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Sangres, Nth Brush Trl or Spruce Crk parking

Trailhead conditions, directions, roads, parking, camping, etc. Trailhead Info/Status
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Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado

Sangres, Nth Brush Trl or Spruce Crk parking

Postby IHikeLikeAGirl » Fri Nov 23, 2012 10:30 am

Is there nearby parking for either the North Brush Trail TH or the roads that go up Spruce Creek?

During the summer, can you drive up the roads that go up Spruce Creek and its eastern tributary, FS Rd 331?

Has anyone done Lakes Peak and Electric from the Nth Brush Trail? Didn't see any TRs from that direction.
"Everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time."
- Steven Wright

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Location: Silver Cliff, Colorado

Re: Sangres, Nth Brush Trl or Spruce Crk parking

Postby flyingmagpie » Sun Nov 25, 2012 5:58 pm

The Sangres are in my "backyard" (I live in Silver Cliff), and I do two activities in the range: climb 13ers and 14ers, and fish the high lakes. I am familiar with FS331 from using it to access the North Brush Trail to fish Brush Creek Lakes. That said, the last time I drove the road was early in the summer. To drive it, I use a good high clearance 4WD, a Jeep Wrangler or a GMC Sierra with a Z71 off-road suspension. The road is in much better shape than the very rocky road that goes up from the Lutheran Camp to Balman Reservoir and Rainbow Lake. FS331 is mostly dirt and gravel, but rough, kind of like the new improved road to the new South Colony Lakes parking lot. The Trails Illustrated Nat'l Geo Map #138 is not entirely accurate in that it shows a foot trail starting from the second-to-the-last switchback on FS331. The Sky Terrain Sangre and Great Sand Dunes Map is more accurate in that it shows a 4wd road continuing in a short stem beyond that second-to-the-last switchback. That's the way it is on the ground. You don't continue going uphill on FS331. In fact, you descend a bit on that short stem and cross a little unexpected creek that isn't on either map. Then you come to a big old tarpaper mining shack that is still intact and standing. There is plenty of parking on dry ground around the shack. A short trail leads steeply uphill to a ridgeline, then descends on the other side to the North Brush Creek Trail. There is a sign-in register close uphill from parking. Last November there was a huge wind event in the Sangres that knocked down a lot of trees. The FS had cleared the trees from the road when I drove it this summer, but not the trail. Every entry on the trail log said "Don't even try it!", "Downed trees below the ridge stacked 4 feet deep!" and "Turn around at the ridge." So I didn't hike to the lakes. You should check with the FS to see if they have cleared the downed trees since then before you plan any climbs from the FS331 trailhead past Brush Lakes. I haven't been back to check myself!
"I've found the truest paths always lead through mountains." Kate Wolf, "An Unfinished Life"

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Re: Sangres, Nth Brush Trl or Spruce Crk parking

Postby IHikeLikeAGirl » Tue Nov 27, 2012 2:35 pm

THANK YOU! Really appreciate the detail on the road and the info on the downed trees from the trail register. Didn't even think about that...which I should, given all the incredible deadfall I've tried to climb over/under/around/through this year.

Will probably try this trail next summer...or the one after that...depending on my chats with the Forest Service.

You're fortunate to live in such a beautiful place. I love the basins in that area.
"Everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time."
- Steven Wright

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