West Willow Creek Trailhead

Posted By: HikerGuy
Info: I made it easily to the trailhead in my Hyundai Santa Fe with all-terrain tires. As mentioned in previous report, toughest spot is a small wash with steepish exit just after the Equity Mine turn off. I spent two nights at the trailhead with no varmint vs. vehicle issues. Plenty of parking space even with hunters in the area.
Posted By: pruzicka67
Info: Road up to Equity Mine is in good shape and a 2WD can easily get there. Like, a sedan can make it there. From there, though, the 4WD road up to the trailhead required a good clearance 4WD, mainly due to a washout that was maybe 100 yards in. If it wasn’t for that washout, a 2WD or low clearance 4WD MIGHT be able to make it (some people seem to be unstoppable; I saw a Tesla at the trailhead for Sunshine/Redcloud last year, absolutely no idea how it made it up that road), but I wouldn’t chance it as long as that washout is there. You can park at Equity Mine and hike the 1.5 miles to the trailhead; most of the uphill is the first 1/4 to 1/2 mile (I’m totally estimating, didn’t measure it). Trailhead is exactly as described, unmarked but easy to find, heads due north from parking lot (same direction as you enter the parking lot).
Posted By: jmulcare
Info: Roadway was easily accessible to 2WD to Equity Mine. I have AWD RAV4 and attempted to drive to the upper 4WD parking area at 8.7 miles, at dusk. I approached a large puddle that I thought was a sketchy stream crossing so I backed up the hill and parked at the 2WD area at 7.1 miles, then walked up to TH at 8.7 miles the next morning. Upon closer inspection when walking, I found I could have made it up to the parking area at turn prior to final stream crossing at 8.2 miles, or maybe even all the way to 4WD TH area. The 2WD parking area at the Equity Mine has room for several vehicles and is a flat area that offers good car camping. Didn’t see the moose that was reported in earlier post.
Posted By: Kiefer
Info: Road is dry to the 4x4 TH and is passable for most Subarus with careful driving. Water levels in the creek crossings are low. Actual TH has room for perhaps 10 vehicles with a few more spots a little higher up (4x4 required). Moose ARE in the area. One has a calf so be warned. Most of us got chased into our vehicles at one point.
Posted By: kkulling
Info: To get as far as the 2WD trailhead, I recommend road 504 Bachelor Rd instead of 503. It’s a slightly easier drive.

Upper 4WD trailhead was easily accessible with our stock 4WD Jeep Cherokee. There were also other SUVs, a van, and a Subaru Crosstrek. You might be able to get up with a 2WD high clearance vehicle, but no guarantees.
Posted By: Kiefer
Info: The Equity Mine is drivable for 2wd vehicles. For some reason, there’s a small (and inconvenient) wooden sign blocking the road to the upper trailhead.
It’s easily moved though (wink-wink). The road past the mine is free of snow. It’s expectedly wet & muddy in spots.
Creeks are FLOWING.
Posted By: Saucerful
Info: The road is open. Made it to Equity mine on a 2WD sedan. Did not even attempt to keep going in the car after Equity but it seems most AWD/4x4 would be able to make it.
Posted By: kallen
Info: The road is closed after the intersection of 504 and 503. walked the road up to mine and it was easily driveable. some small patches of snow that were avoidable. 4x4 road is still very covered in snow
Posted By: Kya Cav
Info: Drivable to intersection of 504 and 503 (Bachelor Loop). Small parking area. We used snowmobiles from there to access the Continental Divide. Some sections of the road will melt out quickly but overall the road and valley is still snow covered, though not very deep. It will be a mixed bag of snow and ground for a while I would guess. Ski conditions in Yawner Gullies were less than ideal. Probably not worth the effort to ski this peak for the rest of the season.
Posted By: _coloradical
Info: Road was in good condition up until the 2WD parking area.
4WD Road (FS503) is your typical rocky 4WD road. My 2017 Outback got close to bottoming out two times due to large potholes, but made it just fine along with the creek crossing (low water at the moment). Made it to the 4WD parking area with no issues.
Posted By: mtgoatmike
Info: 2wd road is in great condition, just a few potholes to avoid. The 4wd portion is also in great condition. After the switchbacks down to the creek crossing, there are some large potholes that just need your attention to traverse. Creek at the 4wd trailhead parking is gently flowing, plenty of spots to pitch a tent and park a vehilce.

