburg. Red Rock Road is now paved. If you need to head over La Veta Pass you might have to get more creative to get past the back up. MountainHiker         
2009-06-10 Just echoing the below update- trailhead is clear all the way to the summer TH. There are 2 puddles that lower-clearance vehicles should take caution through. USAKeller         
2009-06-01 No snow all the way to the uppermost parking. Last 1/2 mile is a little steep and loose for the Subaru though. elchivoloco         
2009-05-23 There is one snow drift that will keep a low-clearance vehicle from getting all the way to the TH, but it is a very short walk away from it. Totally 2wd accessible otherwise. thunderinacircle         

The TH parking area (Added by: BillMiddlebrook on 2006-06-03)Start of the trail on the west side of the parking area (Added by: BillMiddlebrook on 2006-06-03)Water crossing between Singing River and Aspen River Ranches (Added by: wildbrookie on 2007-11-26)Typical ice coverage on 11/24/07 (Added by: wildbrookie on 2007-11-26)Huerfano/Lily Lake TH  parking lot from th sign– April 26, 2008 (Added by: cpstoney on 2008-04-27)Zap trail (Added by: yodmc714 on 2012-06-05)fawn (Added by: yodmc714 on 2012-06-05)

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