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Matterhorn Creek Trailhead
Added by BillMiddlebrook

Location:  San Juan Mountains
14ers Served:  Wetterhorn Peak, Uncompahgre Peak
Road Type:  Moderate 4WD, long wheel base vehicles not recommended. Good clearance required. 4   (0=Paved, 6=Very Difficult 4WD)
Rough 2WD dirt to 10,300í. 4WD to 10,800í at the TH.
Directions:  From Lake City, turn west onto Second street. Drive 0.1 mile and turn left onto Henson Creek Road (Alpine Loop Scenic Byway) and begin measuring mileage from here. Near 5 miles, pass the Nellie Creek trailhead sign. Near 9 miles, turn right onto the North Henson Road which is more rough than the Henson Creek road but can still be driven by most good-clearance vehicles. Near 11 miles, there is another junction with a sign indicating the Matterhorn Creek trailhead is ahead. Park here if you donít have a 4WD vehicle or turn right and continue 0.7 mile to the trailhead and parking area.
Winter Access:  Usually closed a short distance up the Henson Creek road - many miles from the TH.
14er Trailheads on Google Maps
Date Status Information Posted By  Photos  Comments Likes Dislikes    
2010-06-08 Matterhorn creek road is clear of snow to the upper trialhead, however, the down tree reported earlier has still not been cleared. As a result, the road is closed about .3 miles from the 2WD parking. There is a small parking area forming at the downed tree. I have reported this to Hinsdale County Roads and Bridges department (ran into them on the way out) - hopefully they‘ll take care of it. Kevin8020         
2010-05-15 North Henson road open all the way to the Matterhorn Creek road, but there is a heavy drift followed by a big downed tree just a short distance up the road. Recommend hiking from the base of Matterhorn Creek road stevevets689         
2010-05-03 Open .9 miles up the North Fork Henson drainage. cjw         
2010-04-16 The Henson Creek road is currently gated right after the Uncompahgre 2WD trailhead, over 6 miles below the Matterhorn Creek trailhead. BillMiddlebrook         
2009-08-11 The info page on driving time lists the time from Durango to the TH as 2.5 hours via Alpine Loop road starting at Ouray. I‘m not sure how they did that since it took me 4 hours. The road to Engineer pass is the roughest one I‘ve been on. towmanjim         
2009-06-28 We talked with someone that said this was a bit tougher than the 4wd road into American Basin. Most of it looks easy, but some places would take clearance and tire placement. It gets much more difficult after a flat area with a grassy spot to the left, about half way up. I saw an XTerra, Tundra, and a Jeep at the top. emcee smith         
2009-06-24 Road clear of snow and dry to upper 4WD trailhead. Pappy         
2009-06-21 Clear and dry. Dorje1018         
2009-05-16 North Henson Creek Road is open, dry and passable to the 4WD cutoff. The 4WD road is clear except for a 40 foot long section of knee deep snow in the first several hundred yards. elchivoloco         
2009-05-11 North Henson Creek Road is open driveable for 1.2 miles. At 1.2 mile mark there is a 12" dia. aspen over the road. After the aspen, the road is clear to the 4WD cutoff. There was one drift at about mile 0.9 easily crossed by Toyota Tacoma, should be 2wd crossable this coming weekend (or right now with given ten minutes work with a shovel). 4WD road is drifted edge to edge soon after 0.1 mile, drifts were knee deep post hole soft on May 10th. But for drifts lower on 4wd road, remainder is open to the 4wd parking area. Wyoming Bob         
2008-08-17 Up to about 3 miles from the trail head, a passenger car can make this. After that, a 4WD is probably recommended. I got a 2000 Dodge Durango (in other words, long and low) up it with no problem. A high clearance or subaru type vehicle should be able to do it. There is large open camp spot 1/4 mile from the trail head and then one more 200 yds from the trail head. 3-Bean         
2008-07-10 Clear all the way up. 2wd/passenger cars can make it without a problem. bradyj         
2008-06-15 The 4wd road is snow free to the trailhead and parking area. piper14er         
2008-05-29 North Henson Creek Road (Forest Service Road 870) is now passable in a 2 WD vehicle all the way to the lower Matterhorn Creek Trailhead. The 4WD road on up to the upper trailhead is drifted in areas and is still impassable to any vehicle. PKR         
2008-05-23 North Henson Creek Road (Forest Service Road 870) is now passable in a high clearance vehicle all the way to the lower Matterhorn Creek Trailhead. The 4WD road on up to the upper trailhead is still heavily drifted in areas and virtually unskinable due to the sporadic nature of the drifting. PKR         
2008-04-27 The Henson Creek road is totally dry. There is however a winter closure gate about 1/4 mile further than the Nellie Creek Trailhead. Call before heading out to see if opened. KirkT         
2007-09-27 Mostly OK, any decent SUV can do this road. About halfway up is a rather muddy and rutted stretch about 3-400' long. Try not to tear it up too much through here. TravelingMatt         
2007-06-04 As you'd expect, the road is completly clear to the lower TH. Driving up further to the middle TH, road is still clear and clear all the way up to the 4x4 TH. Only some minor mud patches. The road was surprisingly dry. Kiefer         
2007-05-14 Drove 500 feet past the lower trailhead, but a drift still blocks access to the upper trailhead. Expect the drift to be gone in a couple weeks. The alpine loop is car accessible, but after the first turn it gets a lot rougher. A car could make the lower trailhead once the snow is gone, but it would be slow and may be a little hard on the car. The road to the upper TH is rough, but any stock 4x4 could do it. CO Native         
2007-05-03 Drove up last weekend in a Toyota Landcruiser w/ BFG all-terrain tires to just before the junction (0.7 miles from TH). Couple snowbanks that can be driven over w/ momentum and 4wd low. We cleared out 2 trees in the middle of the road. With the temperatures what they were, the snowfield that prevented us from going any further might very well be melted down by now. lordhelmut         
2005-07-06 Road is snow free. Rough but passable by high clearance vehicles. Can't drive a car up this road. SarahT         

The 4WD trailhead (Added by: BillMiddlebrook on 2011-06-15)At the 4WD road junction. (Added by: BillMiddlebrook on 2011-12-12)

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