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South Colony Lakes Trailhead

Posted By: AlpineSplit
Info: All vehicles will need to park at the 2WD trailhead. Snow is continuous all the way to the upper 4WD trailhead.
Posted By: masonzastrow
Info: For the 4WD trailhead, there’s no closed gate, tire tracks go beyond the intersection with Rainbow Trail. 2WD trailhead is clear to the lot.
Posted By: davebelin
Info: This road is definitely quite rough, as others have noted. I did it this weekend in my stock Subaru Outback with no issues. X Mode going up and down was critical to the success. There were four or five steep, loose sections that tested my vehicle and nerves to the limit, but we made it. Onward!
Posted By: Jack2
Info: Made it to the 4WD trailhead with my stock Subaru Crosstrek. I probably added a couple more scrapes and tears to my bumper, but I am long past caring about that. If cosmetics on your car is a concern you have for your vehicle I would not recommend going up without high clearance. Otherwise, the road is definitely Subaruable
Posted By: mmbakken
Info: The 2WD trailhead is accessible from South Colony Road from the East, but not from the North via Colony Lane. If you’re coming from the Alvarado campground, do not follow Google Maps directions. The road basically ends about 1/2 a mile short of the trailhead. There’s some tire ruts there but it’s definitely not a 2WD road.
Posted By: Marmot72
Info: After getting my ’18 Forester up and down from the TH without incident, I declare this road, in its present state, as Suburable! There are four rocky sections that required slow, careful navigation with the "X mode" (full-time 4 low) switched on.
Posted By: aldsw
Info: This is one of the rougher 4wd trail head roads I’ve been on. We had no issues in our Nissan Armada but do worry what unseen damage was done. We followed a Jeep Cherokee on the way up and they had a heck of a time. There were times they only had two wheels on the ground at a time. As others have said, with the right skill, any 4wd / decent clearance vehicle will make it, but at what cost?
Posted By: Yossi
Info: The road is annoying yet passable by any car with high clearance and 4wd but the better your vehicle the easier the drive will be. It is quite rocky and there is almost no reprieve from having to carefully navigate rocks. Many mid size SUV’s were present so it seems with enough patience and skill most med/high clearance SUV’s can make it. Still found it to be a frustratingly rough and slow road in a stock 4Runner.
Posted By: Eagle Eye
Info: I would call the road on the ’good’ side of its summer condition, having been there a lot. It seems like some repairs or filling in has been done to sections of the road. A warning is that there are many cows grazing in a field/no fence on the North side of S Colony Rd just past the 2wd parking area. There were 3 or 4 cows in the ditch or in the road when I was leaving.
Posted By: BRadleyC
Info: Drove stock Ford Ranger Tremor Edition up to 4WD trailhead with no issues. Several rough sections which required slow speed and careful line selection. No ice nor snow encountered on way to 4WD trailhead. Was glad to have skid plates and not sure I would have tried it without undercarriage protection. Truck has 9.7 inches of ground clearance .
Posted By: Scott Conro
Info: After four trips up the road in my GMC 1500 4WD in 2017/2018, I decided to never do it again. However, I was told the road was regraded recently and not too bad. The previous two posts somewhat confirmed that information.

