Clear Crk./S.Winfield Trailhead


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: wintersage
Info: Road gets a bit muddy once you leave the vicinity of the reservoir and enter the forested section. Not too bad until a little ways after Sheep Gulch trailhead -- some deep snow still lingers here and a high clearance vehicle is needed to follow the tire tracks on the snow. Following tire tracks can get you about 0.5 mi from the city of Winfield, because a massive avalanche debris field blocks any vehicle from going any further. There is some space on the side of the road for 2-3 cars to park here, and this is 1.2 miles from the upper 2WD trailhead.

As you walk from this point to Winfield, you’ll notice another snowfield deposited by an avalanche. This one has less debris and you can just snowshoe/ski/walk across it. A small section just after Winfield is also covered with avalanche debris, this section like the first would require you to navigate around it on foot.
Posted By: Tufftommy-BV
Info: Road is clear to Sheep Gulch. However, it’s only clear for about 200 yards beyond that - not quite to Cresent Mining Camp.
Posted By: Eagle Eye
Info: About the same as Dose reported 12/24, the 390 road is snow covered and the Missouri Gulch parking lot even more so. There is an "ice flow" place on the road (before the Missouri Gulch TH) maybe 50 feet long that was very wet & slick later in the day. One part of it was broken through.

The road basically ends at Winfield. There is just enough room to turn around but not safely park, I thought. I drove .1 mile? down the 4WD road toward Lake Ann/Huron TH which only had boot tracks, but decided not to risk pulling into the big 2wd parking lot & backed out. Instead I packed down a little side track off the main road and parked by the first Winfield cabin.

A "dually" pick-up truck came up late in the day when I was leaving, and kind of fish-tailed a good portion of the road, and all the way to Winfield. I don’t know if they had that much lack of traction or were just spinning their tires for fun but it messed up the "two nice tire tracks" aspect of the road pretty bad. Happy New Year
Posted By: Amanda Horner
Info: Road was snow covered in the AM and sloppy on the way out in the afternoon. Suburban made it with no issues.
Photo is AM conditions at the 4x4 TH
Posted By: donovanrice
Info: Was able to take my Subaru Crosstrek up it with only one feature that put me on three wheels. With good navigation, totally doable in the car. Definitely need car with good clearance and decent approach angle. I did unfortunately get a flat tire, but the check tire pressure indication light did not turn on until way down 390 close to Hwy 24. Didn’t notice it was flat until hopped on Hwy 24. They were old stock tires that needed replacing anyway!
Posted By: jnorris303
Info: Hiked Huron on Sunday, 8/12. This was my second time up this road and it was just as I had remembered. You need AWD/4WD and good clearance. There is a rough patch about 1/4 mile up the road from the 2WD trailhead...some very deep holes and a mud pit to navigate. My car was briefly on three wheels here. I’d recommend at least 8" of ground clearance. My Forester (8.7" of clearance) had no issues, but it was a little squirrely. Once you are past this, the rest of the road is significantly easier, albeit very slow going. It is very narrow, so be mindful of traffic coming in the opposite direction. I wouldn’t want to have to reverse or turn around at any point on this road. I didn’t scrape my car once.

There was a RAV4, a few CR-Vs, several Outbacks and a Ford Edge at the 4WD trailhead, to put it in perspective.
Posted By: Jon1702
Info: This is most definitely a 4WD road. I’d recommend 8" clearance to get through a few of the rougher obstacles. As others have said, the hardest parts are about a half-mile past the lower trailhead. If you can get past that, you can definitely keep going. There are plenty of pull-offs if you drive part of the way and don’t feel comfortable continuing. Took me about 30 minutes from lower to upper trailhead, moving at a snail’s pace.
Posted By: pbarn
Posted By: sabrams
Posted By: generic_username
Info: No snow from 390 > Continental Divide > TH. Definitely need a 4/AWD with good clearance though-fun drive
Posted By: Tlorbets
Info: Seen some low clearance vehicles that made it most of way, but would not recommend that! Can’t imagine how much they bottomed out. No snow, clear the whole way. A lot of great camping sites!
Posted By: scottda
Info: 4x4 road to South Windfield is open. No snow and water crossings are lower than normal.
Posted By: B_2
Info: Road from 2wd TH to LuLu gulch turnoff is dry, first 1/4-1/2 mile up LuLu is dry but as stated pretty rough & 4WD required, friends made it all the way to std NW slopes 4WD TH in a late model jeep cherokee.
Posted By: halite
Info: As per last report road to Winfield is dry and completely clear. However after lower 2WD trailhead, there is continuous 3 ft of snow. Still a ways out from melting.
Posted By: KrtRcr31
Info: The road is nearly clear all the way to Winfield but not any further. There were three snowfields to go through in the last couple of miles but none were more than maybe 20-30 yards long although they were probably 8-12 inches deep. Until these snowfields, the road was almost entirely dry and smooth. Crossing Clear Creek at Winfield, the snow becomes much more thick and consistent. I stopped at this point as I was just out exploring.
Posted By: Eagle Eye
Info: Missouri Gulch/Sheep Gulch/Winfield Town site

