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American Basin Trailhead
Added by BillMiddlebrook

Location:  San Juan Mountains
14ers Served:  Handies Peak
Road Type:  Easy 4WD, good clearance recommended. 3   (0=Paved, 6=Very Difficult 4WD)
Rough 2WD dirt to 10,400í at the Silver Creek/Grizzly Gulch TH. Easy 4WD to 11,300í at the turn-off for American Basin. 4WD to 11,600í at the TH.
Directions:  From Lake City, drive 2 miles south on Colorado 149 and turn right on the Lake San Cristibol road (County Road 30). This is the southern entrance to the "Alpine Loop" scenic byway. Follow the signs to Cinnamon Pass. Drive about 20 miles to a signed fork in the road. Left is to American Basin and right is to Cinnamon Pass. Turn left. If you do not have a 4WD vehicle with good clearance, park in the pull-offs near the start of this road. Itís 0.9 mile to the trailhead from the start of the American Basin road. After 0.2 mile, cross a stream which can be fairly deep in spring. If you donít feel comfortable driving through the water, there are some parking spots in the area. Continue to the end of the road where youíll find a large parking area and marked trail.
Winter Access:  Closed far below the Silver Creek/Grizzly Gulch TH.
14er Trailheads on Google Maps
Date Status Information Posted By  Photos  Comments Likes Dislikes    
2009-06-09 The American Basin 4WD road is clear to the trailhead as of 6-7-2009. ScottN         
2009-06-01 In a 4Runner. Passable up to 11,350. The road had deep muddy ruts for about 50 yard in between the snow banks. It might be passable but I didn‘t want to chance it. If you get passed this its clear all the way up to the parking lot. BAUMGARA         
2009-05-09 Cinnamon Pass is OPEN and the road to American Basin is plowed to the stream crossing, 0.8 miles from the upper trailhead. BillMiddlebrook         
2008-07-12 Drove my Suzuki Samurai up to American Basin on 11 JUL 08. It is 4WD with good clearance. It handled the rough road and stream ford without problem. There is one washout on the way up to AB (after the Silver Creek/Grizzly Gulch trail head, but before the Cinnamon Pass turn off) that would stop passenger cars without careful wheel placement. Sourdough         
2008-07-12 Drove my Suzuki Samurai up to American Basin on 11 JUL 08. It is 4WD with good clearance. It handled the rough road and stream ford without problem. There is one washout on the way up to AB (after the Silver Creek/Grizzly Gulch trail head, but before the Cinnamon Pass turn off) that would stop passenger cars without careful wheel placement. Sourdough         
2008-06-26 The creek crossing is as far as you can right now due to snow blocking your exit out of the stream. There is also quite a bit of snow on the road leading up to the upper parking lot and it may be a while before it clears out. thatguy         
2008-06-10 4WD road to American Basin is still mostly snow-covered and undrivable as of June 8. Cinnamon Pass Rd is open all the way from Lake City to Silverton. scotthsu         
2008-05-23 The Cinnamon Pass road is now plowed and passable to the American Basin Trailhead turn off. The road is a bit of a mud fest currently. The road on up to the parking is still impassable, however the bulldozer has taken a pass at this section and is making progress. PKR         
2007-06-28 Road is dry to 4X4 TH with the exception of the creek crossing native_mntguy         
2007-06-27 Road is dry all the way to the 4X4 TH native_mntguy         
2007-06-04 As the previous two posts state, the road up to American Basin TH is clear. The road is muddy and wet in places but quite doable. There is a small turnout area just past the first stream crossing and as Del_Sur said, not too deep, yet! The upper 4x4 TH is not accessable yet due to continous snow. Kiefer         
2007-05-30 Plowed up to the first creek crossing, which isn't deep at all. Big area for parking. American Basin is full of snow. Matt         
2007-05-19 cinammon pass open to Silverton giarcd         
2007-05-19 road is plowed and accessible across creek,trail still coverd with snow giarcd         
2006-07-11 Open to the end. The stream crossing is now ok for any 4WD with good clearance. BillMiddlebrook         
2006-06-19 On 6/12/2006 there was still snow over the road above the river crossing just below the trailhead. It may take until the last week of June or so to melt out enough to get a vehicle to the upper trailhead. BillMiddlebrook         
2006-05-21 I was up there on May 20, 2006 to climb Handies. The road is passable all the way to the fork to Cin. Pass. There was a large snow plow pile that didn't allow us to pass. I tried but ended up in really soupy gloppy stuff on the left and almost got stuck. So it was about a 1.3 mile walk up to the normal Handies Trailhead p.lot. marbleman         
2006-05-21 closed at the turn off from cinnamon pass, however cinammon pass is open all the way to silverton jcwhite         
2005-06-01 On 5/29 I tried to drive to American Basin from Silverton. There was a couple of big boulders on the narrow part of the road that stopped my progress. I couldn't move them myself or drive around them. I'm sure they'll be moved relatively soon but if you're going up right now they might still be there to block your way. daveartusi         
2005-05-15 Road is plowed clear of snow all the way to the trailhead. Muddy; you will need 4WD. Camping at trailhead very difficult due to enormous plow snow walls. mouser         


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