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Missouri Gulch Trailhead

Posted By: beervendor
Info: Weather incoming so this will likely be useless before I’m finished typing but here goes. The 7 bumpy dirt miles of CR390 to the TH (and the 5 beyond it to Winfield) are mostly clear and dry - just a few patches of snow and slush to keep you on your toes. Low clearance is fine, even passable with 2WD (at least until it snows today). Shared TH parking with just one other vehicle all day, and saw nary a soul on the trail. Plenty of dispersed camping avail for the hearty outdoorsfolk.
Posted By: raphaelroxas
Info: As of 9/24/2023, the road up to the trailhead is in great condition. Any 2wd car can make it up here, there is no rutting and very few small bumps. Better than most gravel driveways.
Posted By: JasonCrane
Info: CR 390 is generally in good shape. A few sections of potholes, small rocks & washboard, but should be doable for 2WD. I would classify as "rough 2WD." But, nothing major that would cause someone to turnaround. Road is in similar condition for the 4 miles past Missouri Gulch to Winfield, where the AWD Road starts.
Posted By: BRadleyC
Info: Great camping spots in national forest approximately 2 miles from the trailhead. Dirt road was a bit washboardy but totally 2wd doable. Plenty of TP in trailhead bathroom which was pleasantly clean.
Posted By: kspitzer1987
Info: Drove a Honda Odyssey (makeshift camper van for the night) and made it absolutely no problem. Some spots I had avoid and steer around but made it very easily.
Posted By: bmanser02
Info: Great condition. There’s a small restroom in the parking lot. The lot itself is easy to get to and has plenty of space. It’s no problem at all for even a 2WD vehicle. No service for Verizon anywhere from clear creek reservoir and up.
Posted By: JROSKA
Info: As referenced in the last conditions report, there is one long rutted out section a little over 2 miles from the trailhead. I was a bit complacent driving a Subaru, & was surprised by how low the car dipped and bounced back up. Its still a 2WD road but anyone driving a passenger vehicle will want to be aware that its there, and drive over it slowly.
Posted By: robochick84
Info: Did Bel-Ox On July 22. I was nervous about reaching the trailhead due to the 2wd-4wd debate over current road conditions. Throwing in my two cents as someone that has driven everything from a mid-80s Trans Am to a fully equipped Jeep - and I’ll say it is 2wd and low clearance accessible at the moment. Driving in before 5am we almost missed the small knoll with the big hole and that could have been rough for the standard SUV/crossover if going too fast. Our GPS (Google) noted we were 2.4 miles from the trailhead at that point, so remain alert. With a spotter, or getting out yourself to check where to put your tires, I think any vehicle can navigate it and the series of other holes in the immediate area. The remainder of the road is just a decent washboard.
Posted By: mcosby
Info: Not to be controversial, but Id have to disagree that low clearance vehicles would not make this drive. I made it with no difficulty in my fairly low ford transit connect on 06/24/2023 and saw plenty of other low clearance vehicles at the TH. Definitely take it slow and be conscientious of the potholes and ruts, but its very doable!
Posted By: Tony1
Info: Just a heads up for sedan/smaller car drivers that the road has deteriorated quite a bit after the National Forest boundary, between the reservoir and Missouri Gulch trailhead. Typically I would have no problem driving my Golf to Missouri Gulch trailhead or even Winfield, but I would not do so right now due to one particular rut maybe a mile or so west of the National Forest boundary. Besides the ruts, there are also many large potholes all over the place which require careful attention to the road to avoid. Use extreme caution if taking smaller cars to the trailhead and FWIW I did not see anything lower than your standard AWD crossover at the trailhead.

