Clear Crk./S.Winfield Trailhead
Info

Location

Road Difficulty

Easy 4WD, good clearance recommended. 3   (0=Paved, 6=Very Difficult 4WD)
2WD dirt to Winfield.
4WD to upper TH. SUVs with good clearance can make it if the road is dry.

Driving Directions

From Leadville: Drive 20 miles south on U.S. 24 and turn right on the Chaffee County 390 road. From Buena Vista: Drive 14.5 miles north on U.S. 24 and turn left on the Chaffee County 390 road. On the 390 road (dirt), drive 11.8 miles to Winfield. Turn left and measure from here. Drive 0.1 mile to reach the lower, 2WD trailhead on the left. After 0.4 mile, the road gets rugged and narrow (4WD required). After 0.7 mile, stay right at a junction. After 1.7 miles, the Banker Mine road is to the left - stay straight on the main road and continue to the end, at 2.1 miles. The trail starts past the parking area.

Winter Access

Closed near 9,200 feet - many miles below the TH.
Status Updates 
  
Posted By: RickyDavis
Info: Big potholes right after the large parking area near Winfield. Mostly 4x4 vehicles with high clearance past here, though I saw a Subaru Crosstrek and a Forester at the trailhead.
 
Posted By: jtinney
Info: Old 4Runner stuck on trail with broken axle. Dont know how long it will be there. This is up higher on the 4x4 section of the trail. I was able to go to the right side between a couple trees and make it to the top. 3 or 4 other vehicles did the same. However, several that came later were completely oblivious and parked their cars in the only passable section and blocked the vehicles in that were up at the trailhead. If you go please keep this in mind. If you cant get around the broken down 4Runner then go back down park somewhere else. The road wasnt bad. Theres a large puddle that looks really bad but is only a couple inches deep. Go through the left side (going up) and you will be fine. Plenty of parking at the trailhead
 
Posted By: jtinney
Info: Old 4Runner stuck on trail with broken axle. Dont know how long it will be there. This is up higher on the 4x4 section of the trail. I was able to go to the right side between a couple trees and make it to the top. 3 or 4 other vehicles did the same. However, several that came later were completely oblivious and parked their cars in the only passable section and blocked the vehicles in that were up at the trailhead. If you go please keep this in mind. If you cant get around the broken down 4Runner then go back down park somewhere else. The road wasnt bad. Theres a large puddle that looks really bad but is only a couple inches deep. Go through the left side (going up) and you will be fine. Plenty of parking at the trailhead
 
Posted By: angry
Info: Dry to th. If you are unable to make it beyond the aforementioned hole in the ground, it only adds roughly 100ft gain and 1300 yards to reach upper th. Plenty of space to park before this point.
 
Posted By: ZodiiakClimber
Info: Road is in summer conditions. But is impassable to anyone without very high clearance .7 miles from the trailhead. A deep hole filled with water is there. I didnt even attempt it in my RAV4. A 4 Runner couldnt make it either. But a Tacoma made it so its possible with the right clearance. If you can make it past the first major obstacle you can make it to this point. Its at a large open area and plenty of places to park there. After the hole, its mostly flat until the upper trailhead so if you can get past that, youre clear. Picture of the hole is posted as reference
 
Posted By: aldsw
Info: We made it to within about .7 miles of the Huron Peak trailhead in our Subaru Outback today. There was a deep, large water filled hole (see photo) that scared us away. Higher clearance vehicles made it through no problem but we didn’t want to risk it.
1 
Posted By: PikaSteve
Info: Road is in very good condition for high clearance 4WD. The main obstacle was at mile 0.4 where deep waves guard the entrance to a steep narrow rutted hill. Afterwards, the main concern is the risk of having to back up into steep awkward pullouts for oncoming traffic.

At less than 5mph, I didn’t save much time, but I was able to access a great camp site and get an early morning start.

