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Road to Nellie Cr trailhead..Uncompahgre

Trailhead condition requests, questions, alerts, etc. Trailhead Info/Status Reports
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Road to Nellie Cr trailhead..Uncompahgre

Postby PaliKona » Mon Apr 29, 2013 7:48 am

Trying to figure out if I can get up to the Nellie Creek 4wd TH for Uncompahgre this summer. I've driven my Subie Outback up to the radio towers on Mt Princeton, up and over Cinnamon Pass from Silverton to Handies TH and to the 4wd TH for Huron. How does Nellie Creek compare?

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Re: Road to Nellie Cr trailhead..Uncompahgre

Postby Tony1 » Mon Apr 29, 2013 9:52 am

I'd say you could do it. As I hiked it last year, a Honda CRV flew past and was at the upper trailhead when I got there.

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Re: Road to Nellie Cr trailhead..Uncompahgre

Postby PaliKona » Mon Apr 29, 2013 10:04 am

are there river crossings?

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Re: Road to Nellie Cr trailhead..Uncompahgre

Postby FCSquid » Mon Apr 29, 2013 11:02 am

PaliKona wrote:are there river crossings?

A couple, but they're both shallow. IMO, the radio towers road is much rougher than the Nellie Creek road. I saw all sorts of low-clearance vehicles make it up Nellie Creek without issue (as we walked the entire length of the road completely overestimating the difficulty of the approach ...)
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Re: Road to Nellie Cr trailhead..Uncompahgre

Postby PaliKona » Mon Apr 29, 2013 4:23 pm

Cool to hear. I slightly underestimated Cinnamon Pass last summer and while I made it, I felt I pushed the Subie to make it. I'd like to avoid that again and make it to the 4wd TH to camp the night before, and go for Matterhorn as well.

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Re: Road to Nellie Cr trailhead..Uncompahgre

Postby San Juan Ron » Mon Apr 29, 2013 5:31 pm

The road up to Nellie Creek TH is a bit more challenging than Cinnamon Pass especially early in the year (June) with the creek crossings during runoff. However, once runoff subsides, it's only marginally more difficult. Go slow, take your time, and you should be fine. SJ Ron

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Re: Road to Nellie Cr trailhead..Uncompahgre

Postby PaliKona » Mon Apr 29, 2013 6:37 pm

That's not what I wanted to hear :)
So assuming the runoff has run off and the creeks are no problem, what makes it slightly harder than Cinnamon (for an Outback)? For point of reference, there were a few really rocky sections on each side of Cinnamon where I was talking to my friend saying maybe this is a bad idea...

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Re: Road to Nellie Cr trailhead..Uncompahgre

Postby San Juan Ron » Mon Apr 29, 2013 7:46 pm

I drive Cinnamon Pass 20+ times a year so it's second nature to me. A couple tight turns just above American Basin and a few rocky sections where you need to be careful. Nellie Creek is rockier with a couple creek crossings and sometimes downed trees can be a problem. The turns are a bit tighter on Nellie, but you don't have 300+ foot dropoffs like you do on the Shelf Road. Clearance required is roughly the same.

If you really were terribly uncomfortable on a relatively mild Cinnamon Pass, you probably shouldn't do Nellie. Otherwise, go slow and you should be okay. There are lots of places in Lake City where you can rent jeeps if needed (roughly $100 day, Lake City Auto Sports, Pleasant View, etc.).

SJ Ron

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Re: Road to Nellie Cr trailhead..Uncompahgre

Postby TallGrass » Tue Apr 30, 2013 12:54 pm

Some pickups will drag going over berms. I saw one get stuck a bit and recommended she try again but at as close to 45-degrees as she could and she made it. There's some video of sections in my TR of my bike going back down shot from a Ford Ranger. If there's been a real recent rain, the creeks will be moving much swifter.
Not sure if I'll do more 14ers. The trip reports are too tiring. :wink:

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Re: Road to Nellie Cr trailhead..Uncompahgre

Postby DaveSwink » Tue Apr 30, 2013 10:10 pm

I made it in relative comfort last fall in my Forester. My son got out to scout one creek crossing for me but generally it should be ok it an Outback. I would rank that road much less hazardous than the Como road to 8,800.

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Re: Road to Nellie Cr trailhead..Uncompahgre

Postby 3rdGenNative » Wed May 01, 2013 10:39 am

Last summer we did it in a friend's small-framed pickup. Found out on the way that the 4wd wasn't working. His tires were sketchy. We did fine.
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Re: Road to Nellie Cr trailhead..Uncompahgre

Postby Duffus Kentucky Climber » Wed May 01, 2013 10:39 am

Thanks for the timely updates. Nellie Creek TH is on our wish list for this fall, too. I drove the Baldwin Gulch road last year and wondered how they compare. We've done Rock Creek and the radio towers road and a few others that were exciting and have not needed to get past American Basin on Cinnamon Pass. I've had a hard time fleshing out most written discriptions of roads to trailheads.
It looks like the ridge is just right up there!

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