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Access to Handies Pk. TH via Silverton or Ouray

Trailhead conditions, directions, roads, parking, camping, etc. Trailhead Info/Status
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Access to Handies Pk. TH via Silverton or Ouray

Postby mtflatrock » Tue Aug 20, 2013 4:05 pm

I have read the FAQ's, "read this first," and searched and cannot find the answer to my question. Ergo, I am planning on hiking Handies Pk. next week and will be coming from the West--Utah. The information here indicates the TH is accessible from the East via Lake City and County Road 30. Doesn't seem practical to drive all the way around to Lake City if I can stay in Silverton or Ouray. Can the TH be accessed from there via highway 110 that shows on my map?
Last edited by mtflatrock on Tue Aug 20, 2013 4:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Access to Handies Pk. TH via Silverton

Postby rijaca » Tue Aug 20, 2013 4:17 pm

Do you have a 4wd vehicle?
"Spent a little time on the mountain
Spent a little time on the hill"

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Re: Access to Handies Pk. TH via Silverton

Postby mtflatrock » Tue Aug 20, 2013 4:23 pm

I have an AWD Equinox.

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Re: Access to Handies Pk. TH via Silverton

Postby rijaca » Tue Aug 20, 2013 4:26 pm

How much ground clearance? Most need a standard 4wd SUV to get over the pass.
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Spent a little time on the hill"

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Re: Access to Handies Pk. TH via Silverton or Ouray

Postby mtflatrock » Tue Aug 20, 2013 4:28 pm

I have a high-clearance vehicle. Is there a road from Ouray eastward to the TH?

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Re: Access to Handies Pk. TH via Silverton or Ouray

Postby Project Ralphie » Tue Aug 20, 2013 4:34 pm

There was a thread last week about Cinammon Pass, which is the road you would need to take to Handies from Silverton. That thread will give you the info you need. I did the drive a few weeks ago in a 4Runner, which has more clearance than an Equinox. Took 1.5 miles to go 20 miles, and it was brutal on the car. Consider renting a Jeep.

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Re: Access to Handies Pk. TH via Silverton or Ouray

Postby mtflatrock » Tue Aug 20, 2013 4:38 pm

Thank you. I may decide to choose another 14er instead. This one just looked scenic from the pics.

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Re: Access to Handies Pk. TH via Silverton or Ouray

Postby Tortoise1 » Tue Aug 20, 2013 4:51 pm

You don't have to go over the pass and all the way around to American Basin. There's a trail to Handies from below Animas Forks. I'd say it adds about a mile or mile and half each way to the American Basin hike though. And it adds 800 feet of elevation gain too, from 10,800 versus 11,600 for AB. This trail meets up with the American Basin trail at about 12,400.

The trailhead is about 10.5 miles from the edge of Silverton, mostly good road, starts to go bad, but you should be fine in an Equinox. Coordinates for the trailhead are N 37.91881 W 107.55818 . Copy and paste that into Google map. The trail shows up in the map view. All these map sites have screwed up the satellite view recently with too much snow to see the summer trails.

You don't even want to try to go there from Ouray.

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Re: Access to Handies Pk. TH via Silverton or Ouray

Postby GeorgiaTyler » Tue Aug 20, 2013 5:43 pm

burns gulch. -> niagra, jones, American -> Handies.

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Re: Access to Handies Pk. TH via Silverton or Ouray

Postby mtflatrock » Tue Aug 20, 2013 7:49 pm

Thank you tortoise1. This is good info. I do want to try Handies so this might be a good alternative.

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Re: Access to Handies Pk. TH via Silverton or Ouray

Postby mtflatrock » Tue Aug 20, 2013 7:51 pm

BTW, Tortoise1, is the trail you are talking about signed at the road?

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Re: Access to Handies Pk. TH via Silverton or Ouray

Postby cougar » Tue Aug 20, 2013 8:03 pm

it's very poorly marked, just a forest service stake with a trail # and what it's open to. It goes by Burns Gulch and Grouse Gulch. Starts out parallel to an old jeep road. It's just a bit of a ways below Cinnamon Pass where the road crosses the Animas over a pipe bridge. More info on this thread:

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=40491&p=489898&hilit=grouse+gulch#p489898

Road is passable with 2WD to that point with some clearance (> 1 ft), not steep, and not far from Silverton.
First half is pretty good road.

burns gulch. -> niagra, jones, American -> Handies.


these are the peaks you can search for - it's a trailhead for those 13ers and Handies.

From Ouray, much tougher drive.

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