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Huerfano/Lily Lake Trailhead
Added by BillMiddlebrook

Location:  Sangre de Cristo Range
14ers Served:  Mt. Lindsey
Road Type:  Easy 4WD, good clearance recommended. 3   (0=Paved, 6=Very Difficult 4WD)
Very Rough 2WD access to the upper trailhead at 10,700. Good clearance required. 4WD may be required in spring when large puddles and mud are present.
- Drive to the town of Gardner, northwest of Walsenburg on Colorado 69.
- From Gardner, head west for about 1/2 mile on CO 69 and turn west on the road to Mosca Pass. There should be brown Forest Service signs on CO 69 indicating the turn.
- Just after the start of this road, a Forest Service sign states "Upper Huerfano - 21.5" and "Lily Lake Trhd - 22.5".
- After 7.0 miles the road turns to dirt.
- Continue 4.8 miles to a junction and stay left on Forest Road 580.
- Drive 3.4 miles and enter private property where a "Forest Access" sign reads "Upper Huerfano - 5.3 mi."
- Continue 0.5 mile and stay left at the entrance to the Singing River ranch. The road becomes rough, narrow, but still 2WD.
- Continue 0.9 mile and pass the entrance to the Aspen River ranch. The road becomes more difficult.
- Drive 3.4 miles to enter the San Isabel National Forest.
- Drive 0.8 mile and pass a small sign for the Huerfano and Zapata trails.
- Drive 1 more mile to the end of the road at the Lily Lake TH.
Winter Access:  Usually closed near the ranches, many miles below the TH.
14er Trailheads on Google Maps
Date Status Information Posted By  Photos  Comments Likes Dislikes    
2010-09-18 Saw a Geo Metro parked about halfway between the Zapata and Lily Lake trailheads. I kid you not, a Geo Metro. I guess if your Metro conks out on this road you can just abandon it and buy another car. Personally I'd want something with better clearance. Be prepared to encounter cattle, I ran into (well not literally) two separate herds on the way up. TravelingMatt         
2010-09-11 Made it all the way in a Subaru Legacy...NOT recommended. Higher clearance vehicles would have no problem but it was rough on my car. GREENSon14s         
2010-08-28 Excellent gravel road up to the Singing River Ranch, then deteriorates in several spots, mostly water damage, not a lot of rocks, nor steep slopes SkiAndClimb         
2010-07-25 Made it all the way to the trail head in a 2wd Cadillac DTS. I don‘t think a 4wd is needed... but then it was a rental car! rsytek  1       
2010-06-09 The road is snow-free all the way to the upper trailhead. There are no trees in the road. Subarus can make it all the way. B[3]         
2010-05-21 The thing that is currently blocking the road is a 15 inch log across the road. If you bring a chainsaw you would be able to get a little farther. If you brought a couple of guys and some shovels you could get through the next four or five drifts. If you can do that, there is about .75-1.0 miles of dry road past that. If it is left to the weather melting it out, it will be a few weeks. About .25 from the trailhead, there is a significant, maybe .2 mile stretch of 3-4 foot deep snow that will take a while to melt out. Currently the log is at about 2.1 miles from the trailhead. cbauer10         
2010-05-09 Friday 5/7, we were not able to push through Wyoming Bob‘s drifts from the week before (though dry dground lay beyond.) According to the GPS tracker, we stopped 3.2 miles shy of the Lindsey/Lily lake TH (this is beyond the lower Hurfano/Zapata TH mentioned by Wyoming Bob the week before) Upon return fom out 5/8 climb on Lindsey, we found that a truck had breached the snow bank and make it at least another 0.7 miles, leaving current conditions about 2.5 miles short of the Summer TH. sgladbach         
2010-05-01 Made it to mile 19.1 (using Roach approach description) before stopped by drifting (Toyota Tacoma) (4/30/10). Next day melt had progressed to mile 19.5, assuming one can cross about 200 feet of 6" deep drift remnant, likely gone after next warm day. Once road goes into timber, there is 18-30" of snow with multiple hummocks to 4 feet. 10" aspen over road 1/4 mile shy of USFS boundary. Summary . . . road open to within 1.5 mile of the Lower Huerfano (Zapata/Huerfano trails intersection) given a warm day to take out the mentioned drifts. Wyoming Bob         
2009-11-23 Using 4WD (highway mud/snow tires, not chains)we drove w/o problems to a point 1/2 mile below the forest boundary. That is 1.5 miles below the Huerfano/Zapata THs or 2.5 miles below the Lily Lake TH at road terminus. sgladbach         
2009-11-03 As of 11/01 a 4WD can make it to about +/- 3 miles past the Singing River Ranch. After that it is mostly snow covered road to the upper trailhead. If you go before it snows again there is a nice trench to follow. MikeyC         
2009-10-20 10/17/09 - No snow, mostly dry all the way to the TH. A few large puddles, nothing more than ~8" deep. 2WD accessible, assuming you don‘t mind bumping around or a few dings to the car (wouldn‘t take new 2WDs up there, though). Comparable to Tigiwon Road. About an hour‘s drive from Gardner. JosephG         