Still...I was able to drive to Missouri Gulch TH and onward to the Winfield Town site yesterday.
Probably 4wd/good tires & ground clearance are necessary to drive this far.

At Winfield I did not continue on, but turned around. The road continuing to Lake Ann/Huron TH does not appear to have been traveled very recently. Nor the road continuing straight past Winfield. There are multiple deep drift places where it appears someone has gotten hung up, especially in the last ~ 3 miles close to Winfield.
Posted By: Eagle Eye
Info: In high clearance/4WD, I stopped about a mile short of the Winfield town site due to increasingly deep snow, at about 10.7 miles on Rd 390.
Posted By: bmcqueen
Info: We were able to get to Winfield Thursday evening/Friday morning for a Huron summit yesterday. Next snow storm will most likely put things at the normal winter closure a long ways down the road.
Posted By: Grimpeur
Info: Road is pack snow to the Winfield Townsite, four wheel drive is nice but not necessary. After Winfield the snow gets deeper and then impassible once the road heads up the hill towards the Huron trailhead. Adds about 2 miles of road to hike before the summer trailhead.
Posted By: Eagle Eye
Info: Myself (and two other vehicles) only went about .6 miles from Winfield/Rd 390 toward the (Huron Peak) TH yesterday. There is a hole that has formed at a creek crossing close to there. It is an icy area where it appears vehicles have broken through the ice and gotten stuck. There was just enough room for 2 cars to park. One of the other vehicles was an extended cab, full size truck which couldn’t turn around and had to slowly back all the way out from where they had parked.
Posted By: Tufftommy-BV
Info: The road to Winfield was graded sometime fairly recently. As smooth as I ever recall. The 4wd drive road afterwards is still pretty crappy. The water crossings were pretty icy in the morning and did require 4wd as I found out halfway up... Snow free, however.
Posted By: Marmot96
Info: 2wd TH is dry all the way, nothing to worry about (24 minutes from the pavement if you go quick). The 4wd TH has a tiny stream crossing and the mud puddle is really not bad with AWD and ok clearance. We made it in a Honda CRV so anything with decent clearance should be great.
Posted By: vanessamoyle
Info: Huge puddle roughly 1/5th mile from 4wd trailhead, however someone’s outback made it to the TH.
Posted By: Khieras
Info: Made it to the upper 4WD trailhead today in a stock Forester. Most of the road is no problem, but there is a nasty mud pit with a very tall front wall that challenged the abilities of my car. That mud pit is (as mentioned in a previous report) about 1/2 mile from the upper trailhead, and there are parking spots around it so if you get to it and decide it’s a bit too much, you can park and proceed on foot. As someone else also mentioned, the worst parts of the road are otherwise right near the beginning of the 4WD section, and really not too bad for anything with good clearance (~8 inches) and 4WD/AWD. Definitely would not try to reach the 4WD trailhead in any sort of sedan.
Posted By: DoriMer
Info: I parked my AWD sedan at the 2WD trailhead and hiked up. While the road to the 2WD is passable by any car, it is a consistently bumpy ride for at least 8 of the 11+ miles to the lower trailhead. Quite slow going. The road to the upper 4WD trailhead is very narrow in parts and generally seemed fairly moderate, with a few serious spots. Probably 1/2 mile or so from the upper trailhead was a very large pit in the road, taking up 3/4 of the single lane and not avoidable. It appeared to be between about 2’ deep and was sloppy mud. All said, there were three Subaru Outbacks and a few lower clearance SUVs at the upper trailhead. Also multiple full size pickups and large SUVs (per the prior post about long vehicles being a challenge.

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