Three Elk Creek Trailhead


Range: Sawatch Range
Coordinates: 38.901023, -106.223822
14ers: Mt. Columbia, Mt. Harvard
Elevation: 9,300'
Photo Photo Add

Road Difficulty

Easy 4WD, good clearance recommended. 3   (0=Paved, 6=Very Difficult 4WD)

Driving Directions

No details yet

Winter Access


More Info

Fees? No
Trailhead added by BillMiddlebrook
Status Updates 
Posted By: dennywitte
Info: There now a nice 2WD parking lot just off the county road where FS368 begins. This is a huge help because the country road is posted "NO PARKING" in that area.
Posted By: dennywitte
Info: The FS 368 road is dry to the Three Elk Trailhead. BUT, the road now has numerous water bars across the road. High clearance 4WD is absolutely required to clear the water bars.
Posted By: dennywitte
Info: Drove from CR368 up FS368 about a mile. Road was rough, muddy, and icy in spots. Definitely easy 4WD, needing both ground clearance and traction. Parked at 3 Elk TH. FS368 is impassable above here due to deep snow. Photo: FS368 above 3 Elk TH.
Posted By: dennywitte
Info: Drove about 1 mile to 3 Elk TH on FS368 with 1996 Ford Explorer 4WD. I would rate this easy 4WD or high clearance 2WD. Road was mostly dirt and rock, with some icy sections.
Posted By: sodinski
Info: Definitely not a ’rough 2wd’ road - it’s not really feasible in a passenger car as it’s super rutted out from water erosion. I possibly could have made it in my Impreza, but I drove only about 1/4 mile up before I stopped due to scraping too much, and there were way worse obstacles further up. And you’re only saving yourself about 0.8 easy miles each way - just park at the bottom. But this would be more or less trivial in a 4x4.
Posted By: SES_17
Info: Road going in is in worse shape than last year. Rains have really rutted the road and exposed some large rocks. I have a ‘99 Explorer, didn‘t need 4wd but low range was helpful. High clearance is a must. If you take your car up here, plan for damage.
Posted By: wincoder
Info: Road is easily passable with 4wd
Posted By: SKYE_HI
Info: Very rough, washed/rutted out, at turn onto FS road, not navigable with AWD SUV (Hyundai Santa Fe). No easy alternates obvious, without creating new track, plan to park close to turn onto FS road and add the extra 0.8 miles each way to the trip (as of 6/29/14)
Posted By: kenny
Info: Clear to TH. Accessible by 09 Outback if you navigate a few ruts well.
Posted By: Gene913
Info: Snow free to trailhead. Drove slow last .8 mile on FS road and 2WD Corolla had no clearance scrapes or difficulty.
Posted By: sunny1
Info: Would suggest higher clearance vehicle for this trailhead, 4WD not mandatory. There are some rather deep ruts and rocks.
Posted a picture of the turn onto FR 368, very easy to miss -particularly in the dark, not alot of signage.
It’s the 1st right after turning onto 368A
Posted By: Kevin8020
Info: The road to the trailhead is clear of snow entirely now.
Posted By: KeithK
Info: Trailhead is accessible, but recommend 4WD for negotiating snow, ice and mud. Road is fairly rough as well.
Posted By: whitelj24
Info: 7/11/09 - Got our very low clearance Jetta to make it to the trail head without any problems. It was slow driving but fine for any other car.
Posted By: dustj
Info: The road to the trailhead is clear with the exception of three small patches of snow that will probably be melted out in three days. I reached it in my Grand Cherokee (kept it in 2WD) without any problems.
Posted By: Chicago Transplant
Info: Was just up there today, as said before it is dry. It is pretty rocky near the where the trail leaves the road but there are 3 or 4 parking spaces there if you have some clearance. I added a picture because the trail is not signed when it leaves the road. Look from some rocks and logs marking the start.
Posted By: CODave
Info: Road is dry and easy driven (slowly w/ 2WD)
Posted By: doumall
Info: Trailhead is reachable (slowly) with a 2WD sedan (6-13-05).
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