Image 1 is looking uphill; all others are looking downhill:
Image 1: initial steep hill at mile 0.4 (lots of good parking just before this point)
Image 2: deep hole not yet filled with mud (about 0.5 mile from trailhead)
Image 3: typical rocky section keeps speeds slow
Image 4: looking down initial steep hill
4 
Posted By: Eagle Eye
Info: The road is in great, very dry, early summer shape. It seemed to me like some filling in, drainage or improvement work has been done to the road.
Last year in August when I drove the road (this time I just walked it from the 2wd TH at Winfield) I remember thinking that some of the low lying areas had been spun through pretty severely. They were deceptively deep with ruts which became a catch 22. It could just be pure usage of the road and it may end up that way later in the 2020 summer too. On this day there was a long, low full size van with running boards parked at the TH. At a glance it appeared undamaged!
 
Posted By: angry
Info: Parked 2 miles below the 4wd trail head. Beyond that point, there is a sheet of ice which was not passable. Recent tire tracks (with chains) higher up on the road, so someone has made it all the way up. This will obviously change with the incoming storm.
 
Posted By: g_rykovich_17
Info: Drove all the way up the 4wd road with no issues in a Toyota 4Runner with rear snow chains and a rear locking differential. There are quite a few icy sections of the road that would be impossible and very dangerous without snow chains.
 
Posted By: askwjs
Info: 390 was dry for the first 5 miles before Missouri Gulch TH, then was covered in pack snow and ice on and off until Missouri Gulch. After Missouri Gulch, there was consistent packed snow all the way to Winfield. The 4WD road is snow packed, parked about .5 miles up this road just before 1st rut. Walked up the remaining road, there were tire tracks all the way up to 4WD TH that appeared to have chains on them (probably the only way to make it all the way at this point in my opinion). Two other cars parked here as well.
 
Posted By: heatherduck
Info: I drove my 2004 Jeep Liberty Sport on 9/14/19 and was able to make it past the big rutted section at the beginning of the 4WD section just past Winfield on the fourth attempt in 4LO. Wimped out at the big black hole that looks like a volcano about half a mile before the trail head but there was tons of parking right there. There were a couple of Subaru Foresters and Outbacks after this point so maybe I would have made it but I didn’t want to get stuck in the hole! The people that parked in the parking spots right before the 4WD section and hiked up as I started driving up did actually pass me as I was parking so I didn’t save any time by driving up that section but it was nice to drive down at the end Such a beautiful hike - definitely amazing views - very glad I did it!
 
Posted By: mommyhiker
Info: Had no problem driving to the 4wd upper trailhead in a Subaru Forester.
 
Posted By: PMartinez80
Info: Hiked Huron yesterday 8/17/19. Great hike. I wimped out on driving the 4WD road. Big bummer because the only bad sections where the very beginning and 1 mile in. Just a couple of big ruts but the rest was totally doable with any vehicle. I almost wanted to take a shovel to level those two parts out because adding the extra 4 miles made the day a little long. Still loved the trail though.
The only bad part was the parking right before the 4WD road. There could be 15-20 cars parked there but apparently it was a-hole parking day. Every car there parked just far enough away where no car could fit between them so only 8 cars were parked there and that’s all that could fit.
Huron was an awesome hike though and well maintained. Great group of people out there yesterday. The Leadville 100 race was going on that day as well. Cool to see the runners coming in as we were leaving. Thanks to everyone on this site and the facebook page for the advice. Very helpful. You guys rock.
 
Posted By: WildWanderer
Info: 2wd access easy. 4wd has running water on road and mud puddles.
2 
Posted By: madmattd
Info: "4WD Road" is in decent shape. Anything with decent clearance should make it all the way. There’s a big dip right past the upper 2WD lot and a rock section just past the stream crossing that are the 2 critical spots. The stream crossing is only a few inches deep, shouldn’t pose an issue if you made it past the first dip. Otherwise the road is in good shape, just pick your line depending on how much clearance you actually have. Or just walk the road if you have any questions, it’s a quick and easy trek. I saw several Outbacks and an older Forester at the 4WD lot plus the usual assortment of 4Runners, Jeeps, and trucks.
 
