Harvard Lakes Trailhead

Posted By: JasonKline
Info: My Hyundai Ioniq had little problem making it to the trailhead. Just pay attention and take it slow through the potholes.
Posted By: dennywitte
Info: Road is drivable by any 2wd vehicle. A few bumps along the way.
Posted By: coloradomojo
Info: one six inch area of rutted snow that will be gone quickly. Made it easily to TH in F150
Posted By: IanJSmith
Info: I drove to within 0.6 miles of the trailhead in a Subaru Outback, and I’m glad I stopped there. Multiple vehicles stuck after that point - its worse than it looks. Getting to the trailhead in a truck or Large SUV with good treads is possible - I saw a Jeep, Tacoma, and I think even a Rav4 up there (though I wouldn’t recommend with a Rav4).

Here is the location of the convenient pull off and turnaround spot that I used which is fairly easily accessible with any AWD vehicle:
38.8605389, -106.2301959
Posted By: dennywitte
Info: Drove to the Harvard Lakes TH on FS365 today. Looks like people with 4WD, high clearance, and offroad tires turn around there.
Posted By: dennywitte
Info: The FS365 road to the N Cottonwood trailhead is open and snow covered. The main obstacle continues to be the deep holes at .2 miles into the national forest. High clearance and 4wd is advised.
Posted By: NatDog
Info: I was able to drive my pickup up and down the road to the start of the trailhead today. Coming back down in the afternoon was definitely more of a challenge. Snow is melting fast and was super slushy.
Posted By: dennywitte
Info: Anyone hoping to access the Harvard Lakes, Silver Creek, or North Cottonwood Trailheads should plan to have 4wd and good ground clearance to reach the National Forest boundary and park there. There is a solid boot pack for .7 mile and then a good trench requiring flotation after that all the way to the North Cottonwood TH.
Posted By: dennywitte
Info: I just hiked and snowshoed back to the North Cottonwood TH from the National Forest boundary, three miles from the TH. The road is pretty much impassible now. Figure on parking at the NF boundary. Pictures are taken just a few tenths past the NF boundary.
Posted By: daway8
Info: CR365 switched between being dry then fairly heavily snow covered but with easy to follow tracks then being plowed next to the turn into the neighborhood (where there is a large, dry pullout area there near Creek run a couple miles or so from the trailhead) and then back to heavy snow with tracks for only a short distance. I got my Jeep Renegade with 4WD and autosocks to within 0.9mi of the trailhead before giving up and executing a multipoint turn to back up to a pullout that was 1.13mi from the trailhead where one vehicle had previously made some tracks into. After getting back at the end of the day saw tire tracks from someone who appeared to have excellent tires but they only got maybe another 1,000ft or so beyond where I gave up. Expect to add at least 2-4miles to the summer milage unless you have a vehicle that’s extremely capable in winter. The last stretch of the road to the trailhead now has a good foot traffic path beaten in, after that I paid my trenching dues on the trail itself, along with a couple hikers (see coming conditions report).
Posted By: Cide
Info: Stock Frontier 4x4 w/ good all terrains can reliably make it to .6 mi from TH. A bit deeper past that. Caught a ride to TH w/ a beefy, snow tired Tacoma that paddled its way to the TH.
Posted By: Unknown
Info: Trenched to Lakes after first log crossing, came north on the CT and descended 368B
Posted By: dennywitte
Info: The North Cottonwood Road (FS365) is now open. I drove to just before the Harvard Lakes TH where it looked like people were getting stuck.
Posted By: dennywitte
Info: FS365 is closed 1.25 miles from the Harvard Lakes TH. The road is patchy dirt/snow/ice until there.
Posted By: dennywitte
Info: The North Cottonwood Road (CR365/FS365) is closed by a barricade 1/10 mile east of the national forest boundary. The last mile before the closure on CR365 has lots of ice/snow and is suitable only for 4wd vehicles with good ground clearance. From this closure you have 1.25 miles to the CT junction going north to Harvard Lakes, 1.5 miles to the Silver Creek TH and 3 miles to the North Cottonwood TH.
Posted By: dennywitte
Info: The CR365 road is plowed up to the 5th private road intersection (Princeton Hills) in the Game Trail development. There is no parking there. Vehicles with high clearance and 4wd can continue until the National Forest Boundary. There are a few parking spots there. A few people have tried to go further on the road with bad results. From the National Forest Boundary you can access the Harvard Lakes TH (1.3 miles) and Silver Creek TH (1.4 miles) on the boot packed road.
Posted By: HikesInGeologicTime
Info: Road is maintained through the turnoff to the last subdivision. After that, its just thick and soft enough that it would be somewhat annoying to ski through (due to lack of slope) and even more annoying to drive through (due to the ease with which one’s Subaru might get stuck hard enough to have steam venting out its hood shortly before its release).

