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S. Colony Lakes

Trailhead conditions, directions, roads, parking, camping, etc. Trailhead Info/Status
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S. Colony Lakes

Postby cftbq » Sun Jun 30, 2013 5:13 pm

I'm looking for updated information on the S. Colony Lakes access road. (Heading there in a couple of weeks.)It's been five years since I was last there, and I know significant changes have been made.
Did the FS ever institute a parking fee at this TH? Fee or not, is parking at the TH severely limited? Is the road now passable by low-slung cars?
Thanks in advance to anyone who has been there recently, and can help me with answers to these questions.
I have been to the mountaintop, and I have seen the force
and the power that animates the universe. That may not
match up with your anthropomorphic or teleological idea of
what "god" is, but it's good enough for me.

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Re: S. Colony Lakes

Postby awilbur77 » Sun Jun 30, 2013 5:19 pm

No fee, and you still need 4wd, but some 2wd vehicles are always seen at the 4x4 TH. I have seen in summer that the 4x4 TH can get full. I managed to squeeze into the last spot one night arriving late, but there are also many pull offs a bit lower if you arrive at a full 4x4 TH.
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Re: S. Colony Lakes

Postby thebeave7 » Sun Jun 30, 2013 5:26 pm

Yep no fee, yep the parking lot can fill on weekends. I got my Subaru Forester up there last year without issue, just had to take a few sections slowly. Basically what I'm saying is if you're comfortable driving a wagon on bumpy roads you don't need a true 4x4 to make it. I wouldn't recommend doing it in a low clearance vehicle though, prob a bad idea.

Eric
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Re: S. Colony Lakes

Postby Jim Davies » Sun Jun 30, 2013 8:25 pm

The new trailhead is only about halfway to the old end of the road. The three times we've been up there since 2009, we got our Outback about 1.9 miles up from the cow-pasture lot without too much trouble, then found a hill we didn't want to risk. This added less than a mile each way to the hike. I personally wouldn't take a passenger car up that far, but there were some at the trailhead lot each time we've been there.
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Re: S. Colony Lakes

Postby cftbq » Sun Jun 30, 2013 8:35 pm

Thanks, guys.
Eric: Yeah, the last time I went, I had a Forester, so no problemo! That's why:
Jim: I'm surprised that you didn't want to take an Outback all the way; I know the hill you're referring to. In fact, in the "old days," I remember seeing at least one Outback up at the old upper end of the road!
But it was always my understanding that one couldn't park (or camp) anywhere along the road above the cow-pasture, at least until getting to roughly where the TH is now.
I have been to the mountaintop, and I have seen the force
and the power that animates the universe. That may not
match up with your anthropomorphic or teleological idea of
what "god" is, but it's good enough for me.

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Re: S. Colony Lakes

Postby Jim Davies » Sun Jun 30, 2013 8:52 pm

There's about a mile that's still private property, but it becomes National Forest before the place we stopped (a half mile or so before the Rainbow Trail crossing, which has another parking lot). There are several semi-developed designated campsites at the trailhead (with fire rings and tent pads), and a number of informal ones along the public part of the road.
Some people are afraid of heights. Not me, I'm afraid of widths. -- Steven Wright

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Re: S. Colony Lakes

Postby timf » Sun Jun 30, 2013 10:20 pm

Silly question: So I get the new 4WD TH is much earlier then the old one that was near the big SAR gate, but can people pack into the SC lakes ir is the TH the stopping point?

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Re: S. Colony Lakes

Postby Mtnman200 » Mon Jul 01, 2013 7:00 am

Sure, you can still backpack to S. Colony Lakes.

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