2009-08-25 Trailhead is accessible by any vehicle with good clearance. Probably a truck or SUV is your best bet to avoid any bottoming out. There are four or five small stream crossings but as of 8/22/09 none are more than 12 inches deep. Several hundred feet of the road just about where the ranches are is constantly wet due to a small stream running down it but is solid, not muddy. Road is well maintained and it took right at an hour to get from the turn-off north of Gardner to the trilhead. huffy13         
2009-06-21 If you are taking I-25 south to Walsenburg to climb Lindsey or head over La Veta Pass here is a closure you should know about. From CDOT website http://www.cotrip.org/roadConditions.htm Bridge Construction I-25 Southbound at CO 10 North of Walsenburg (Milemarker 50) (through July 2009) 24 Hours Full closure of southbound lanes for bridge rehabilitation tentatively scheduled through the end of July. Traffic detoured at Exit 52, through Walsenburg via Business Route I-25 (US 85/87 - Walsen Ave/Main St), rejoining I-25 at Exit 49 on the south end of Walsenburg. Friday 6-19-09 super time traffic on I-25 south was backed up and stopped for about a mile before Walsenburg. The back up continued into Walsenburg. There is a dirt frontage road along side the highway. High clearance vehicles were crossing the ditch to get on this road. The frontage road will take you to the parking lot of the gas station at the Walsenburg exit with the A&W inside. The other side of the parking lot is on Hwy 69 which heads up toward Lindsey. For Lindsey an alternative is to cross from I-25 (exit 56) to 69 on Red Rock Road which is a few miles north of Walsenburg. Red Rock Road is now paved. If you need to head over La Veta Pass you might have to get more creative to get past the back up. MountainHiker         
2009-06-10 Just echoing the below update- trailhead is clear all the way to the summer TH. There are 2 puddles that lower-clearance vehicles should take caution through. USAKeller         
2009-06-01 No snow all the way to the uppermost parking. Last 1/2 mile is a little steep and loose for the Subaru though. elchivoloco         
2009-05-23 There is one snow drift that will keep a low-clearance vehicle from getting all the way to the TH, but it is a very short walk away from it. Totally 2wd accessible otherwise. thunderinacircle         
2009-05-23 The downed tree mentioned in the previous update has been removed. Vehicles can access the trailhead, now. There‘s a little bit of snow toward the end, but not much of an issue. tmathews         
2009-05-17 Driveable to about 100 yards shy of the Lower Huerfano trailhead (Zapata Trail), at which point a large tree blocks the road. If you bring a chainsaw and get through this tree, you will be able to get signicantly farther up the road without encountering major snow drifts. GeorgeB         
2009-03-09 With 4WD the road is passable to 3.5 miles before the summer TH (2.5 miles past the Singing River Ranch). A shovel is a good idea though as there is still some snow to deal with. Further passage blocked by deep snow and a downed tree. SarahT         
2009-02-08 As of 2/7 the road is impassable for passenger cars past the Singing River Ranch, 4WD can continue for an additional .5 miles before monster snow drifts will stop anything short of a snowmobile. benners         
2008-11-16 Drove my 4wd to the upper trailhead. 2-4 inches of snow and some icy patches above the second large meadow. Icy stretch by second ranch not for cars. piper14er         
2008-09-15 If you are a great driver then a 2WD would probably suffice, but I would definitely still recommend a 4WD, as accessing the TH with one is pretty much a breeze. ossie322         
2008-09-11 Made it to the trailhead in my AWD Suby WRX on 8/31. Rocks weren‘t too bad, road just steepens a bit toward the last mile. Just gotta keep the momentum going up. Saw another Subaru Outback at the TH- looks like AWD vehicles with decent clearance should make it. Was at night too! summitseeker         
2008-08-31 No wonder the road was so good. Thanks Huerfano County! Drove this Saturday morning 8/30 and it is in great shape. Some standing water here and there but no problem at all, especially if you have some clearance. Road is so good you might even be able to make it in a 2WD car. Beagle         
2008-08-28 Huerfano County roadgrader was working on the upper part of the ranch section of the 580 road on the 26th. He has really smoothed it out nicely, and filled in all of the erosion, potholes, etc. There are still few muddy pieces just below the forest boundary, but it is good mud, not the kind of mud that will get you stuck. huunqs6nq         

The TH parking area (Added by: BillMiddlebrook on 2006-06-03)Start of the trail on the west side of the parking area (Added by: BillMiddlebrook on 2006-06-03)Water crossing between Singing River and Aspen River Ranches (Added by: wildbrookie on 2007-11-26)Typical ice coverage on 11/24/07 (Added by: wildbrookie on 2007-11-26)Huerfano/Lily Lake TH  parking lot from th sign– April 26, 2008 (Added by: cpstoney on 2008-04-27)Zap trail (Added by: yodmc714 on 2012-06-05)fawn (Added by: yodmc714 on 2012-06-05)

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