Shavano/Tabeguache Trailhead


Range: Sawatch Range
Coordinates: 38.596682, -106.196998
14ers: Mt. Shavano, Tabeguache Peak
Elevation: 9,775'
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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 junction near Poncha Springs, turn west onto County Road (CR) 140. This turn is about 21 miles south of Buena Vista, and across the highway from the Salida airport. Measure from here. On CR 140, drive 1.7 miles and then turn right on CR 250. Continue to 2.6 miles where the road turns to dirt. Once you enter BLM land the road becomes rough and rocky. At 5.9 miles, stay left at a junction and continue on FR 252. At 9.0 miles, stay left at another junction and continue a bit farther to reach the trailhead at 9.2 miles. If the lot is full, there is overflow parking if you continue 0.1 mile beyond the trailhead.

Winter Access

Usually closed many miles below the TH.

More Info

Parking: Parking for ~25 vehicles with overflow down the road.
Camping: Dispersed camp spots near the trailhead and in the meadow down the road, 0.1 mile past the trailhead.
Restrooms? Yes
Fees? No
Trailhead added by BillMiddlebrook
Status Updates 
Posted By: dwoodward13
Info: Pretty typical conditions for this trailhead. At the current moment had no issues in a Camry, just had to take it slow. Very rocky the first half, smoother in the 2nd. The steeper area about a half mile in from pavement that always seems to be somewhat washed out is in the worst condition I’ve seen for the last 3-4 years. It may not be long until sedans are stopped at this point.
Posted By: CheapCigarMan
Info: Just shortly after the 252 and 250A split there’s a snow drift on 252 covering most of the road at the switchback.
On 250A the road is dry all the way to the TH.
The restroom is open at the TH.
Posted By: JasonCrane
Info: FR250 has 2 very rough rocky sections on uphill slopes approx. 3 miles in from US 50 junction (down below prior to reaching the Y junction of FR250A & FR252.) These sections could potentially cause issues for 2WD, low clearance vehicles. At the Y junction, I took 250A on the way in & 252 on the way out. In my opinion 252 was in better condition, but I was also in a good mood after summitting Shavano. Additionally, 252 has cows grazing along the road & they tend to be a bit stubborn about stepping aside to let vehicles pass. Plenty of dispersed camping along FR250 with nice views looking east towards the Arkansas River valleys & west with Shavano in the backdrop. Note - it’s hunting season & saw a couple of groups of hunters on the way out. Hikers may want to consider wearing orange.
Posted By: disco_diner
Info: As of August 20th, the road conditions beginning at dirt road were in great condition. I drive a low clearance Suburu Legacy and was a little worried because I couldnt find much information on people driving low clearance vehicles. I found the middle section was probably roughest(rocks) but once I was about 1.4 miles from trailhead it was pretty smooth, with just a few spots to look out for. Definitely slow going but I think most vehicles would be fine getting to trailhead. Tons of dispersed camping and totally worth the trip! Cheers
Posted By: staceyhicks
Info: Road to TH in excellent condition. Climbed on a Friday. Arrived at 5:15am and only 3 other cars in parking lot. Returned to TH at 2::30 and still plenty of parking.
Posted By: dwoodward13
Info: Usual rocky drive up to the TH, made it fine in a Camry just slow going. There is one spot low on the road just after entering public lands that is a bit of a mess. Lower clearance cars will want to pick a good line. The road gets markedly better after the 252/250 junction.
Posted By: Mt_DAN
Info: Clear by both 250A and 252.
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.
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