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Silver Crk/Grizzly Gulch Trailhead

Posted By: Eagle Eye
Info: The gate may have closed this day; when I went up about 4 am it was open but SURPRISE when I came down the gate was closed! Luckily just a wire held the two gates closed so I could get out! Several plowing type machinery had also moved out during the day, from high up on the road to just below the closed gate. The road was tracked but not plowed when I went up but was plowed & icy when I came down.
Posted By: ltlFish99
Info: Road is in better shape than when i was there in June. No snow at all on the road, and very little water.
Posted By: RWSchaffer
Info: Notwithstanding excellent ongoing construction, this is still a very rough road, not substantially different from the last time I drove it in 2020. My 2WD hatchback with a lift for 7+ inches clearance made it to the trailhead and back with one scrape (on the descent, my front bumper cover tasted the trench mentioned in the 9/17/2023 report, 1.5 miles below the trailhead) and one wheel spin (on the descent while pulling onto a steep inside embankment to allow an oncoming vehicle to pass). The last 3.2 miles before the trailhead were done entirely in first gear and took about 25 minutes each way.
Posted By: PedroCO
Info: Road to TH is dry and solid. They have also been doing some work in the last month to even out some of the rougher spots, so it’s even easier than it was earlier this season. I would almost encourage regular 2WD to go for it.
Posted By: maurer_kg
Info: A bit of encouragement for all those feeling intimidated by this road. I am a pretty anxious driver but was able to drive my Subaru Forester from Lake City to the trailhead in about 50 minutes. It’s true that this road is worse than when I drove it in 2017, but it’s still very doable in an SUV with decent clearance. Also, a woman made it up in a Honda Accord (though I wouldn’t recommend this!). One thing to watch for: about 3/4 of the way up (after the worst of the shelf road) there is a gravelly area with a trench (washout? gully?) cutting across it that’s quite deep and a little hard to see until you’re on top of it. This is the only place I scraped my Forester. Look for it and stay right (on the way up) to avoid the worst of it.
Posted By: HikerGuy
Info: I drove from Silverton to Lake City over Cinnamon Pass in my Hyundai Santa Fe with all-terrain tires. I spent one night in Animas Forks and another night at SC/GG. No trouble with critters at either site. The road up to SC/GG from Lake City is in the worst condition I’ve seen it. It’s still pretty easy in an AWD with good clearance, but I’d would not want to take a 2wd vehicle up the road or a vehicle with questionable tires. I did notice that they were sifting/staging material, so maybe they are getting ready to fix it up a bit.
Posted By: GuiGirard
Info: CR 30 until the split with CR35 (just past Mill ck CG) is excellent, after which it is very rough and requires 4WD or AWD or high clearance of some sort. Fine with Subaru Outback with X-mode, technically. The note of caution is that uphill right of way appears to be a vague concept in Lake City, and more than once driving up on Monday afternoon I had to back up and ended up in very bad lines (uphill has right of way for many reasons, guys!). I even ran into a downhill-bound 4-runner who was struggling to get less than 6 ft from the edge and was trying to force me to back up in a gnarly line so they could come down... until I got creative and passed them on the wrong side of the road getting 3 ft from the edge. I won’t mention the state this vehicle was registered in b/c it is embarrassing. A nightmare driving up at 4PM with tourist rush hour traffic. I can’t think of what it must be on a weekend. I drove it down this morning with some traffic coming up, it’s a piece of cake to spot uphill traffic and find a pullout to give them way. There is a washout in the making at the end of the shelf section that concerns me.
Posted By: HighOnRockies
Info: Okay, there are two things to keep in mind when driving last 4 miles of CR 30 (after the juncture with CR 35): drive slow and have at least an SUV (i.e., something more than just a standard sedan height). The road is actually okay, with very little path searching (I stressed so much about this road, putting it off the past 2 hiking seasons). Lots of little pulloffs along the way. Drivers I encountered were friendly when it came to passing.

