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Lake City area camping

Trailhead conditions, directions, roads, parking, camping, etc. Trailhead Info/Status
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Lake City area camping

Postby mtflatrock » Mon Sep 02, 2013 10:04 am

Google Earth shows two campgrounds between Lake City and the Grizzly Gulch and American Basin trail heads. I can't find any information about them. Are they operational? I don't think my Chev. Equinox is capable of getting to the American Basin trail head (the last .9 mi) so I will need to camp somewhere below. I'm planning on doing Handies Wednesday. Would appreciate any info on these two campgrounds. Thanks.

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Re: Lake City area camping

Postby HikerGuy » Mon Sep 02, 2013 10:29 am

I believe there are three options between Lake City and Grizzly Gulch (in order from Lake City to Grizzly Gulch):

Wupperman Campground (county-owned on Lake San Cristobal)

Williams Creek (NFS) - #39 on this map

Mill Creek (BLM) - #22 on this map

All should be open. Your Chevy may be able to make it to the Grizzly Gulch TH and there is dispersed camping there. SanJuanRon may pipe in on the road conditions.

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Re: Lake City area camping

Postby peter303 » Mon Sep 02, 2013 10:51 am

I've seen those three campgrounds too. They fill up on weekends during tree-colour season. Try to get reservations.
I've camped at the trailhead also.

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Re: Lake City area camping

Postby briank » Mon Sep 02, 2013 6:27 pm

Mill Creek CG is in an ideal location to do all three 14ers in that area, Sunshine, Redcloud and Handies and it's a nice campground, although small. I made it up to the campground easily in my Mazda 3. The first day I climbed the south slope climbers trail up Sunshine peak directly from the campground then over to Redcloud and down to the Silver Creek Trailhead then back down the road to Mill Creek CG. The next day I drove the 3-4 miles up to the Grizzly Gulch trailhead and climbed Handies Pk. The road up to Grizzly Gulch was passable in a low clearance 2wd, in July, but you have to take it very carefully.

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Re: Lake City area camping

Postby thePhoenix » Tue Sep 03, 2013 8:10 am

The Grizzly Gulch trailhead also has some good spaces for camping if the CGs are full down the road, and the hike up Handies from Grizzly Gulch was beautiful. I stayed at Mill Creek CG this past weekend for two nights. It was a great site (11 miles after you turn off on 30). You can also find some good trip reports on the south slope of Sunshine then over Redcloud from this CG (check reports by exiled michigander and tony1).

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Re: Lake City area camping

Postby 2 left ft » Tue Sep 03, 2013 8:52 am

I stayed at the trail heads for Grizzly Gulch and Silver Creek this past weekend. There are a lot of camp sites at the trail head and just past the trail head. I’ve stayed at the Mill Creek campground before and find no advantage to stay there over the trail head. There are pit toilets at the trail head. Mill Creek campground has water if you run out or don’t bring enough. You’re about 1-2 months late for the flowers and a month early for the aspen – they’re just starting to change.

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