Shavano/Tabeguache Trailhead


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: 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).
Posted By: NatDog
Info: CR 252 open all the way to the summer TH. There were some small patches of ice/snow but nothing really of consequence. I switched to 4WD on some of the uphill sections but probably didn’t need to.
Posted By: This Guy
Info: The road is almost completely clear all the way to the trailhead. Only a few brief patches of plowed snow.
Posted By: jperry1122
Info: Made it with a Pruis with no problem, maybe one close call on the way in but any 2D Saden can do this, just go slow and take you time.
Posted By: mtgoatmike
Info: Got my 2000 Honda Accord up to the trailhead. Road is rough in spots, especially within the first 3 miles, but careful driving and picking a good line will get you to the trailhead.
Posted By: cpdas
Info: Made it with 0 problems in a Subaru Outback, but I am fairly confident any 2WD sedan would be absolutely fine getting to the trailhead as long as the driver is paying attention
Posted By: hamofthemountain
Info: Made it in a ’96 Honda Civic. Very slow going but totally doable without any scrapes, 4WD is absolutely not required when it’s dry.
Posted By: rosey33
Info: A little bumpy thats it! Made it up in an 02 Mini Cooper with no problem what so ever, just take it slow
Posted By: brichardsson
Info: Road is clear, no issues at all. A bit rough though. I’ve been up this road four times I think, and this is the worst I can remember it. Saw a sedan that was trying to creep up it at 2mph and finally gave up we assume as we never saw it at the trailhead. 4wd not needed bit clearance definitely a help in areas.
Posted By: Emerson4449
Info: Road 250 was a bit bumpy and had areas coated with smooth rocks, nothing a vehicle with decent clearance couldn’t handle. I wouldn’t recommend a sedan, it’s something that a crossover SUV could do just fine. Road 252 was in very good condition. Entire drive was very easy and not steep at all, and dry, do not need 4x4.
Posted By: Evan_Hikes
Info: Road is clear all the way to the trailhead parking lot. A 2003 Accord was able to make it but kept it to 10mph or under all the way up and down: very rough. Dirt road with a lot of rocks and a few tricky dips. Easy driving for 4WD or higher clearance 2WD but reconsider taking a sedan up there.
Posted By: Scotty21
Info: Dry all the way to the trailhead. Some careful driving on some parts of the dirt road if you have a 2WD vehicle. Plenty of camping sites on the way to the TH. Otherwise nice cruise.
Posted By: hogantheepic
Info: Road totally clear of snow all the way to the trailhead. Got caught behind a mustang with like 3 inches of clearance, which was not cutting it. Bring something with a good bit of clearance.
Posted By: JakeByk
Info: Dry all the way to the trailhead. If you value your vehicle, don’t take a 2WD down this road or something with less than 4 inches of clearance.
Posted By: gregpeak
Info: Road is clear and dry all the way to the trailhead
Posted By: fepic1
Info: Drove in a F150 4x4 to the 252-250 Y in the rd. 3 miles short of the trailhead. I used 4x4 for about 1.5 miles. Very doable in the pickup and probably in a 4 wheel suv to that point. No other vehicle track beyond the Y.
Posted By: Wentzl
Info: Why isn’t this called Blanks Gulch? Anyway, snow and ice mostly melted. Drove to the trailhead, road 95% clear. Did not need to engage 4wd.
Posted By: yardman
Info: Got up to the Blanks Gulch TH yesterday, but not without some challenges. Depending upon the time of day the road is icy, snow-covered, muddy or wet. Regardless, it’s slippery. 4WD is needed and higher clearance also probably needed. With another snow dump the road may be impassable.
Posted By: ilikereds
Info: Zero issues getting to the trailhead....just watch out for the cows on the road! Bumpy in a few places, but nothing that most 2WD vehicles wont have a problem with; just go slow. Plenty of parking, with overflow parking and dispersed camping (camping not allowed at TH, but people were doing it anyhow).
Posted By: NathanRL
Info: Had no problem getting there in a Prius.
Posted By: Tornadoman
Info: Clear and dry, no problem in a low clearance 2WD.
Posted By: rsuminsby
Info: Clear and dry all the way to the trailhead on 252.

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