Baldwin Gulch Trailhead

Posted By: Ed_Groves
Info: I drove a stock 2022 Toyota Tacoma V6 4wd to approximately 10,900 feet just beyond the creek, and I could have driven higher but I wanted the elevation gain for the hike. The road was rough with rocks that could damage the bottom of a vehicle. I made it up and down without incident. The road is very narrow in most places and I met one 4Runner and a few 4 wheelers on the way down. Fortunately, I was in areas where we could maneuver around one another. The road does keep one on your toes for sure. I have 9.4 inches of ground clearance and I don’t think I would want any less for this road.
Posted By: Bob Mitchell
Info: Went up to about 12,000 ft. in my 2017 stock Tacoma. Went slow and it was fine. The road was very busy but everyone on it was very respectful and made it easy to get up and down!
Posted By: ochres
Info: Made it up the 4WD road to ~11200ft in a stock 4Runner with AT tires. Took 1hr up and 1hr down. Road is in good shape and could’ve made up to 12000 or higher, just wanted to get at least 3000ft of gain in. Was surprised to see a Rav4 parked before the stream crossing. Not sure I’d feel comfortable driving in low clearance vehicle--guessing they probably scraped a little on the way down. We didn’t run into anyone on the way up but ran into quite a few vehicles on our way back down. There are a few narrow spots but no terrifying shelf roads with sheer drops offs like the road to Lead King Basin from Marble. Easier drive than South Colony Lakes or Nellie Creek imo. No significant obstacles, just a couple shallow stream crossings and A LOT of bumpy rocks. Dramamine recommended for passengers unless you’re able to air down.
Posted By: Shaller13
Info: Reached the end of the road up above the 2nd set of switchbacks in my stock Jeep Cherokee. Took me 2 hours going up and a bit under 2 hours going down. Similar times to one of the previous conditions report

The 4x4 road is not the worse road of what I have done in terms of technicality(climbing rocks, clearance issues, etc) but it’s not an easy road by any means. I would say Nellie creek was the hardest of the 14er 4x4 roads I have done so far but Mt. Antero was more difficult mentally and trail wise over Mt. Princeton, South Colony and the other few.

Low gear range is a must(unless you like to cook transmissions) high clearance is highly recommended. If your vehicle has a similar cooling system like my XJ then make sure that is all in working condition.

Road is in summer conditions. No mining work was being performed where I parked
Posted By: burnhamc
Info: Trail is in good shape, can be driven to the top around 13,500’
Posted By: ZooDude
Info: Took my stock Chevy Colorado 4x4 to 12,000 feet. Some nice campgrounds down a small valley to the right you get to 12k, that’s where we camped for the night. Took about an hour and I tell you what, it took my truck to the limit. Had a couple of minor scrapes here and there, but this is a legit class 4 and is no joke for non lifted trucks/Jeeps. Totally worth it in the end as hiking up that road would have been super painful....
Posted By: GaryBroome6
Info: Think my wallet fell out of my car on the 2WD trailhead road. Please reach out if you find it. Thank you!
Posted By: angry
Info: Parked at 12k in a stock Tacoma. There is road work happening above this point and a large cat truck excavator that will be there for the next 3 weeks according to the operator I talked to. Wouldnt recommend trying to go higher because you cant get past the cat and there isnt anywhere to turn around.
Posted By: LetsGoMets
Info: At least to the 277/278 split its normal high clearance 4x4. Clear of snow all the way. Creek crossing at the split is manageable if you continue on 278 (to Antero). 277 (towards Mamma) is free of snow for a couple miles.
Posted By: trek_with_jess
Info: Was able to get to 11,800 in a lifted wrangler before blocked by snow. Road is bumpy but no major obstacles. Note that one of the stream crossings is running pretty high and fast right now. As long as you’ve got decent clearance and 4wd, you should be fine.
Posted By: Ssgustafson
Info: The road is almost entirely free of snow and drivable to 11,880’ where there is also room to execute a (maybe 6 point) turn around. The highest available parking is at 11,770’, but there are plenty of other parking / dispersed camping locations all the down to the river crossing at about 10,800’. Above 11,880’ there is still a lot of snow blocking the road and some damage to the road that looks like it will take some time to get reopened.
Posted By: CheapCigarMan
Info: You can drive 1/3 of a mile up the 4wd road before being stopped by a snow drift.
Posted By: kyrawhitworth
Info: 2WD road easy dirt. 4WD turn off covered in snow not likely to melt out enough to drive up for a while. Evidence of tire tracks but only for a couple feet before it looks like they backed up. A few spots of ice flow on the 4WD road (one we had to avoid by hiking around it in the trees).
Posted By: Weekapaugn21
Info: Not so much a status report as a warning to fellow newbies like me: I made it to 13.3k in my stock 2 door wrangler and never bottomed out. But unless you are actually into off-roading, and accept the potential to damage your ride, I’d recommend hiking longer than driving up this. It wasn’t enjoyable in the slightest and I cannot believe that I got down with four still-inflated tires. I’ve done Huron and Princeton, this is a significant step up and made me aware that off-roading ain’t my thing.
Posted By: CommanderDawn
Info: Drove up to 13800 in a 2000 Wrangler 2 door with a 2 inch lift and had zero issues.

