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Baldwin Gulch Trailhead
Added by BillMiddlebrook

Location:  Sawatch Range
14ers Served:  Mt. Antero
Road Type:  Moderate 4WD, long wheel base vehicles not recommended. Good clearance required. 4   (0=Paved, 6=Very Difficult 4WD)
Easy 2WD dirt to 9,400' at start of the Baldwin Gulch road.
4WD to 12,000' in Baldwin Gulch.
Narrow 4WD to 13,100'.
Directions:  From the junction of U.S. 285 and U.S. 24, south of Buena Vista, drive 5.5 miles south on U.S. 285 and turn right (west) on Chaffee County Road 162 - towards Mt. Princeton. Drive almost 12.5 miles on this road (dirt after 10 miles) to reach the signed Baldwin Gulch Jeep Road on the left (also listed as the 277 Road). If you plan on parking here, there are plenty of pull-offs along the road. This is the lower trailhead. Short, high-clearance 4WD vehicles can drive up the 277 road. Above the river crossing (10,850'), there are dispersed camping spots along the side of the road.
Winter Access:  Usually closed at the start of the Baldwin Gulch 4WD road.
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Date Status Information Posted By  Photos  Comments Likes Dislikes    
2014-08-24 I drove this today in a 2012 Subaru Outback and did just fine to treeline. We never bottomed out but did tap a few here and there. I do have aluminum skid plates to protect my undercarriage. Drive slowly and pick your line carefully; use a spotter now and again. Took us an hour to cover the 4 miles each way. ridergirl         
2014-08-23 I don‘t consider myself an expert on these types of roads (although I‘ve drove a few worse ones) but this wasn‘t nearly as bad as I was expecting after reading the comments here. I drove a stock 2005 Toyota Tundra extended cab to treeline with no scrapping. It can be tedious and slow but with judicious driving, most any truck with 4WD should be fine to the creek crossing. You definitely have to pick your line carefully in spots. The worst part was the number of speeding ATVers flying around the curves. Several almost collided with us on our drive down. dlintz         
2014-08-16 Just jeeped up to 10,850 parking area. Road is pretty rough and recommend high clearance 4x4 only. Didn‘t look too bad above 11k as we hiked. Drove 2001 Jeep TJ big tires and was at Jeep limit in places to 10,850! xrcdrvr         
2014-07-04 I wanted to give my input on the 4WD road. The road is clear of snow all the way to the stream crossing at 10800. I took my stock honda pilot up this road and totally regretted the decision. This road was (IMO) in much worse shape than I had anticipated. I would not recommend taking a vehicle that doesn‘t have a very high clearance. jdfors         
2014-06-28 Road is clear to well past the 12,000‘ camping area. One major snow drift still blocks the road up to 13,000+‘ ATV rolled off road will trying to cross the one remaining snow back. No one hurt but ATV tumbled down two switchbacks before coming to a stop. Drove 2014 Jeep GC to just past stream crossing. Very rocky as usual but no problems. RckyMtBob         
2014-06-07 4x4 road clear all the way to just below treeline SkiBikeClimb99         
2014-05-25 4WD is clear to creek crossing. Beyond the creek only passable for about a quarter of a mile. Doug Shaw         
2014-05-03 Baldwin Gulch jeep road was patchy with snow from about 200 yards off Chaffee County 162. Where the road turns mostly south, the patches got much smaller. When I hiked out this Saturday there were two guys in jeeps with winches blasting through the snow patches. I saw them get through the worst snow patch on the entire section of road before the creek crossing, so I‘m guessing they were able to power through all the way up to the creek. Road should be clear enough for 4-wheel drive vehicles in another week, especially if our Jeepin friends were successful. OscarMayerSweener         
2014-04-19 Winter closure still in effect. Dry patches periodically and melting fast. Stream crossing is a lake in afternoon. bergsteigen         
2013-12-21 Clear. A few patches of ice on the road but nothing Henry the Camry couldn‘t handle. The parking at the TH is plowed too. druid2112         
2013-11-07 i tried to drive up Baldwin creek rd early. got about 3/4mi up, stalled my car, and almost slid backwards off the edge. there was only about an inch of snow on the road in most areas, so I think it could be do-able. maybe put chains on at the 2wd th. I have a stock suv with snow tires. daver    1      
2013-11-03 Half mile from the 2wd trailhead the road is impassible due to long sections of clear, thick ice completely covering the road. The longest section of this ice is just above the creek crossing. The ice completely covers the road for more than 100‘. westland  1  1    
2013-10-26 Road is driveable to 10,850 but snow-covered and icy on several of the turns. Creek could be crossed by an able vehicle but the road quickly becomes completely snow-covered and deeper as you go higher from there. We did see a Toyota Tacoma with chains around 12,500 but their are several 2-4 foot drifts beyond that. Muskie5280         
