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: SteveBonowski
Info: Trailhead will be closed to public vehicle access between May 29 and July 3 for reconstruction of the road and construction of trailhead toilet. I‘m forwarding a copy of the closure notices to Bill for posting.
Posted By: mblakeman
Info: The Rio Grande National Forest will close FSR 949 and the trailhead from May 29 until July 3 (at the latest) for road work and trailhead maintenance. The closure extends 300 feet from centerline of the road and the trailhead. Alternative access routes to the trail are possible but require crossing private land. For latest info call the Saguache Ranger District at 719-655-2547.
Posted By: BillMiddlebrook
Info: The road is in poor condition this spring. It’s dry right now but has some deep ruts on the last mile. 4WD is recommended. Let‘s hope they fix is soon...
Posted By: TomPierce
Info: I made it up to the TH just fine in both mid August and yesterday. I drove my Acura CL coupe (think Honda Accord) and there‘s only one place that required any thought. Take it far right on the ascent and power through at a reasonable speed; too slow and you‘ll spin your tires, too fast and you‘ll probably smash your front end. Other than that drive over any exposed taller rocks with your tires, i.e. don‘t expose the underside of your engine compartment. Anyway, I‘ve been on far worse roads. Just my experience, use your judgment.
Posted By: leggaj5
Info: There is really only one section of the road past the 4WD sign that is difficult, and it is where a lot of people turn off to the left to park. Past this point (and up to it pretty much), the road seems like "rough 2WD." I parked my CR-V below the obstacle because it does look pretty gnarly, but I actually saw a Kia sedan at the TH. Not sure how they made it, but I guess it can be done.
Posted By: Davidbee0233
Info: Im not shure how people are getting so far down the road to the trailhead in cars... we tried to go further down the road and park at the parking lot about .42 miles before the trailhead but after scratching ugly in our 05 mustang had to turn back and park by the sign that says 4 wheel drive only (i guess thats why the signs there lol) trail is well maintained the southwest conservancy was out there working on the trail we only went to willow park but the weather was ok a little hot for my taste during the day not too cold, a bit of mosquitos after sunset though
Posted By: Stevo
Info: I made it in a 2WD Civic with really low clearance to .42 shy of the trail head. Good clearance will have no problem getting all the way to the TH. There was 6-8 4WD at the TH saturday
Posted By: BillMiddlebrook
Info: Road is clear and dry to the trailhead. Seems a bit more rough than previous years but good-clearance vehicles can make it to the end.
Posted By: mrschaible
Info: Road is clear and dry. Only one place where a standard vehicle would have problems and that is .42 miles from the trail head. There is parking right there and that is where I parked my Prius.
Posted By: cfb
Info: Drove to trailhead on 11/26 and it was dry and passable by any higher-than-normal vehicle. Might be a little slimy after a rain but should be fine when dry
Posted By: scholbiwan
Info: Clear and dry all the way to the trail head. We made it up just fine in a two wheel drive Jeep Grand Cherokee.
Posted By: tmathews
Info: Still dry and completely accessible.
Posted By: Nelson
Info: The road is bone dry to the trailhead. Just like summer.
Posted By: hike_4ever
Info: Mosquitoes will not be a problem anymore, can be crowded at weekend for parking at TH.
Posted By: Andy_Lyon
Info: In the notes about the approach to Willow Lake you have:

In 2007, a bunch of trees were blown down over the trail below Willow Lake. Until the trees area cleared, the trail may be a bit more difficult to follow.

While there are some individual trees across the trail below the first stream crossing, the trail through the blow down area is clear.
Posted By: chris77780124
Info: Tried Climbing Kit Carson Peak on Monday the 12 of July 2010. Started at Climb at 5:30am. Got up about 4 miles just where the sun started to break over the mountains. And then all hell broke loose. We had black clouds of mosquitoes that I have never seen before on any 14er in Colorado. OMG!!! IT was insane. You need a Bees mask to climb this 14er seriously! We had to turn around because we were eating them, and I currently have 10 bites just on my face and thats just the start. Great Climb just have to wait through mosquitoes alley. Not sure how far the mosquitoes would be up the mountain. Will be doing this one again soon just with a Mask. Happy climbing!
Posted By: tmathews
Info: Trailhead is bone-dry!
Posted By: WIclimber
Info: Road was icy and snowy but doable to TH in my Subaru Outback.
Posted By: cpstoney
Info: Road to the trailhead clear of any snow. Road is indicated as 4WD, I didn‘t need to use it. Conditions may be changing with current storm 11/29/09.
Posted By: Sourdough
Info: Honda Civic made it to the trailhead without problem (9 SEP 09).

Sawyers have cleared all of the downed trees off the trail so it is not difficult to follow.
Posted By: djrunner
Info: The street from Crestone is actually Galena Avenue, not Galena Street. Not a big deal, there are few streets in town anyways and only one named Galena. The road in is easy and we saw several 2WD low clearence vehicles.
Posted By: GeorgeB
Info: No need for slowshoes all the way to Willow Lake. A chainsaw would be handy for the recent windfalls!
Posted By: sdkeil
Info: TH was dry all the way to the trailhead
Posted By: Roald
Info: Made to the trailhead in my Jeep Compass (4WD but not high clearance) without any problems. I would think even some 2WD cars with good drivers could possibly make it.
Posted By: SarahT
Info: Road is 100% dry and in good shape.

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