I am not an experienced off-road driver, so given the ease with which I did this, I think any 4wd truck or suv with decent clearance and a competent driver would be fine. Beyond the tree line, a long wheelbase vehicle will have to make 3 or 5 pt turns on tight switchbacks. Even I had to do one.

Also tracked excavators can make the top, dont ask how I know this.
Posted By: MaryinColorado
Info: Oof! I think I’d bump the rating up to a 5! Drove up to 12K in a Wrangler with 10" clearance and hardy tires. Even with a capable vehicle, this road comes down to quality of driver.(she says, sort of complimenting herself but also speaking the truth). The road was new to me but not to my significant other in another vehicle who said the road is way worse than it has been in the past. This seems to jive with my overall impression since some of the research I did about the road dated back 2-3 years, but compared to that research, the road was far worse than what I was expecting. It was navigable but VERY slow going, and I had to get out about four times to scope out obstacles for a good line. The creek crossings were among the easiest endeavors, actually.

Ultimately, made it up and down without incident, but it was among the most stressful off-road driving I’ve ever done, and I consider myself to be fairly skilled (not a newb).

In summary: really need to consider the vehicle’s own capability, and definitely a fair amount of nav skill is needed to ensure you don’t leave a trail of auto parts.
Posted By: jackjk1011
Info: Any vehicle can make it to the lower 2WD trailhead, where there is a reasonable amount of parking on the side of the road. I would not attempt *any* of the 4WD portion of the road without a proper high clearance 4WD vehicle, as it immediately becomes steep and rocky. There are multiple significant water crossings along the 4WD road including one right at the beginning within a few hundred feet of the 2WD trailhead. The entire 4WD portion of the road was dry (except for the aforementioned water crossings) and passible if you have the correct vehicle. Larger high clearance 4WD vehicles can make it to one of several places to park and/or camp along the 4WD road, but after a certain point (just above treeline) you’re probably going to want a vehicle with a short wheel base to continue up. ATV, SxS, or Jeep Wranglers should be able to make it to the upper trailhead, which is only a few thousand feet from the summit and has parking for a handful of vehicles. The largest vehicle I saw at the upper trailhead was an FJ. If you are driving anything bigger than that, you will probably want to leave it further down and hike the remaining portion of the road.
Posted By: Jimmy Jay
Info: Road is passable for standard clearance 4WD all the way to the 4WD trailhead. You won’t get far past the stream crossing without a tracked vehicle though due to snow, and there’s a tree across the road close to the Cronin split.
Wouldn’t try with a low clearance 4WD (Crosstrek Forester, etc) as there are a couple large rocks in the center right after the TH.
Posted By: aksean22
Info: The 4WD road is the worst of both worlds right now. There is still far to much snow to attempt to drive (someone tried and only made it about 20’), but enough rocky sections to make skiing back down pretty tricky unless you really don’t care about your skis. Snow is unsupportive so bring flotation if headed up there anytime soon. The stream at 10,800’ is flowing.
Posted By: funsizetiff
Info: Able to drive up to 12,850’ before the road becomes impassable due to snow drifts. Last parking before the road blockage is at 12,700’ on the final switchback (at location on attached screenshot).
Posted By: lauradaughtry
Info: Summer conditions. I drove my ’17 Toyota 4Runner (TRD pro trim, but didn’t use any of the bells and whistles) in 4WD low and made it all the way to the end of tree-line with absolutely zero problems. Yes, your 5th gen stock 4Runner would make it up here without issue! Honestly, the roughest part is the 1st mile; but it was hardly a worry. For any off-road enthusiasts, it was a beautiful drive with a few creek crossings. Plenty of pull-off space and areas to move over for passing vehicles coming the opposite direction. As the poster below me noted, the road is narrow at points, and assume people will be driving down from the peak after 12pm in a day; I’d think it considerate to, if you’re going to, drive up early in the morning or very late afternoon/evening.