Aside from this, seems the road has returned to its usual state of constant washboard and small holes.
Posted By: supranihilest
Info: Bathroom is open and stocked with TP. Someone had pissed on the floor and thrown TP all over by the time I left.
Posted By: Molasses
Info: I just drove to the trailhead today. County Road 390 is completely dry, and in good condition. Any vehicle should be able to handle the small ruts and rocks after the snowplow turnaround.
Posted By: JasonCrane
Info: On Friday morning 5am, 4/28, we attempted to drive stock Nissan SUV down to Winfield for a shot at Huron. However, 2 snow storms week of April 24th, notably the snow storm on the night of Thurs., 4/27, dumped several inches of fresh snow on Chaffee Co. Road 390. Snow mixed with mud created very slick road conditions & poor traction enough that we turned around about 3-4 miles in. Friday afternoon’s sun & Saturday’s nice weather forecast 4/29, will hopefully dry-out & create better driving conditions to reach Missouri Gulch TH & beyond.
Posted By: colin j
Info: Was able to drive within 1.3 miles of Missouri Gulch TH. Later on 4/9 someone was able to drive 50 yards beyond where I got stuck. There is ample room to turn around and park here. Chaffee County 390 is melting fast; for now 4WD is necessary to drive past the snow plow turnaround.
Posted By: RWSchaffer
Info: Chaffee County Road 390 is plowed 4.5 miles from U.S. 24 to a plow turn. The first four miles are dry and my two door hatchback had no difficulty with the icy snow patches in the last half mile. Many vehicle tracks continue past the plow turn toward the trailhead. The only tracks that reach the trailhead, and beyond, are from a snow cat. A few wheeled vehicles reached a large parking area on the south side of the road, about a mile beyond the plow turn. Most wheeled vehicles turned back before that, some after getting stuck. I walked the 3.0 miles from plow turn to trailhead when they were well frozen, and the frozen snow cat tracks made traction and floatation unnecessary; things are likely to be sloppier during the day.
Posted By: aksean22
Info: Road is plowed and easily accessible in any vehicle to the winter closure. Would not recommend trying to go any further. I saw several signs of digging out stuck vehicles that tried to, no one made it more than 1/2 a mile.
Posted By: Yikes
Info: The 5 miles from the highway to the snowplow turnaround was well plowed. With the Arkansas valley being bone dry after the recent storm and having new snow tires, I was overly confident driving my Grand Cherokee further up the road.
Even though the road starts out with a mild uphill and long sections of flat, I quickly got stuck in deep sugary snow about 200 yards past the snow plow turnaround.
After several hours of trying to dig out, I had to walk about a mile down the road to get cell reception. Towing estimate was $1500 (to get towed 200 yards down an "easy" road). Not willing to pay that, it took another 3 hours to dig out enough to eventually back down the road.
I don’t think the issue was ice, just the deep sugar snow high-centering the vehicle. Perhaps a vehicle with higher clearance and extra knobby tires might have luck. Otherwise, park low.
Posted By: Kiefer
Info: County Road 390 is drivable all the way to the trailhead with SNOW TIRES. Do not bring regular, all-terrain street tires. Snow on the road is shallow, but it is sugary and iced in many spots. There is a track all the way to the TH. There is a good, fairly clear area on the south side of the road (wide turn-around spot) bare about 2.2 miles from the typical snow closure near the ranch. It’s a good spot to park the vehicle safely w/o getting stuck.
The restroom at the trailhead is closed for the season.
Posted By: Ssgustafson
Info: Almost no snow or ice on the road to the TH. Toilet is locked for the season.
Posted By: MattDelSur
Info: Great road. Little bumpy, like a washboard, but no problem for a low-rider Toyota Prius. Trailhead has bathroom that was very clean and nice creek for soaking sore feet.
Posted By: DixieFlyer
Info: There were some potholes in the road over the last 3-4 miles and it was a bit washboardy, but I had no problem driving to the TH in a rental 2WD SUV. The road was plenty wide enough to avoid any issues with oncoming traffic.
Posted By: Watlas
Info: This road is so f*cking bumpy
Posted By: Syde0004
Info: Even after all of the rain the road to the trailhead was bumpy but fine even for my Corolla.
Posted By: ChadBriggs
Info: Summer conditions. Previously mentioned large rocks have been moved. Road cleared/graded; smoother than our trip up last June. (From HWY 24 to TH parking lot).
Posted By: JasonCrane
Info: Chaffee County Road 390 is completely dry to Missouri Gulch. There were a couple of "coffee table" sized boulders in the lane, but can be circumvented. Road is still holding sections deep snow along the river-side of the road past Missouri Gulch to Winfield & could pose an issue for low clearance vehicles.

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