I followed a Ford Fusion sedan the whole way in my lifted Forester. At the parking lot, they guy mentioned he scraped the bottom of his girlfriend’s car a few times. Personally, I would advise against a sedan, but, it’s your car. Really, driving slow is the biggest factor in these last 4 miles just because of the quality of the road itself. From the juncture of CR 30 with CO 149, it took me about an hour to reach the trailhead.
Posted By: shwilsh
Info: Road to Grizzly Gulch is much rougher than the stated 2WD starting around mile marker 10 - you need a normal-clearance 4WD at least. This continues to be the case all the way until the first stream crossing past the junction for Cinnamon Pass, at which point you will definitely need a high clearance 4WD to make it the remaining ~0.75 to the American Basin TH.
Posted By: Split_the_FR
Info: No issues getting up in an Outback. Would reccomend coming/leaving outside of peak hours to avoid to dealing with passing on that short section with the dropoff. Even if you have to it isnt the end of the world though - plenty of space to work it out.
Posted By: dwoodward13
Info: Would recommend no less than a SUV type vehicle if you care about your car. There was what looked like a beater minivan in the parking lot, but they surely scraped multiple times. Each time I drive this road I’m continually surprised how much it has degraded (driven in ’17 and ’19 in sedan and ’22 and ’23 in Subaru). Hard to imagine it will ever be a comfortable/easy drive for a sedan again.
Posted By: Mark Goldstein
Info: The road from Lake city is dry and summer conditions. Subaru Outback’s made it to trailhead. Any 4X4 will get you there. Remember road ledge is one lane, so honk when you are traveling the blind corners. Last trip was in 2018. The road is the same. A little bummy near the end. Enjoy!
Posted By: saru9283
Info: The last time I was up here was 4 years ago, and the road is certainly rougher since then. That being said, I had no problem in my stock Crosstrek sport. The last 4 miles to the TH are the worst, but it only took me about 35 minutes. Just over an hour from town total.
Posted By: KMoore32
Info: Road was super manageable for me in my Mazda CX7 with 8.1 inches clearance. I definitely overhyped it in my head prior to the drive up. No scrapes or issues of any kind. Just take it slow and youll be fine.
Posted By: MetricAssLoad
Info: SUVs and crossovers with a little clearance can make it to the trailhead by going slow and choosing a good line, lifted vehicles will make it with ease. My outback made it to the trailhead and farther up the road without any issues. Wouldnt recommend a sedan you are gonna bottom out. Plenty of areas to camp around the trailhead and more private spots up the road past the trailhead.
Posted By: ZooDude
Info: Went up to the TH in my stock Chevy Colorado 4x4. No issues. I’d consider this an easy class 3. Took me about 45 minutes.
Posted By: JaiBalayya13
Info: The road is really bumpy and also has several small rocks. I was assuming people were exaggerating and boy I could not be more wrong . I would not recommend a sedan at all on this route. I made to the trailhead with Subaru Crosstrek by driving really slow. The last 4 miles took me about an hour.
Posted By: ltlFish99
Info: Road has very little water/mud with just a couple of small puddles.
i think it is a somewhat rough road, and high clearance is very helpful in 3 or 4 spots. Road does not seem any worse than last October.
Personally, i would not take a sedan type vehicle up this road, but i did see one at the trailhead.
Posted By: scott_s
Info: Last 3-4 miles are pretty rough, need high clearance. Do not try to take a low clearance car up there right now - the only one I saw try it was damaged
Posted By: kylewiley
Info: Perfectly Clear. We got up it no problem in our crosstrek.
Posted By: Dagmar
Info: CR30 is closed form CR30/CR35 junction. The first mile is dry dry. Afrer that there is a significant snowpack with several avalanche debris blocking the road all the way to the TH. After snow warms up , postholing is significant as the snow pack is still very deep. Postholed 3-5 feet the entire way, flotation device was useless. Tough going for sure .
Posted By: markf
Info: I parked just above the CR30/CR35 split on 11/1 and walked to the Silver Creek/Grizzly Gulch trailhead. The road looked doable in a Subaru or crossover SUV, so it’s possible that some maintenance was done since the last condition report. This morning (11/3) I woke up to 6" of snow at the trailhead, and I found about 8" on my car at midday. CR30 was plowed to the CR30/CR35 split and beyond, but I suspect that CR30 will close for the winter at the split pretty soon.
Posted By: JQDivide
Info: CR 30 is in awful shape. It is the worst I have seen it in 20 plus years. Getting a 2wd vehicle to the Grizzly Gulch TH used to be the norm. I would not take a regular 2wd up that road anymore. It is rough, rocky and washed out, repaired in spots. Between the heavy rains and OHV traffic this summer, the road is no longer an easy cruise. Even 4wd vehicles will be driving slower, so add anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes to your trip. You will want a 4 x 4 to get to the top of the pass, some of the switchbacks are all rock. I spoke with a sheriff deputy on top the of the pass, and he said the road has gotten worse since this spring. Not sure what it will be like once the snow melts for the 2023 summer.
Posted By: JasonCrane
Info: CR30 is fine for 2WD until the winter gate & turn-off junction at about 12.5 miles. From there, road is in very poor condition -- deep potholes, protruding rocks, ruts, wash-outs, rock fall, & narrow passes. A majority of traffic was ATV/OHV. There were a number of pick-ups, Jeep Wranglers & a couple of SUVs at the TH. Due to road condition, I ended-up hiking Handies from this TH rather than driving another 3-4 miles to American Basin. Made to Silver Crk in a GMC Acadia by driving cautiously & with a lot of luck involved. Drivers with high clearance vehicles & who are experienced with these road conditions did not seem to have much trouble. "Fun" is not my choice word to describe the road, but the OHV crowd was all smiles seemed to be enjoying themselves. Use your best judgment.
Posted By: 1brokedad
Info: Drove my 1995 GMC G25 Vandura van to the trailhead without any issues. Just took it slow when going over potholes. There were many cars at the TH Saturday and one person even pulled a popup trailer. I did see a couple of sedans parked there too.

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