Posted By: Btuperkwh
Info: Haven’t seen a Baldwin Gulch TH report in a while so here it is -->
First time driving up this road so I was a little nervous since I have hiked up and down that road a few times and know the conditions. Drove a lifted Nissan Titan up to the parking area after the dispersed camping spots and before the lower switchbacks to the saddle (~11,000) on Sat 8/21 ~ 7am. I only saw high clearance trucks, 4runners, wranglers, and 2-3 stock SUVs going up. Dispersed camping spots along the way were occupied. There were several 4WDs, ATVs and motorcycles going up the switchbacks and parked at the saddle, Antero summit "gate" parking area and on across the "valley" on White. First mile up the road is definitely worst part as you gain elevation - narrow, rocky, bumpy, rutted road with a few areas for vehicles to pass each other. After that it get a little better, road levels out a bit and there are areas to pullover for passing vehicles - still very rocky and rutty though. 3x stream crossings - easy, no issues. Water was running higher later in the day coming down but still no issues. Started down the road around 2:30pm, you have to go slow through a few of the sections due to the loose rocks and potential sliding. There are about 2-3 places where it gets a little intense going down due to big ruts and rocks but going slow and deliberate works. About 75% of the way down there were a dispersed line of vehicles and ATVs going down for the day - met a couple of vehicles coming up. There were enough pull off spots for the line of vehicles and ATVs (going much faster) to pass each other - no issues. Further down where the road gets very narrow and steep(er) and basically there is very little room for passing. Met a Mule coming up at a steep hairpin curve section with no passing anywhere. The Mule had to back down so we could pass. It seems logical that on a weekend, most of the traffic on the mountain are coming down in the late afternoon (2pm-5pm). Personally, I would go very early morning or wait until after 5pm to go up the road on weekends to avoid the traffic jams on the lower part of the road.
Posted By: Jnaffy
Info: Drove up to close to 13 K in a stock jeep wrangler. Definitely a class 4 road. You need to know how to drive lines in certain areas. Stock off-road Ing high clearance vehicle should be fine. I parked at the sign at an intersection. Beyond that road is still doable with the same notations as I listed above for the road blow. There are no pool off spots however should you have any issues so you have to commit beyond 13 K. Water crossings may be 5 inches deep. I honestly dont understand why people are trying to make this a technical class 5/6 road when it is very clearly not but again you need to be the kind of person who knows how to off-road and understands how to pick lines with high clearance. I would say the biggest issue would be minimal areas for passing just like Princeton and no extra room in certain areas to pass. On that note uphill drivers always have right of way!
Posted By: bking14ers
Info: I was able to drive a stock Jeep Grand Cherokee to over 13,000 ft. (above the switch backs) And it only cost me $100 for a good used tire afterwards. Seriously! Don’t drive up that road unless you have decent clearance, and good aftermarket off road tires. I tore a hole in the side wall of a tire coming back down right at tree line, then it was an act of God I made it out on the cheap spare. I didn’t think the road was worse than I’ve ever driven on, but it was just so long.
Posted By: sctbke
Info: Road seems to have been made a bit more difficult by recent rains. Some larger rocks exposed by the runoff, creek crossing a few hundred yards up 277 is flowing strong. Ended up turning around about a half mile in after a couple scrapes that werent avoidable. 07 Honda Pilot, larger A/T tires, a car that has been over Medano pass, engineer pass, and to nearly every other 14er 4wd trailhead in the state, but not this one! Youll want something better than stock until the rain damage gets better. Ive got 8.5 ground clearance and it wasnt enough to navigate the big rocks, another inch or so would be ideal. Stock Wrangler or TRD 4Runner would do fine with decent line choice. Will summit from browns creek trailhead now instead, road seems like a long hike!

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