Stewart Creek Trailhead


San Juan Mountains
38.0246° N, -106.84124° W
14ers: San Luis Peak
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Road Difficulty

2WD, rough dirt road 2   (0=Paved, 6=Very Difficult 4WD)
Rough 2WD dirt to the TH. NOTE: There are two stream crossings along the road which may be difficult for 2WD vehicles in early summer or after heavy rainfall. Low-clearance vehicles not recommended.

Driving Directions

NOTE: Before reaching the trailhead, the dirt road crosses Pauline and Nutras Creeks. There are smooth, cement slabs to make the crossings easier but you will still need a good-clearance vehicle.

The directions shown here assume you are coming from the north. If you are coming from the San Luis Valley area, drive north on Colorado 114 to Dome Lakes, turn left onto the 15GG road and follow the directions from Dome Lake, below:
  • Take U.S. 50 to Colorado 114 which is 3.5 miles west of Parlin and just east Gunnison. It is approximately 47 miles to the trailhead from this intersection.
  • Turn south onto Colorado 114.
  • Drive 20 miles and turn right onto the NN14 road.
  • Now on dirt, drive 6.8 miles to Dome Lakes and turn right onto the 15GG dirt road (also known as FR 794 when you reach National Forest).
  • Drive 4 miles to reach a junction and bear right onto the 14DD road (FR 794).
  • Continue 12 miles on 14DD to reach a signed junction.
  • Follow the sign for the Stewart Creek trailhead by continuing straight on FR 794.
  • Drive 4.3 miles to the trailhead. There is parking for a few cars next to the trailhead and additional parking 1/4 mile down the road at the Eddiesville trailhead, which now has an outhouse.

Winter Access

Closed far away from the TH.

