Rock of Ages Trailhead


Range: San Juan Mountains
Coordinates: 37.88296, -108.01848
14ers: Wilson Peak, Mt. Wilson, El Diente Peak
Elevation: 10,400'
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Road Difficulty

Easy 4WD, good clearance recommended. 3   (0=Paved, 6=Very Difficult 4WD)
Easy 4WD dirt to the TH. A few rough sections and the stream crossing at Big Bear Creek make good-clearance a must on this road. A 2WD vehicle will have troubles crossing the creek but you could park along the road, before the creek crossing, leaving you 1.2 miles from the trailhead.

Driving Directions

From Ridgway, leave U.S. 550 and take Colorado 62 toward Telluride. Drive over Dallas Divide, down to Placerville and turn left onto Colorado 145. Drive 6.7 miles and turn right onto the Silver Pick road (dirt). From here, it's 8.5 miles to the trailhead. Drive 4 miles to an intersection and turn right onto "59 H" which is also Forest Road 622. Continue 2.3 miles, turn right onto FR 645 and continue 2.2 miles to the Rock of Ages trailhead, near 10,350'. Notes: After 1 mile on the FR 645 road, you must cross the stream in Big Bear Creek which usually isn't too bad by mid-July. Also, there are some designated camp sites along this road.

Winter Access

Usually closed near the intersection, 4 miles up from pavement.

More Info

Parking: Room for roughly 30 vehicles.
Camping: Not much available at the parking area but there are some pull-offs along the road.
Restrooms? Yes, porta potties
Fees? No
Trailhead added by BillMiddlebrook
Status Updates 
Posted By: E_A_Marcus_949
Info: Creek crossing minimal. Some deep ruts driving in but easy to avoid.
Big parking area - front-in parking only.

A few dispersed, marked campsites along the road in.

Portapotties are tipped over and not usable.
Posted By: donovanrice
Info: Portapotties are tipped over, so don’t plan on using them.
Posted By: TheSpaceForce
Info: 8/21/22: To add to previous post - approaching the trailhead, there are some left-overs from a downed tree near the start of the first rut. We got distracted avoiding this and completely messed up the tire position with respect to the rut. With recent rains the road was muddy, and the creek was probably 2-3 inches deep and 1.5 car-lengths across. We were able to get the 2WD CRV to the trailhead with only one or two stressful moments.
Posted By: Istoodupthere
Info: 8.5 miles off 145 to the trailhead. Had a Kia Soul rental (not by choice) with 6.7 inches of clearance and I made it fine to the TH. Creek crossing not an issue. There is a large rut in the middle of the road on both sides of the creek that could become an issue in the future with more rain.
Posted By: jwagz13
Info: Road is clear. Small trickle of water 4-6 inches (maybe) about 1 mile from TH.
Posted By: ltlFish99
Info: road is dry, and in good shape to the trailhead.
The creek crossing was trivial, with the water 4 to 6 inches deep at most.
i agree with another update that states some of the trees that were cleared kind of encroaching on the road passage. i came close to hitting one with the front side of my vehicle.
They do not block the road , just something to watch out for.
Posted By: ltlFish99
Info: road us dry, and in good shape yo the trailhead.
The creek crossing was trivial, withe water 4 to 6 inches deep at most.
i agree with another update that states some of the trees that were cleared kind of encroaching on the road passage. i came close to hitting one with the front dide of ny vehicle. They do not blick the road , just something yo watch out for.
Posted By: ltlFish99
Info: road us dry, and in good shape yo the trailhead.
The creek crossing was trivial, withe water 4 to 6 inches deep at most.
i agree with another update that states some of the trees that were cleared kind of encroaching on the road passage. i came close to hitting one with the front dide of ny vehicle. They do not blick the road , just something yo watch out for.
Posted By: bosnian2014
Info: All clear to trailhead. Plenty of crossovers at the trailhead, various brands and models. I even saw a Corolla ~ 1.25 miles from the trailhead (right before drop into water crossing). That probably took some above average driving skill. Some of the cleared trees are still kind of encroaching the road as you get close to TH - I was glad I had just enough daylight when I was driving in the evening. Something to keep an eye on if driving to the trailhead at night.
Posted By: jackjk1011
Info: All downed trees mentioned by Bill have been cleared. IMO any crossover with a reasonably competent driver should have no problems getting to this trailhead. The road contains some mild to moderate rocky spots, ruts, potholes, and of course the water crossing, but I had no issues whatsoever in a Kia Sorento. There are campsites along the road not far from the trailhead.
Posted By: BillMiddlebrook
Info: Road is dry but you cant quite get to the trailhead yet because of a dozen trees over the road on the final 1/2 mile. No problem, there are places to pull off the road at or below that point as well as some camp spots further down the road. Hopefully the USFS will get the end of the road cleared soon but until then the downed trees werent too much of a hassle, just an extra mile round trip.
Posted By: Kiefer
Info: I didn’t climb anything. I just drove up to the TH to check it out for a trip in a couple weeks to gauge conditions.