It is, in fact, just as bad as it was five years ago and wish I didnt put that strain on my truck. It would have taken the same time to walk the road.
Posted By: terribletigzy
Info: I parked at rainbow trailhead which is past most of the difficulties on the road. Made it up in a stock Subaru Forester. This road was at the absolute limits of this vehicle and only recommend attempting in a subie if you are confident in your abilities and are willing to pay the potential consequences if you have a problem. Most of the road isnt too bad, but there are 3-4 sections where a good line and the right amount of speed are needed.
Posted By: ssowalskie
Info: I made it up to .1 miles away from the 4WD trailhead in my stock Subaru Outback. It was a rough way up (and an even rougher way down) but is definitely Subaru-able if you pick the right lines (and are okay with a little white-knuckle driving). However, I didn’t make it all the way up because of a large pool of standing water right before the 4WD trailhead (see picture). I might have been able to make it, but wasn’t sure how deep it was and didn’t want to risk it. Vehicles at the 4WD trailhead were all SUVs with slightly better clearance.
Posted By: GaryBroome6
Info: Road is completely clear of snow and ice all the way to the summer TH if you can survive the giant holes and half buried boulders.
Posted By: supranihilest
Info: Tree mentioned in previous update has been cut back from the road. Intermittent snow and ice patches all the way to the 4WD trailhead. We were able to drive about half a mile from the 4WD trailhead. Nobody had gone farther when we parked early in the morning but by the time we came back down at least one person had driven all the way to the trailhead in what was probably an ATV or side-by-side. Personally I’d wait another week or two before going all the way, to avoid getting stuck in the remaining snow, but it is possible now.
Posted By: colin j
Info: Drove to the National Forest boundary; any vehicle that can make the trailhead in summer can make it here, though parking is an issue. There isn’t a lot of snow beyond this point; however, 500 ft beyond the boundary is a large downed tree. Vehicular access to the trailhead is impractical until the tree is removed.
Posted By: bmcqueen
Info: I was able to drive to the summer TH in my 4Runner. Plenty of snow on the road, but the existing tracks made it very doable. Subject to change with the next snow of course.
Posted By: infinitealpine
Info: Made it to the upper TH in a stock RAV4. I’d say it’s probably at the limits of my vehicles capabilities but doable if you take it slow and pick your lines carefully. Plenty of room to park when I had arrived at 9am.
Posted By: Eagle Eye
Info: I would say the road is on the poor side of its summer conditions, still. Probably the end of a busy season where a lot of damage and big rocks have been dug out. Someone mentioned a big muddy water pool and its near the end of the drivable road, near the upper TH. Its in a slight dip in the road, I estimate a foot/foot & a half deep, maybe 15 feet long & unavoidable.
Its a good road to have high clearance and 4WD, LT light truck (strong sidewall) not P (easily punctured sidewall) passenger tires.
Posted By: Thighs
Info: Made it to the 4wd TH in a 2010 Subaru Outback with some off-road tires. I scraped maybe one or two times but with no significant damage done - just poor split second judgement. Two other outbacks at the top with normal touring tires installed. One big water pool but otherwise dry and in pretty good condition.
Posted By: Rafreaki
Info: At its worst spots, road was more deeply rutted and with larger rocks exposed than I remember seeing my last drive up in 2012. I did make it to the 4WD trailhead in my stock 18 Subaru Crosstrek (8.7" ground clearance) with cheap all season tires without scraping... but I wouldn’t want to do it again. Had to give a couple sections a second try to get through. Probably more my lack of commitment to my chosen line than the cars capabilities but I was worried about my weeny tires. Bigger tires and beefier suspension would be a definite plus.
Posted By: b_esker
Info: Posting this to instill confidence in the thrill seeking Subaru drivers out there. I’d say it’s Subaruable, others may disagree. The road is in the best condition I’ve seen it in since the first time I drove it 7 years ago. I was able to get my old forester up to the pullout right before the 4WD lot (lot was full) and it was a feat. Somehow I didn’t bottom out on anything. Just make quick line choices and go for it. Momentum is key which may make some AWD drivers cringe on this terrain. If my car was new, I may have been more hesitant. There was one other Subaru (forester) in the 4WD lot.
Posted By: Shaller13
Info: Had to use 4H in a few spots in my stock XJ. Otherwise very manageable to reach the 4wd trailhead. Other high clearance/4wd vehicles should be able to reach the TH with relative ease. I would advise any other kind of vehicle to not try driving past the 2wd lot.

FYI for those who air down, Westcliffe Petroleum Inc in Westcliffe has free air.
Posted By: CommanderDawn
Info: Drove mostly stock Jeep TJ to 4WD trailhead. Lot was getting close to full on Friday morning at 6:30am with several groups having camped overnight on the Humboldt trail. I did not find this road fun to drive at all. Although I know there are experts who could do it with enough patience, I would not drive my Subaru on this road.
Posted By: haup0021
Info: I was worried about the difficult of the road to the upper TH having never been here, nor have I driven much ’high clearance’ roads; so this was a pretty big step up from the rough road to Sherman . I did make it to the upper TH with my Nissan Frontier Pro 4x; but I would say the road was at about the limits of that vehicle; and I did have to use 4WD on the way up in one section. There were several Subaru’s at the upper TH; so its doable with a vehicle of that clearance; but like many others have said; you really do have to pick your lines as there are some pretty big rocks and ruts. The lot was almost full when we arrived Friday afternoon; and was 100% and beyond full when we left Saturday mid-day. (we passed a few cars going up, no idea where they ended up parking; further down I suppose). On a weekend I would probably just park in the lower lot if just doing the day hike to avoid the clutter of the upper TH; but when backpacking/camping its nice to avoid that 2 1/2 miles.

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