2013-10-01 Hit this in a stock 2004 4Runner FWD. While not a walk in the park, we made it to the treeline without any problems where we parked. Snow starts showing up on the road about 12.5 - 13 and is impassable without Balls of steel and a mighty vehicle after that. Saw A guy on a quad even turn around around 13K. River crossing were no more than 8-12 inches of water at their deepest and the aspens are bright yellow. Good Stuff! RamanDestroyer         
2013-09-25 Clear for SUVs all the way to tree line. ATVs couldn‘t make it much past the third switchback due to drifted snow. powhound         
2013-09-20 Three words describe the road... ‘Rent-a-Jeep‘. Once you realize how uninspiring Antero is, the abuse to your vehicle will not seem justified. I made it to 13,200 and could have made the remaining road to 13,800 in my XTerra OR. As I mentioned, this road is not trivial. It‘s a 4.5 on the 6 point scale. I honestly can‘t imagine any non-truck-based vehicle making it up. I only saw a Grand Cherokee, a Toyota pickup, a Hummer and a quad at the top. The road actually gets better as you climb past 12,000. If you make it past the first switchback above 12,000 (and you don‘t mind exposure), you can make it to 13,800. The creek crossing was about 1.5 ft deep. I have aftermarket skid plates and hit them several times. Going down was harder than going up. Here are links to GoPro videos I took of the entire road. 1) From 13,200 to midway down the mountain: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TUhkOVZKq2A&list=UUqBaczXfjcMJGJomzUaDkBA 2) To the creek crossing (approx): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6dEYcqFKC3s&list=UUqBaczXfjcMJGJomzUaDkBA 3) To the road: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6qDguQ81N4&list=UUqBaczXfjcMJGJomzUaDkBA zsmith    1      
2013-09-19 Drove my near stock 1991 4Runner up at 3 in the morning. Muddy/slick in spots from the recent rains. Had a very similar feel to the Rockdale Trailhead. The Aspens are starting to pop! TakeMeToYourSummit         
2013-08-27 Granted I have only moderate experience driving 4WD roads, but I found this one a real challenge for my Xterra (it was my toughest 4WD road to date). I decided to park at about 12,000‘ (mostly because I wanted my hike to have at least 2,000‘ of gain). That point was past almost all of the difficulty- there was one more short (50‘) stretch before very good road until 13,200, and moderate road from there to 13,700‘. The road was quite rocky and took me about an hour to do the four miles. There were two significant stream crossings that could be (temporarily) impassible during or right after a heavy rainstorm. EKassan         
2013-08-10 Drove a Wrangler Unlimited Sahara up to 13,700ft with no real issues. Though I did get out an man-handle a huge rock out of our way! BigfootUSAF         
2013-08-06 The road was rough and slow going. About 1.5 miles in, there is a 12”-14” rock in the center of the road that forced a sketchy turn-around. The dirt on the left side was torn out and made the rock protrude further. This may have been the rock in BigfootUSAF‘s post. I wasn‘t sure that I could skirt or straddle it safely. I might have been able to get past the rock, but I didn‘t want to take the chance of damaging or disabling my truck for the drive home. I‘m in a stock XTerra OR and I lightly hit my underside twice. Turning around was sketchy. I do not feel the road is trivial. For reference, my off-roading skills are average and I lean towards being cautious. Hope that helps! PS – I took a GoPro video that I may post on the FB page. zsmith         
2013-08-04 Drove a stock 2002 Silverado up to the creek crossing with no issue. Realistically could have driven it to at least 12,000 ft if not higher. Any decent clearance 4x4 should do fine. Creek crossing is less than 1 foot deep. hberry         
2013-07-19 Drove a stock ‘08 Subaru Forester up to 10,800 (the creek crossing). It rained heavily before and during the drive up, making the road quite muddy and slick (got stuck several times and had to rock the vehicle). There are numerous large rocks on the road, which required careful maneuvering to avoid bottoming out my vehicle (which never happened). The creek was about 1.5 feet deep at the time. Sinsear         
2013-07-17 Drove a stock Rubicon Unlimited to 13,200, where water washed out the rest of the road. The ledge road was deteriorating on the downhillll edge in several spots above the treeline. The hike to the top of Mt. Antero from where I stopped was simple and quick. Much of the road was very rocky so I used 4WD-L most of the way up and down. DaveG1952         
2013-06-08 Road is clear up to about 100-200 meters prior to the 4wd parking at 12000‘. Just before the 12000‘ parking is a 2 ft deep patch of snow and after the 12000‘ mark there are a number of ice fields that cover 2/3 to 3/4 of the road. Rivers weren‘t a problem to cross, my Pathfinder make it up pretty easily. I also saw a Honda crossover Pilot parked right before the 12000‘ parking. sheller         
2013-04-21 Entire 4wd road still covered in snow. Some places it was patchy, but most of the road still has significant snow. We saw a Jeep Rubicon make it about 100 yards up the road, but then turned around. sdkeil         

The lower (2WD) trailhead (Added by: BillMiddlebrook on 2009-08-25)The start of the 4WD road (Added by: BillMiddlebrook on 2009-08-25)The start of the 4WD road (Added by: BillMiddlebrook on 2009-08-25)

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