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Thread: Trails near Leadville

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    Default Trails near Leadville



    A group of early cj5 members are thinking of coming out to Colorado again this summer for another get together (we did the San Juans last year). We are looking at the classic early Aug window for 5 days of trail runs with a homebase near Leadville that we would return to each day. I am starting to think about what trails should be included on a possible daily itinerary near Leadville. This list is off the top of my head - there are probably more that I am forgetting and figured some of you might have some additional suggestions or good input and feedback as to which ones might be the best. I have run most of these at some point, but some its been years and some had some closures and issues after the avalanche cycle a few years ago. Also note, for some with 70 year old jeeps on this trip with 4cyl engines and whatnot, trying to keep the amount of paved road driving to reasonable amounts and avoid freeways etc - in other words, trying to keep it local to Leadville area (minus Red Cone which is a personal favorite). Any thoughts or additional suggestions appreciated....

    1) Mosquito Pass (can be combine with Birds-eye gulch)
    2) Hagerman Pass and Ivanhoe Lake area
    3) Halfmoon Creek
    4) Holy Cross City (difficult)
    5) Chinamans Gulch (difficult - a bit south near Johnson Village)
    6) Mt Princeton (south near Nathrop)
    7) Mt Antero (south near Nathrop)
    8) Miners Loop - which includes Hancock, Cumberland and Tincup Passes - this would be an epic long day (possibly like last years Alpine loop day in the San Juans)
    9) Iron Chest and Grizzly Lake (near Nathrop - also very difficult, not stock friendly, winching likely)
    10) Red Cone and Webster Pass (and Radical Hill) - this would be a bit of a road drive (1 hr) to get to trailhead

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    Default Re: Trails near Leadville



    Weston Pass?

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    FINOCJ (January 22nd, 2021)

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    Default Re: Trails near Leadville



    Weston could be an option for an easier trail or combined with Mosquito for a full loop....was thinking of doing Mosquito by going up Birds-eye, then over the pass to the mining ruins at the upper tramway building, and then return back over the pass and down the normal Mosquito route. I think the bottom tramway building near the east end of the trail is closed to public these days (private property).
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    Default Re: Trails near Leadville



    The west side of tincup pass is a lot more difficult now than it was in the 90s. First time I ran it was in a 2wd pickup.

    There are some trails near tincup and Taylor park I am aware of. But as you say its going to be a long day.

    There are a couple of fun trails that take off near St Elmo off the hancock pass road. Neat mine ruins and a large tundra lake. If interested let me know and I can find the info on the mvums for either that I am aware of.

    A bunch of stuff down toward Salida and Monarch pass area.
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    FINOCJ (January 23rd, 2021)

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    Default Re: Trails near Leadville



    Thanks Tom - we were just discussing how much time we would seriously commit to the St Elmo area, as the group is planning a basecamp near Leadville....I was thinking 3 of the 5 days would be in the nearby vicinity of Leadville, leaving a couple days for longer trips further away. I am a huge red cone fan as well as Chinamans, but I think spending one day down near St Elmo would be good - and the standard known trails are probably more than enough for a single day...thinking antero will be a prime choice. As for other trails in the area - what is the status of Williams Pass these days? Is it still open for a small window of time in Aug or so every years? And also, if some are more interested in history, the alpine tunner and Palisades is always worth a visit on the west side of Hancock pass (and I think that is also the west end of Williams) - but not sure what the status of those are given the avalanches from a few years ago....
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    Default Re: Trails near Leadville



    FINOCJ previously posted:
    "Thanks Tom - we were just discussing how much time we would seriously commit to the St Elmo area, as the group is planning a basecamp near Leadville....I was thinking 3 of the 5 days would be in the nearby vicinity of Leadville, leaving a couple days for longer trips further away. I am a huge red cone fan as well as Chinamans, but I think spending one day down near St Elmo would be good - and the standard known trails are probably more than enough for a single day...thinking antero will be a prime choice. As for other trails in the area - what is the status of Williams Pass these days? Is it still open for a small window of time in Aug or so every years? And also, if some are more interested in history, the alpine tunner and Palisades is always worth a visit on the west side of Hancock pass (and I think that is also the west end of Williams) - but not sure what the status of those are given the avalanches from a few years ago...."

    Alpine tunnel road on the west side is closed. Huge avalanche 2-3 years ago took down the palisade retaining wall. I strongly suspect Williams pass is completely closed as well.

    Antero is awesome. If you do it also do the trail on the back side down to the lake, Browns creek, as well as Baldwin lakes. All doable in one day.
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    FINOCJ (3 Weeks Ago)

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    Default Re: Trails near Leadville



    Two trails near chinaman gulch that are worth doing are Bald Mtn Gulch and Bald Mtn Loop. There are 3 trails rated Advanced in Fourmile, Carnage Canyon, Chinaman Gulch and Bald Mtn Loop. It is the easiest of the three and substantially so but is still fun, and you can get there on the same road you take for the other two, just further south. It's not an epic trail or anything but it's good to have on your radar. Bald Mtn gulch is just fun and beautiful, pretty typical Fourmile.




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    FINOCJ (January 30th, 2021)

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    Default Re: Trails near Leadville



    James we did a trail several years ago near camp Hale. McAllister Gulch. It was pretty tame for the most part but , it has a section in the middle that was challenging, and the best part was when you reached Wearyman creek. When we did it it was more of a river and you had to navigate your way through some very large boulders. (About a half city block in length) Was quite the experience for sure. The only thing is I heard it was closed last year so you might check it's status before going if you are considering it.

    Also there is always Wheeler Lake if you come down Mosquito pass? You guys would be having a lot of fun running your rigs on those Rocky obstacles.

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    FINOCJ (January 30th, 2021)

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    Default Re: Trails near Leadville



    It's already on your list, I think Halfmoon Creek is a must. Only because I have never run it and I hear it is a great mixture of terrain and scenery.

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    FINOCJ (January 30th, 2021)

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    Default Re: Trails near Leadville



    newracer previously posted:
    "It's already on your list, I think Halfmoon Creek is a must. Only because I have never run it and I hear it is a great mixture of terrain and scenery."

    Half-moon creek is one of my favorite trails. I'd like to revisit it someday to camp and hike, along with wheeling it again.

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