Shavano/Tabeguache Trailhead


Range: Sawatch Range
Coordinates: 38.59863, -106.19722
14ers: Mt. Shavano, Tabeguache Peak
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Road Difficulty

2WD, rough dirt road 2   (0=Paved, 6=Very Difficult 4WD)
Rough 2WD dirt to the TH.

Driving Directions

On U.S. 285, one mile north of the U.S. 50 and U.S. 285 junction near Poncha Springs, turn west on County Road (CR) 140. This turn is about 21 miles south of Buena Vista, and across the highway from the entrance to the Salida airport. On CR 140, drive 1.7 miles and turn right on CR 250. Drive 0.8 to reach dirt road and reset your trip odometer. Drive 3.2 miles to a "Y" junction. Stay left on FR 252 and continue to another small junction, near a cattle guard, at ~6.2 miles. Cross the cattle guard and drive a bit farther to reach the Shavano+Tabeguache trailhead.

Winter Access

Usually closed many miles below the TH.
Status Updates 
Posted By: serveJesusChrist
Info: Road 250 is passable in a Subaru, however 1 snow field makes it dangerous because a mishap means a fall down a cliff.

250A is completely clear and is the better road up.
Posted By: MBosch27
Info: 250 Passable in a Rav4, but a little slippery at the snowdrift in the S turns. Should be clear and easily passable soon. 250A is clear, dry and definitely the better road up.
Posted By: Dobsons
Info: Was in the region for other adventures but we were able to make it to the main shavano tab trailhead without any difficulties. The main 252 road has a large snow area blocking it at the usual corner about 2.5 miles from the trailhead (likely for a few more weeks) but if you take the alternative route via 250A this is open all the way
Posted By: Emil128
Info: Road access to the trailhead is still pretty snowed in. Had to start skinning 3 miles from the actual trailhead adding a total of 6.4 miles round trip from the car to trailhead
Posted By: Emil128
Info: Road access to the trailhead is still pretty snowed in. Had to start skinning 3 miles from the actual trailhead adding a total of 6.4 miles round trip from the car to trailhead
Posted By: Eagle Eye
Info: I was curious about my ability to reach the Shavano/Tabeguache Trailhead so I checked it out on Sunday; I drove CR 250 the ~3.2 miles to the Y junction: the road starts out traveled and windblown but within 1 1/2 miles of the junction was starting to be in 2 deep tire tracks & in places drifted over with snow. I would say (4WD) great open pattern tires and good ground clearance were necessary, with little or no option of getting around an oncoming vehicle. Beyond (at) the Y junction neither 2 continuing roads showed any signs of travel. This point is about 3 miles short of the Shavano/Tabeguache TH.
Posted By: supranihilest
Info: Bumpy and plenty of potholes. Lots of thin, packed snow on the road, though mostly dry. One thick patch of ice I took a running start at so I could just slide over it if I lost traction. Trailhead parking lot is partially covered in thin snow. Bathroom is open and stocked with toilet paper.
Posted By: LetsGoMets
Info: Still complete summer conditions, rough 2WD.
Posted By: RWSchaffer
Info: Summer conditions to trailhead.
Posted By: brianr56
Info: Road dry (one water-filled pothole as an exception, but easy to avoid) and in good shape to TH. Drove up easily in stock Outback - several sedans in parking lot. Take your time, pick your line, and any vehicle should be able to make the top.
Posted By: matt9094
Info: The dirt road was dry but very bumpy the entire time. You could make it with a sedan but it would definitely get scraped up. I highly recommend a higher clearance vehicle such as an SUV or truck. 2WD is fine.
Posted By: madmattd
Info: The outhouse seat is still good to go, since it sounds like that was an issue last month. This road is quite bumpy, but go slow and most vehicles should be fine though low clearance will need to take care in a few places (big holes). I should have aired down a bit, would have saved time even with having to pump back up... Today there was a Mini Cooper and an Audi sedan at the TH, everything else was crossover SUV or larger. I had no issues finding an empty campsite at 9pm Friday, just had to go a short ways past the trailhead. There were still many open sites way down low too.
Posted By: Mzapo
Info: Good news on the outhouse front, toilet seat appeared to be fastened on. Otherwise any 2wd vehicle should be able to make it to the trailhead, just please be careful to avoid the pot holes and take it slow over the ruts.
Posted By: pfcstuck
Info: Got up to trailhead in a Mini Clubman. Road is a little rougher than most 2wd dirt roads, so you will need to go slow and take your time in a car. Seat on toilet is still broken.
Posted By: rcpelikan
Info: Made it to the trailhead in a 2WD Ford Focus. Trip was bumpy and some large potholes exist, but it’s possible to easily steer around them to avoid bottoming out. Parking at the trailhead was ample. If anyone cares, the toilet seat/cover at the outhouse is not fastened to the actual bowl.
Posted By: Alpinefroggy
Info: Successfully navigated to the trailhead in a Prius and didnt have any issues..