Road is clear & open to the trailhead. Road is in decent enough shape, at least for a Subaru Crosstrek. Lots of downed trees, branches & such from the recent wind event.
There is a downed tree crossing the road at mile 5.7 (from the bridge/creek crossing just off hwy. 145). It’s elevated above the road. Cars can pass underneath but trucks won’t be able to without assistance.

I stopped at mile 6.7 due to a snow drift. People have driven though it, but without good tires, I didn’t want to chance it. Past the drift, the road was clear again.
Posted By: ClimberSkierDave64
Info: The road is currently passable to around 9,800 ft. Then its patchy up to the junction with the gated silver pick road where the snow becomes deeper and more continuous. I’d imagine it’ll melt out to that junction within a week. There were a few trees blocking the road but we were able to move them or drive over them. Somebody from the ranch up there was removing one of the logs when we left.
Posted By: battend
Info: There was an inch or two of snow in shady parts of the Elk Creek Road, especially on the last 1.5 miles to the trailhead. We were in a CR-V without snow tires so parked a quarter mile before the stream crossing and walked the rest of the way to the trailhead. The hill on the west side of the creek crossing was deeply rutted and muddy, so we felt we’d made the right decision. There were many soft and slippery places on the way back to the car in the afternoon. We probably could have made it, but it would have been dicey, and it wouldn’t have done the roadway any good.
Posted By: mtgoatmike
Info: Road is clear, a few spots need some extra attention if driving a 2wd vehicle. The small creek crossing before the trailhead has water, 4wd will have no problems crossing, 2wd/low clearance might have a harder time with traction. Road does get narrow for those with wider vehicles. Leaves are in peek peepin’!
Posted By: LetsGoMets
Info: AWD accessible. Big Bear Creek is easily crossed.
Posted By: supranihilest
Info: I drive a 23-foot Sprinter van and easily got to the trailhead with the 4x4 off. Thus you can probably get anything with more clearance than a sedan up there. The porta-potties are freshly cleaned and stocked with TP, but neither has a working hand sanitizer dispenser.
Posted By: disentangled
Info: Crosstreked it!
Posted By: sdicenso
Info: We camped two miles before as my friend wasn’t sure if his Crosstrek would make it to the trailhead. He hopped in with me in the morning to ride up. The creek crossing is very low and most of the rock is pretty manageable. Joe said that the road definitely looks Subaruable. There were two other Subaru’s that made it there. Would definitely use your lower gears going down, preferably 4WD low if you have it. Definitely steep in spots.
Posted By: MountainBuhn
Info: Didnt get to TH until midnight fri/sat. Was super easy in my crosstrek. IMO, this should be rated a 2, but admittedly the creek was low. Anyone can do the straddle moves before and after the creeks with just a little driving competence. PS: not enough camp spots. We had to back track quite a ways to find one and it was more of a pullout than an actual spot. Camping at the TH seems to be socially acceptable as long youre sleeping in your car.
Posted By: bangerth
Info: Easy drive all the way up with an Outback. Probably also possible with not too much trouble (though maybe slower) with a Civic, including getting across the little creek.
Posted By: ScreeSurfer
Info: Road was plowed and passable with all wheel drive to Big Bear creek before large tree blocked passage. This adds a little more than a mile each way to Summer time Rock of Ages trailhead.
Posted By: msparks2104
Info: Hiked Wilson Peak 10/21. Silver Pick road is actually quite tame all the way up to the stream crossing which is currently bone dry. We made it to right before the stream crossing in a tiny Mazda Cx 3, the epitome of zero ground clearance. The Cx 3 did have AWD which helped on the steep parts. Bounced a few rocks off the bottom but that’s it.
Posted By: joeygoat9
Info: 4WD not required because the road never gets too steep. Clearance is a must though - can’t imagine how people would get a sedan to the TH like the previous report. Roughest section is right before/after the creek crossing. Before the creek crossing there’s big potholes, and after there’s a huge rut down the middle of the road that requires you to straddle a section that’s a few inches higher than your tires for maybe 100 ft. If you have at least a crossover you’ll be fine.
Posted By: austinpavlas
Info: Made it the trailhead in a four wheel drive sedan with only 4.2 inches of clearance. Wasnt the fastest drive, but I did not scrap once. The creek was low and easily crossable. Biggest issue is the large mud pit right before the creek, but the bottom is solid and can be easily driven through.
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