Silver Creek Trailhead


Range: Sawatch Range
Coordinates: 38.86572, -106.24149
14ers: Mt. Yale, Mt. Harvard, Mt. Columbia
Elevation: 9,400'
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Road Difficulty

2WD, rough dirt road 2   (0=Paved, 6=Very Difficult 4WD)
Rough 2WD dirt but sometimes it requires some Easy 4WD.

Driving Directions

Turn west on County Road (CR) 350 (Crossman Ave.) near the center of Buena Vista. This road is less than 1/2 mile north of the stoplight in the center of town. Continue on CR 350 for 2 miles and turn right onto CR 361. After almost 1 mile, turn left onto CR 365 (dirt). Continue on this road for 3.5 miles to the marked trailhead. Approximately the last 1.5 miles may require easy 4WD.

Winter Access


More Info

Restrooms? Yes
Fees? No
Trailhead added by BillMiddlebrook
Status Updates 
Posted By: bangerth
Info: The road to the Jennings Creek trailhead is Subaruable -- though I will admit that it was not much fun. The problem isn’t a small number of difficult places, but that the entire route is just bad and full of large rocks. It took me around 50 minutes both up (in the dark) and down (during daylight) from the highway. That’s nearly 20 minutes longer than Google Maps told me it would take, and I’m generally one who is faster than what Google tells me on gravel roads. So plan some extra time.
Posted By: dennywitte
Info: The FS365 road to the N Cottonwood trailhead is open and snow covered. The main obstacle continues to be the deep holes at .2 miles into the national forest. High clearance and 4wd is advised.
Posted By: dennywitte
Info: Anyone hoping to access the Harvard Lakes, Silver Creek, or North Cottonwood Trailheads should plan to have 4wd and good ground clearance to reach the National Forest boundary and park there. There is a solid boot pack for .7 mile and then a good trench requiring flotation after that all the way to the North Cottonwood TH.
Posted By: dennywitte
Info: I just hiked and snowshoed back to the North Cottonwood TH from the National Forest boundary, three miles from the TH. The road is pretty much impassible now. Figure on parking at the NF boundary. Pictures are taken just a few tenths past the NF boundary. The road from the NF boundary to Silver Creek TH has a good bootpack and microspikes work well.
Posted By: dennywitte
Info: Road is passable to the Silver Creek trailhead. FS365 is mostly snow covered, with solid, packed tire tracks through the ice/snow.
Posted By: dennywitte
Info: The road is still passable with high-clearance, 4WD vehicles. Around 6-7" at the Silver Creek trailhead. The road is not drifted (yet).
Posted By: Posthole Pete
Info: Easily accessible with some clearance. I made it here with no problems in my RWD. 4WD and clearance will be no problem. Will take some time and warm weather to make it much furthur past.
Posted By: dennywitte
Info: The North Cottonwood Road (FS365) is now open. I drove to just before the Harvard Lakes TH where it looked like people were getting stuck. Silver Creek is another .25 mile ahead.
Posted By: dennywitte
Info: FS365 is closed 1.5 miles from the Silver Creek TH. The road is patchy dirt/snow/ice until Silver Creek TH. Snow on the road at Silver Creek is at least 2 feet deep. Boot pack is there but gets very soft in the afternoon with 50+ degrees.
Posted By: dennywitte
Info: The North Cottonwood Road (CR365/FS365) is closed by a barricade 1/10 mile east of the national forest boundary. The last mile before the closure on CR365 has lots of ice/snow and is suitable only for 4wd vehicles with good ground clearance. From this closure you have 1.25 miles to the CT junction going north to Harvard Lakes, 1.5 miles to the Silver Creek TH and 3 miles to the North Cottonwood TH.
Posted By: dennywitte
Info: The CR365 road is plowed up to the 5th private road intersection (Princeton Hills) in the Game Trail development. There is no parking there. Vehicles with high clearance and 4wd can continue until the National Forest Boundary. There are a few parking spots there. A few people have tried to go further on the road with bad results. From the National Forest Boundary you can access the Harvard Lakes TH (1.3 miles) and Silver Creek TH (1.4 miles) on the boot packed road.
Posted By: dennywitte
Info: Road is mostly dry with patches of mud and ice to TH.
Posted By: dennywitte
Info: See my North Cottonwood report and picture below. No one is getting to or past here.
Posted By: dennywitte
Info: I drove my 1996 Ford Explorer to the Silver Creek TH Sunday. The CR365 road is snow covered as you pass Game Trail with increasingly deep snow. By the time I reached the TH I needed 4WD, aggressive tires, and 8" of ground clearance.
Posted By: benglish
Info: Clear and dry.
Posted By: BillMiddlebrook
Info: Open to 4WD vehicles or 2WD with decent clearance. Could change with some snow.
Posted By: killingcokes
Info: Drive able and should be for a few more storms
Posted By: Summit Assassin
Info: Completely dry, clean bathroom, ample parking along route and at TH. EXCELLENT campsite 50‘ east of the TH on the north side of the river. Find the horse tie rack and go just a bit further.
Posted By: RoanMtnMan
Info: Completely dry and accessible with any reasonable 2wd.
Posted By: BillMiddlebrook
Info: OPEN and dry
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