Only one section at start of the dirt that involves a 100 foot long steep incline thats a little rutted that made me hold ass a little. But picked a good line and never bottomed out even in my intrepid Prius.

Otherwise the road is easily passable by pretty much any car. Just be careful at the start.
Posted By: ironman1942
Info: Road is clear and nearly bone dry all the way to TH. Made it fine in a Civic Si, which is even lower suspension than a normal Civic.
Posted By: JasonCrane
Info: FR250A is completely dry & free of snow. As expected, unmaintained, bumpy road littered with rocks & potholes. FR252 is completely dry except for one large snowbank on the switchback section, which can be traversed by high clearance vehicles. 250A should be okay for 2WD with careful driving.
Posted By: PedroCO
Info: The snow drift on 252 (1 mile from the junction of 252/250A) is mostly clear enough to get through. I had no problem coming down that way in my ’93 Rodeo. I think most 2WD could even make it up. I also went up 250A - totally clear.
Posted By: aksean22
Info: There is still a large snow drift blocking 252 just past the split, but you can make it all the way to the summer trailhead by staying on 250A. Some clearance is needed to make it through snow drifts the last half mile or so.
Posted By: paigie_42
Info: You can make it to the fork where 252 and 250 split. The road is muddy and there are some spots of slushy snow but it is passable with good tires.

After 252 splits the road is snow covered and only passable with 4wd until the creek crossing. After the crossing is a massive snow drift! I parked where the road split and hiked in. It added about 3 miles to the hike each way though.
Posted By: wintersage
Info: CR 250 is quite icy in some sections, but there are tire tracks to follow that make it easier. When I got to the CR252-CR250A split, I saw that the entrance to 250A was completely snowed in. There was evidence of a previous car getting stuck there. I went up CR252 all the way and saw that CR252 dead-ends 2.5mi from the TH. Doubled back, and then took the horizontal road that connects CR252 to CR25OA, the screenshot of that is posted. I followed CR250A, which was heavily snowed in up to 1.5mi from the summer TH. I couldn’t go any further past that point. Got stuck numerous times but 4LO + traction control off saved the day. Now there are tire tracks for the next party to follow.
Posted By: Wentzl
Info: Got my Tacoma about 2 miles past where the road turns to dirt. Tire tracks went further, but getting stuck seemed likely. "Angel of Shavano" still mostly dirt and rocks in this year of drought.
Posted By: HikesInGeologicTime
Info: If you take 250 to 250A at the road junction with 252 (signed route to Shav/Tab TH), you can easily get a Subaru Outback all the way up to the summer TH. Which we discovered after wed already parked at the 250/252 split, hiked the extra six miles on top of Shav, and gotten back down in the dark.
Posted By: John Prater
Info: From the start of the dirt, 250 was mostly packed snow (some dirt, some ice) to the 250/252 junction. The snow between the tire tracks was up to maybe 8 inches in spots. At the 250/252 junction, 252 was drifted in and 250 was still well tracked, so I continued (driving an Outback) on 250 and then 250A. This was packed snow with the snow between the tire tracks still no more than around 8 inches. I parked about 1.7 miles from the 250/252 junction, at the sharp left turn where the road turns south briefly. I actually drove another tenth of a mile or so, but the road started going slightly downhill to a meadow. Didn’t want to deal with that, so I turned around and parked where I could pull off the road. It was about 1.6 miles from where I parked to the trailhead. That section turned out to be not much worse than what I’d driven (ie, still packed snow, snow between the tire tracks maybe up to 10 inches in a few sections).
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