More Info

Parking: 1-5 Vehicles next to the trailhead, 10-25 vehicles 1/4 down the road at the Eddiesville trailhead.
Restrooms: Yes, at the Eddiesville trailhead
Camping: Dispersed camping along the road and near the Eddiesville trailhead.
Status Updates 
Posted By: Hiker Mike
Info: The first creek crossing has no water in and the second had very little both times I crossed. The roads are in mostly good condition with some rough areas. Bear in mind the roads aren’t that well marked and that can make navigation tricky in the dark
Posted By: joemcglinchy
Info: Road was dry and clear of snow. Creek crossings not bad, no more than 6 inches deep. No problem in an outback, saw some sedans at the trailhead.
Posted By: sky_high
Info: Road condition good. The only hesitation I’d have in bringing a small 2wd car are the river crossings. The river is down to a foot or less at both crossings, but the concrete is steep and slippery. Light traffic during the week, we only had 4-5 cars at the trailhead when I left. You can turn around at the bottom of the hill past the trailhead at the Eddiesville lot.
Posted By: strayster2
Info: Backing up the previous report (mainly just adding this to post pictures of the creek crossings), this was easily and comfortably driven in a 2WD Hyundai. Maybe the easiest 2WD dirt road to a 14er trailhead I’ve driven yet.
Posted By: CCU_Jim
Info: Road easily passable with a 2wd Kia sedan. First creek crossing (Pauline Creek) has maybe an inch of water. The concrete slabs have shifted slightly to create some bumpiness, which was a bigger obstacle than the water itself. Second creek crossing (Nutras Creek) had maybe 2-3 inches of water, but very clean and smooth entry and exit points. This second crossing is only around 2.2 miles from the TH, and right after the Nutras Creek TH for Stewart. Other than the two creek crossings, which are negligible this time of year, road is in impeccable shape and can be driven by any vehicle. Earlier in the year when snowmelt is higher, you’d probably want higher clearance just for the two crossings.
Posted By: mikewall45
Info: No problems getting up to trailhead in our 2011 standard Toyota Rav4.
Posted By: Midwestlungs
Info: Impressed with how good the road was to TH. Worst part was the wash boarding near Dome Lakes. Any car could make it the 28 miles. 2 stream crossings but water was only about 6 inches deep.
Posted By: mtngoatwithstyle
Posted By: Tartay
Info: Road is in really good shape. The two streams are the only real "obstacles" on the entire 27 mile road and could probably be crossed by a sedan right now. No need for 4wd anywhere on the road all the way to the trailhead.
Posted By: mtngoatwithstyle
Info: In good shape.Creek crossings ok as long as it has not rained in the area.I noticed loads of dens from strippers/rodents by small TH area where cars park by the side of the road and wonder If they are chewing under the cars anything or being good.
Posted By: Flyingfish
Info: Road was being regraded today between 10 and 15 miles away from the trailhead. When dry the creek crossings are low enough for most cars. When it is raining though the creeks swell to over a foot deep which is enough for non-high clearance vehicles to be in danger of not being able to cross.
Posted By: MountainBuhn
Info: This road is extremely remote, but absolutely stunning. So it gives me apprehension to say no one should have issues getting there. No more trees. Creek crossings extremely shallow (see pic, 2nd crossing). Even for 2wd the ruts are low and as long as your tires can handle 27 miles of consistent washboard/rocky then you’re set.
Posted By: KarenG
Info: Drove in late in the day and the trees were cleared from the road.
Posted By: CoHi591
Info: No problem at all getting to Stewart Creek TH in a Subaru Outback. Creek crossings minimal and all fallen trees can be easily skirted.
Posted By: Aphelion
Info: Creek crossings are shallow and should be easy for any vehicle that can manage the dirt road. However, there are a number of wind-blown trees partially (and in one case fully) blocking the road, necessitating driving half-off the shoulder or completely over a fallen trunk. Anything with Subaru-level clearance will be fine, but lower-clearance cars should stay away until these get removed.
Posted By: greenonion
Info: This is now maybe old news but could help as a reminder/warning. On Saturday 6/6 I was 5-6 miles from the Stewart Creek TH with an eye on doing San Luis’ NE ridge. The wind was howling on the way to the TH and there were A LOT of dead trees all around. I got to one downed tree across the road and was able to clear it just enough to drive a bit further to find another smaller one, then decided this was not a good idea to be in that area with that wind. As I retreated while heading out another one had fallen across the road and I had to clear that one. Was very glad none of those were bigger trees. Keep big wind in mind and what kind of trees are around when heading to THs and hiking in general. Also heard a few creaking among the many dead trees on parts of the Little Borwn’s Creek route up on Sunday. None fell there that I saw, and no treasure either.
Posted By: askwjs
Info: Complete summer conditions, no snow to avoid. Creek crossings very shallow, easy to cross.
Posted By: hogantheepic
Info: Road clear of snow the entire way out. Only a teeny bit of snow but it can easily be driven around. The 2 creek crossing are not too deep yet, but will probably be getting deeper each day.
Posted By: dwoodward13
Info: I drove from Lake City to the Cebolla TH via Los Pinos Pass. Although not Stewart Creek, it may be useful for those looking to go from here to Lake City or vice versa. Was pretty comfortable in a Camry to go over Los Pinos. Rocky in spots requiring slow going, but nothing requiring clearance or 4wd.
Posted By: bosnian2014
Info: water crossings were not bad at all. made it to TH in a bmw sedan with 5.9 in clearance.
Posted By: wildserval
Info: Road is in good condition. Made creek crossings in a stock Chevy Tahoe without problems. Some logging in area closer to Trailhead, did not cause me an issue. Watch for dead treefall, pine beetles have killed many trees in area.
Posted By: emcee smith
Info: Went through the water crossings with a Subaru Outback with no problems. I’d suspect it is fine for any reasonable clearance car, just probably wouldn’t stop halfway across.
Posted By: Flyingfish
Info: Creek crossings are passable for stock SUVs but probably still to high for anything smaller than a Subaru Forrester.
Posted By: djacobson
Info: Road is in great condition. Stream crossings were not bad at all. See attached photos. Maybe 2-2.5 feet deep at worst point. Several Subarus (think I saw a Forester and XV) made it up to the trail head. My Jeep had no issue. Road was completely clear and no snow. As mentioned in a previous post there were several downed trees but nothing that blocked passage.
Posted By: WildWanderer
Info: I agree with previous report: don’t let the 15 miles of easy/dry 2WD driving before the first creek crossing fool you, those last 6-10 miles to Stewart Creek Trailhead and past to the Eddiesville Trailhead are icy! Despite my stellar driving skills, my 4WD Tundra was sliding sideways down some of those hills at 5am. Still icy but better conditions in the afternoon.

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