Left a trail of coolant all the way back to the Loves in BV; youre not supposed to mix it with water, but apparently snow is okay, so whats on the road is free and available to anyone looking to score some sweet post-Christmas deals! Car is currently sitting in the Silverthorne dealership service lot following a dash through the snow on a one-horse open sleigh...I mean, pricy Breck-based tow truck.

Id recommend leaving this one alone until theres significant melting or unless you have high-clearance 4WD/snow tires. Bah, humbug.
Posted By: daway8
Info: Google map link on 14ers.com is WRONG!! Coordinates put you about 3/4 mile short of the actual trailhead/parking pulloff (photo#1). Coordinates for actual parking pulloff (small area on left side of road when coming from Buena Vista) are 38.86456, - 106.23875. Pulloff wraps around a tree (photo #2). Trailhead is about 10-20 feet beyond this on the right side (photo#3). Several signs mark the trailhead but can be hard to see in the dark (photos #4, #5). Road was partly covered with snow/ice but not enough to impede travel unless you have a low clearance vehicle.
Note: this trail starts on the Colorado Trail which shows up on Google Maps - that’s an easy way to know if you’re actually there.
Posted By: dennywitte
Info: See my North Cottonwood report.
Posted By: wintersage
Info: From the start of the dirt road (CR 365) to 1.5miles below the trailhead, the road still has mounds of snow in between tire tracks. A high clearance, 4WD car is recommended. There is a nice cutoff that you can park your car 1.5 miles before the trailhead, because beyond that, the road is not plowed at all and is full of deep snow. There are snowcat tracks for a short while, but don’t be fooled, soon you’ll find only footprints and even deeper snow.

A 2WD passenger car was stuck at the closure Saturday night because they attempted to go up this section. They had to be towed out Monday morning despite multiple attempts by the driver to extract the car himself (using sticks for traction, lifting the car with a jack to shovel below the wheels and around it, etc).

The snowstorm on Sunday made road conditions even worse, and I had to switch on 4Lo to get to the junction of CR 361.
Posted By: finick01
Info: Road was clear and dry to the junction with Princeton Hill Rd (about 2mi below the trailhead). Past that, it was muddy and snowy to the fork with Creek Run (about 1.3mi from trailhead), and past that deep, unplowed snow. Snow tires didn’t help with the mud. Wouldn’t recommend 2WD past the Princeton Hill junction: even if you go up early when it’s still frozen, coming down when things soften up would be unpleasant.
Posted By: Kitten
Info: We were able to drive up to about 1 mile from the Summer TH with our Suzuki SX4. Snow gets deep after that and several vehicles had trouble getting the last mile in. I would recommend 4WD and high clearance.
Posted By: sallenrogem87
Info: Road to the TH is open, dry, and clear. With the current conditions, one could access this TH with a 2WD car, just drive slow.
Posted By: screeman57
Info: Easily got to trailhead in my minivan. Mud more of an issue than snow.
Posted By: dwoodward13
Info: Parked a mile below the TH. Was basically clear to that point. Mix of a few inches of snow and ice up to the official TH, and AWD/4WD cars could make it pretty easily I think.

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