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Willow Creek Trailhead
Added by BillMiddlebrook

Location:  Sangre de Cristo Range
14ers Served:  Challenger Point, Kit Carson Peak
Road Type:  2WD, rough dirt road 2   (0=Paved, 6=Very Difficult 4WD)
Easy 4WD may be required because the road often forms deep dips and portions are a bit steep.
Directions:  Take Colorado 17 to the town of Moffat. On the south side of town, look for a sign for the turn to Crestone. Turn east on the "RD T" road. You will soon see a Forest Service sign that says 15 miles to the South Crestone trailhead. Drive 11.4 miles to a road junction. Keep left and follow the main road into Crestone. In Crestone, turn right (east) onto Galena Street and the road will turn to 2WD dirt, with approx. 2 miles to go. When the road enters National Forest, it is labeled as the "South Crestone Road 949" and becomes more difficult but good-clearance vehicles should be able to make it to the end.
Winter Access:  Unknown
14er Trailheads on Google Maps
Date Status Information Posted By  Photos  Comments Likes Dislikes    
2011-04-09 Still dry and completely accessible. tmathews         
2011-04-01 The road is bone dry to the trailhead. Just like summer. Nelson         
2010-08-16 Mosquitoes will not be a problem anymore, can be crowded at weekend for parking at TH. hike_4ever         
2010-07-18 In the notes about the approach to Willow Lake you have: In 2007, a bunch of trees were blown down over the trail below Willow Lake. Until the trees area cleared, the trail may be a bit more difficult to follow. While there are some individual trees across the trail below the first stream crossing, the trail through the blow down area is clear. Andy_Lyon         
2010-07-13 Tried Climbing Kit Carson Peak on Monday the 12 of July 2010. Started at Climb at 5:30am. Got up about 4 miles just where the sun started to break over the mountains. And then all hell broke loose. We had black clouds of mosquitoes that I have never seen before on any 14er in Colorado. OMG!!! IT was insane. You need a Bees mask to climb this 14er seriously! We had to turn around because we were eating them, and I currently have 10 bites just on my face and thats just the start. Great Climb just have to wait through mosquitoes alley. Not sure how far the mosquitoes would be up the mountain. Will be doing this one again soon just with a Mask. Happy climbing! chris77780124  4       
2010-05-08 Trailhead is bone-dry! tmathews         
2010-01-09 Road was icy and snowy but doable to TH in my Subaru Outback. WIclimber         
2009-11-29 Road to the trailhead clear of any snow. Road is indicated as 4WD, I didn‘t need to use it. Conditions may be changing with current storm 11/29/09. cpstoney         
2009-09-10 Honda Civic made it to the trailhead without problem (9 SEP 09). Sawyers have cleared all of the downed trees off the trail so it is not difficult to follow. Sourdough         
2009-08-02 The street from Crestone is actually Galena Avenue, not Galena Street. Not a big deal, there are few streets in town anyways and only one named Galena. The road in is easy and we saw several 2WD low clearence vehicles. djrunner         
2009-05-25 No need for slowshoes all the way to Willow Lake. A chainsaw would be handy for the recent windfalls! GeorgeB         
2009-04-27 TH was dry all the way to the trailhead sdkeil         
2008-09-12 Made to the trailhead in my Jeep Compass (4WD but not high clearance) without any problems. I would think even some 2WD cars with good drivers could possibly make it. Roald         
2008-05-12 Road is 100% dry and in good shape. SarahT         
2007-08-11 As of 08/08/2007, the Forest Service "4WD only" sign referenced in the previous update is still there, but a 4x2 Ford Ranger pickup made it all the way to the trailhead with little difficulty and a late model Taurus got within 1/4 mile of the trailhead. Gene913         
2007-06-27 One mile after the dirt road begins outside of Crestone the Forest Service have installed a sign stating 4W vehicles only beyond this point. (there is parking lot at this point). However, the road has been 'upgraded' and I had no problems driving my Hertz Mazda 3 the extra mile to the end of the road. Same 'upgrade' applies to Cottonwood Creek and it is an easy drive in. tauma         
2007-01-01 Snowed in about .5 mile short of trailhead. cjw         
2006-05-14 This trailhead is open, totally free of snow, and there were plenty of cars up there so I'm assumeing the road isn't bad at all. You don't encounter snow until quite a ways in, and even then it's not bad, just little patches. stevevets689         
2005-09-26 As the previous submission states, this TH is accessable by car. The road turns to dirt washboard pretty much as you pass through and leave the town of Crestone. Leave the windows up as this last 3 miles or so can get dusty when it's dry. After a mile and a quarter they'll be a (new) sign on the right stating the 4wd requirements of the road beyond. As stated, it is passable for a car. It does become rougher however with two spots where the dirt/sand becomes thick. STAY on the main road. There are many side trails and pull-outs. This could get confusing. When in doubt, look for recent activity or heavier use. A short section just before the parking lot for the TH might pose a problem for some cars. It's not dramatic just a bit steeper then what you'll see interplaced with rock. There's a small parking area here you can stop at if so choose. Years ago, I took a Ford Probe up to this point with no problem. Kiefer         
2005-09-18 Sign says only 4wd vehicles. The road is pretty bumpy but I drove my Volvo 240 to the th with no incidents. The last hill about 200 meters before the road ends at the th looked pretty hairy however did not scrape anything vital off my undercarriage. ursidae         
2005-06-26 The trail is in much better condition now. You no longer encounter snow until you are close to the lake, and it can usually be bypassed. Up on the mountain is a different story... I talked to a few people who were coming down with ice axes and said that they didn't make it. If you are camping out, watch the weather because lately it has been nasty. We got rained on, and it was a little chilly. Also if you camp out, watch for a female bighorn sheep. One came by and stuck around our camp all afternoon and evening and the next morning as well! Please don't feed it, I think that's why it stuck around for so long. stevevets689         
2005-05-30 May-30, 2005. Willow Creek is in pretty good shape right now, a few fallen trees in the trail, no big deal. However, there is a creek crossing a few miles in and up on by the headwall and the water is rushing pretty heavy, so be really careful while crossing it. After that, there's some snow, so just wear water proof stuff, pants and shoes in particular. I was making a few post holes in the snow from time to time. The lake and waterfalls are pretty frozen, but I didn't get close enough to tell if they're good enough for climbing. After that, no clue. The weather looked a bit forbidding, so I decided to go back  stevevets689         

Trial Head for Challenger Point &  Kit Carson Peak main Sign to Trail. (Added by: chris77780124 on 2010-07-13)Sangre de Crisio Wilderness Second Sign at Trail about .25 mile up. (Added by: chris77780124 on 2010-07-13)Willow Creek Parking Lot. (Added by: chris77780124 on 2010-07-13)Just abve Willow Creek Trail Head look back at Valley. (Added by: chris77780124 on 2010-07-13)Main Road to Willow Creek Trial Head 2 miles from Parking lot. (Added by: chris77780124 on 2010-07-13)

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