I got up no problems in my stock 2012 Tacoma, short bed.
Posted By: kyaera
Info: Road is in good condition. Creek crossing has about 6 ish inches. It is VERY steep. Made it in a stock Tacoma.
Posted By: illusion7il
Info: To reach the winter TH, which is 2.5 miles below the Equity Mine, you have to take the West branch of the Bachelor loop. (504) The road is plowed, dry and in better shape than than a lot of city roads so anything can make it. There is a plowed area to park. The East branch (503) as well as (502) are both closed a short way up.
Posted By: jenvalencia
Info: Easily reached the trailhead in a Rav4. Dry to trailhead and stream crossings real low. Parked at the second switchback above
Posted By: bjbatchelor
Info: Made it in a Subaru Outback without scraping. There were 2 tricky spots on the 4x4 road that you need to pick a good line on. I let my Subaru’s transmission cool down at Equity Mine for a few minutes.
Posted By: random-dude
Info: 4wd trailhead in decent shape and 4wd not strictly necessary. There were multiple Crosstreks at the trailhead although i would worry about excessive heat in the transmission given the altitude and the uphill nature of the drive from Creede given that Subee’s dont have low gearing. A few stream crossings but nothing more than 8-10 inches deep.
Posted By: seayachter
Info: Road is in decent shape. Made in stock 4x4 pickup with no issues. Multiple Subarus at the trailhead so proper 4x4 isn’t mandatory. Follow the map/gps to 504 and 503 and not the sign for Willow Creek. The sign will take you a much longer way to the trailhead.
Posted By: WildWanderer
Info: Second hand information from someone I met at a trailhead last night who doesnt post here: road clear until the mine. After that snow covered, and it looks like someone deliberately scattered nails over the snow covered road.
Posted By: aksean22
Info: Bachelor Road (504) is completely dry and any 2WD vehicle can make it to the 503/504 junction. Plowing stops at the junction.
Posted By: JtheChemE
Info: Prior to 12/28 storm, Bachelor road almost completely dry to the junction of 503/504 where plowing ends.
Posted By: druid2112
Info: The road is snowy but plowed enough that the ol’ Camry with snow tires had no issues reaching the end of what is plowed. First day I was there, there was still some loose snow, but by the end of the second day they had made another pass with the plow.

So yes, you can reach the junction of the 503/504 roads from the Bachelor Road approach in a 2WD and begin your hike from there.
Posted By: Unknown
Info: Same as last. You have to go up 503 to reach equity winter TH roughly 2-3mi from 503/504 split on Bach Pass. Phoenix TH best to go 502-1A split (RT) from 502 this time of year unless confident in vehicle. Ice slab .5mi prior to Ph. Pk. Will have more beta this weekend including rio grande
Posted By: sdkeil
Info: Road closure is at the 503/504 intersection.
Posted By: pmccumber
Info: I was at the trailhead yesterday. It hasnt been better in years. Somebody took a tracked blade to the whole route from the Equity Mine to the trailhead. There was a Sprinter Van and a Subaru Forester there at the trailhead. Its even graded beyond the trailhead up the hill. Keep in mind, that 1/2 mi from the creek crossing to the trailhead has a dirt base that is susceptible to mud and ruts.
Posted By: Jnaffy
Info: Stock wrangler. Minimal 4wd needed if any. The area i assume theyre saying is the dried creek stay right for a good line.

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