Posted By: cloudkicker
Info: The road to the upper trailhead of Huron is mostly in summer shape. I saw a 4runner, a jeep, and a tacoma at the upper trailhead.

The crux of the road is still the giant bump up to the narrowest section of road, about .3 miles up from the lower trailhead. Unfortunately this section seems to be more rutted this year immediately following that bump, so you’ll need the clearance and to pick your line carefully. For some perspective, the first time I hiked Huron I had no issues clearing this section in an old Chevy Tracker with 7 or so inches of clearance. These days I have about the same clearance, but I parked in the wide area before the bump simply because of the ruts.

The creek crossing shortly after that narrow section is there, but it’s not really that high and I don’t see any vehicles having issues with it. Again pick your line carefully to avoid the bigger rocks hidden by the water.

There are two big mud pits on the road and the second one is gigantic this year. You may be able to skirt around it to the left going up.

Other than these minor difficulties, the road would be considered 2wd IMO and is good to go. The road is so pleasant to hike though so if you don’t have a vehicle that can handle it, don’t be deterred.
 
Posted By: supranihilest
Info: Contrary to the next most recent conditions report, the road is open all the way to the upper 4WD trailhead at the start of the Huron Trail. Many vehicles had driven up that far. There were no barricades on the road though I suppose that could change, but it seems unlikely; all debris is off the road. To Winfield the road is in great shape, obviously it gets much rougher after that. Thanks to everyone who helped cut and clear the debris.
 
Posted By: johnt
Info: I called the Leadville Ranger District this morning to check status. Jim is today going to barricade the road just south of Winfield because people are cutting down trees to get around the avalanche debris. They will not be working on this road very soon as other roads have priority. They need to bring in heavy equipment to clear rocks and soil.
Walking the road is allowed. Vehicles are not. Please, everyone, respect that.
 
Posted By: Adoniram
Info: Work on the last avalanche debris hadnt begun as of 6/28, but it is possible to get around it. I saw several Jeeps and other vehicles drive through a somewhat packed trail back and forth through this area. Theres a deep mud bog but it has been partially filled by rocks and branches. Theres tall branches and trees sticking up that youll have to cross, but most decent 4WDs seem to take it. There were about a dozen vehicles at the camping areas closer to the 4WD trailhead when I visited.

Keep in mind: the forest service does NOT like it when people make their own road. Sometimes they permanently close 4WD trails because people cant be bothered to follow common sense procedures and not damage the surrounding areas.
 
Posted By: JakeByk
Info: Blocked just north of lower 2WD trailhead by massive avalanche slide. Adds two miles one way to trek equaling 11 or so via Northwest Slopes
 
Posted By: SephTR
Info: The avalanche debris 0.9 miles from Winfield (Image 1) has been cleared, a 2wd vehicle could easily pass by. The 2 avalanches after the 2wd trailhead (Image 2) haven’t begun work yet, but you can park right before them near the campground.
2 
Posted By: ncxhjhgvbi
Info: Road is still closed .9 miles below Winfield. I am not sure they have done much work on the first debris field since the last report and there are still some very large trees and boulders that would have to be moved before a passenger vehicle can pass (Image #3). This debris field is approximately 0.13 miles across.

Two more large slides between the 2WD and 4WD trailheads on 390 will likely keep vehicles off that section for awhile. First slide has much more debris (Image #2) than the second (Image #1), which was mostly compact snow. I am not familiar with how long it takes to clear debris, but I would guess it will be late July before the 4WD TH is accessible. Water was not an issue in the morning but I would expect it to be a lot higher by noon so keep that in mind.
3 
Posted By: Tufftommy-BV
Info: Some of the folks with cabins in Winfield spent the last two days with chainsaws clearing the major avy pile. You can get through it on an ATV now but still too narrow for a regular 4wd. However, walking across is now a piece of cake...
 
Posted By: WildWanderer
Info: Road summer 2wd access on 390 for first 11 miles, and then you hit the avalanche (.8 miles before Winfield). I talked to some backcountry guides here, and they were told the area wouldn’t be cleared until July. It doesn’t look like they’ve started cleaning up the avy debris yet.
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