Willow Creek Trailhead


Road Difficulty

2WD, rough dirt road 2   (0=Paved, 6=Very Difficult 4WD)
Easy 4WD may be required because the road often forms deep dips and portions are a bit steep.

Driving Directions

Take Colorado 17 to the town of Moffat. On the south side of town, look for a sign for the turn to Crestone. Turn east on the "RD T" road. You will soon see a Forest Service sign that says 15 miles to the South Crestone trailhead. Drive 11.4 miles to a road junction. Keep left and follow the main road into Crestone. In Crestone, turn right (east) onto Galena Street and the road will turn to 2WD dirt, with approx. 2 miles to go. When the road enters National Forest, it is labeled as the "South Crestone Road 949" and becomes more difficult but good-clearance vehicles should be able to make it to the end.

Winter Access

Status Updates 
Posted By: stoopdude
Info: There were plenty of 2WD sedans at the trailhead. Right now I would rate this ’tough 2WD’ instead of ’easy 4WD.’ There are some bumps and dips in the road that should be avoidable or easily navigable by a decent driver in any car. A couple of the steeper stretches towards the end have the potential to be nasty if muddy, but everything was bone dry this weekend.
Posted By: derekgraven
Info: MOSQUITOES MOSQUITOES MOSQUITOES!!! Seriously the worst I have seen, and I grew up in the humid Midwest where they are everywhere. Literally swarms the entire 4 mile approach to the lake and even when you get there the only reprieve is when you are on the summits!! Plan accordingly, this really really sucked! Cool hike, but gets ruined dealing with the mosquitoes.
Posted By: lodgling
Info: As of the last few days, the road is smoove to the TH. No need for 4wd or high clearance for now.
Posted By: sky_high
Info: As the previous poster mentioned, the road is in worse condition than it was earlier in the season. There are quite a few dips and offset sections where clearance would help but is not absolutely necessary. Given that none of the road is steep I would recommend taking your time and really picking your line. I think just about anything can get up there with a good driver except maybe a low-riding hot rod; even saw somebody‘s Harley parked at the trailhead. Also, the bug numbers are down for the season, not like the hellacious mosquitos that were here this summer.
Posted By: chicagostylehotdog
Info: Made it to the TH in my 2009 Honda Civic. Scraped a couple times in soft dirt. The road is loose dirt/sand, and bumpy in 2-3 sections (just ruts, not rocky). If you‘re attempting in a passenger car, you may need to take a few sections faster than you‘d like to make it up the small steep sections, but otherwise it‘s doable. No scraping getting down as I was able to go a bit slower.
Posted By: appleseeds
Info: The road is passable in just about anything (I made it to the trailhead in a ‘97 camry. However, it does get pretty bumpy (not rocks, just ruts in the dirt) as you get near the end, with a particularly bumpy section maybe 0.5 miles from the trailhead as you drive up an incline. Keep your momentum going and stay toward the right there.
Posted By: sky_high
Info: Road in good condition. Even cars should have no problem (although a fish and wildlife truck ended up in a ditch at the trailhead somehow). Watch the sharp corners and beware the mosquitos!
Posted By: mojah
Info: Gate open, road dry. Can drive all the way to the crapper
Posted By: bacon_on_top
Info: Trailhead is still clear. Almost made it to the lake. Patchy snow from 9,800. Deep snow at 10,800
Posted By: WillRobnett
Info: Gate was open to summer TH. Dry trail up to 10,700.
Posted By: cbaker7565
Info: Gated 1.7 miles from summer TH
Posted By: bdloftin77
Info: Same as last.. I‘d call it a class 1 or class 1.5 road right now. Only a few little dips, but easily avoidable if you‘re worried at all. The Colorado College group did a stellar job.
Posted By: bking14ers
Info: Any car can make it to the TH. Lots of parking and a rest room.
Posted By: Jim Davies
Info: A group from Colorado College was fixing potholes and drainage issues around the road today. No problems getting to the parking lot with any vehicle right now.
Posted By: Laughing_Jackal
Info: Road leading up to trailhead was ’washboarded’, but no major issues or stoppages.
100-200 yards before getting to the parking lot, there are some very deep potholes
that made driving a bit interesting. We were driving a Forester XT that’s lowered with
stiff suspension, and still made it without an issue though. We saw a Honda Accord
in the parking lot, so it’s definitely pass-able with about any vehicle. The bathroom
was a welcome surprise, but no running water, and bring your own toilet paper. You’ll
need to pack out your trash of course. Mosquitos didn‘t seem to be a problem, and no
bear issues.
Posted By: MissH
Info: Either mosquitoes were attacking others or they‘ve calmed down now... only a couple bites and used repellant once at end of trip (breaking down camp). Friday, 3pm, parking lot was already pretty full. Just b/c road is relatively easy as 14-er TH roads go, don‘t drop your guard. While avoiding some ruts in the center of the road we didn‘t notice a big rock on the side (I swear it jumped out at my tire). Oops.
Posted By: addrock528
Info: Washboards and some potholes, but any passenger car could make it. Beware of the mosquitoes at the TH!!
Posted By: Tornadoman
Info: Accessible by any vehicle. A few holes and washboards were not a problem.
Posted By: freeinthehills
Info: Road open. Would not boot up until around 11K right before first waterfall and trail kicks to the east. Snow after that, but kinda dries up once you cross back to the N side of the river
Posted By: nyker
Info: Road is freshly graded and in great shape. A 2wd car can make it to the top. In much better shape than a year ago.
Posted By: SherpaSara
Info: Drivable all the way to the TH; 4wd not necessary.
Posted By: 2Giowa
Posted By: MartyWells
Info: Road was an easy 2wd road. Any car could make it up it. Not sure why the approach says good clearance is a good idea. Any clearance will work.
Posted By: randalmartin
Info: Spoke with the Rio Grande National Forest HQ office today and they confirmed the road to the trailhead is now open as it was scheduled to be after the improvements/maintenance.
Posted By: Blue Knight
Info: Willow Creek TH road is closed 0.8 miles out of Crestone or about 1.5 miles from the TH. The road is to open July 2nd based on the Forest Service website. The road has been completely re-done with about a foot of new road base added for a smooth road surface. For now, two wheel drive cars should have no problem although the road is still posted for 4WD use. There appears to be several pullouts for camping on the approach to the TH. The angle of the TH parking lot is not flat so it may not be ideal for sleeping there.

© 2021 14ers.com®, 14ers Inc.