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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.
14er Trailheads on Google Maps
Date Status Information Posted By  Photos  Comments Likes Dislikes    
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         
2013-01-06 Not much change from previous reports - road is clear to the 2X4 trailhead - any vehicle can make it. Once on the 4X4 road, until there is more snow, snowshoes aren‘t necessary. Image 1 shows the parking area. Image 2 shows the boot pack trail. Image 3 shows the ice on the road that made spikes helpful - but not absolutely necessary Jay521  3  2      
2012-12-28 The county plowed out an extra wide berth on the main road to park only a few meters from the actual TH. For the first 1/2 mile, someone had attempted to drive the road! Combined with the recent snowshoers, the first 1/2 mile has a pretty good track. After that, there is a continuing snowshoe track for probably another 1.5 miles. Past that, there is only my boot track (I didn‘t take snowshoes) all the way to Antero. Snow is not deep. Snowshoes might be handy in a few spots, but leave them home. Just lace up the gaiters extra tight. The creek crossing is sadly, melting out. The boot pack trail should be easy to follow. Kiefer    2      
2012-11-24 The 3 icy patches previously mentioned now cover 90% of the width of the road. Even in a Jeep with lockers we slid backwards & sideways on the 2nd ice patch and proceeded to have an even sketchier situation on the way down when the Jeep slid sideways again on the lowest ice slab. Pictures are worth a 1000 words, but I can tell you that I won‘t be trying this road again until next spring or maybe if I had chains & a winch. awilbur77  3       
2012-11-03 Three ice patches to cross in the first 3/4 mile or so. Passable by keeping one side of vehicle on dry ground. Then 2 more much trickier patches just before the 4wd parking/trail junction. Can be done carefully, keep momentum and find some of the rocks & dirt protruding through the ice for traction. Keep in mind that it is trickier on the way back down. It takes decent clearance (especially on the way back) to cross the creek due to the way the ice has formed and broken, with the drop-off into the creek. Can make it about .2 miles past the creek crossing but then you hit the ice monster. About 150 yards of solid, thick ice that I don‘t even know if any vehicle can make it up or if it‘s even worth trying. There are spots to pull over just before you hit the worst of the ice. No snow left on any of the road, just plenty of ice. denvermikey         
2012-10-08 Drove easily past the stream crossing in an F150 then got stopped by ice on the road not far past there. The road to that point was clear, but it will take a couple of warm days to melt off the ice on the road. There was a Toyota Tacoma that made it past there but said they had to try three times to get over the ice. If you‘re looking to drive to 13,800 there‘s about a foot of snow on the road in several sections above 13,000. Holmoose         
2012-08-26 This trailhead is ranked moderate 4wd. I agree with that. However, good clearance is as important. I drove a stock 1997 Ford Expedition to 11,800 feet, but I think it will make it to 13,800. I saw a stock Jeep Liberty up there, among other vehicles. This road is slow going, and make sure to pick your lines, but most stock SUV‘s should be fine. shaberer0511  2  4      
2012-06-29 Took the Baldwin Gulch route up Antero this morning. Went all the way to 13,800 in a Jeep Wrangler Sport. That is quite a bumpy ride! Not an easy trek, and it took about 2 hours to get all the way up, a little less to come down. Saw plenty of trucks and SUVs at and just beyond the stream crossing with camp sites. There was no snow on the trail whatsoever. ejfred         
2012-06-09 There is a path around the snowfield at 12,750. Do not attempt to use this we did on the way up and the last part of it where it rejoins the main road was loose sand and we slid sideways down onto the road almost rolling the vehicle. We talked to another guy that had gone that way and he had the same experience. We couldn‘t get back out that way either so we ended up shoveling and a guy helped winch us through it. This should open the road up sooner. CO Native  1  3      
2012-06-07 Similar update as previous one on 6/3, but its melting quickly. The road really blows, so count on nearly an hour to get from the bottom to 12,750 ft stopping point. Roald         
2012-06-03 Road is drivable to 12,750‘ if you so choose, where there‘s an ample two - three parking spaces. As of today there was a very large snow drift just beyond this point which made it impassable from there. Once that snow, and a few lighter patches above melt (probably just a week without any additional) you could conceivable drive to 13,400 - 13,600‘ in just about any narrower track suv/4wd vehicle (midsize or smaller with clearance). We parked at 11,400 and I continuously noted pull outs to make it, and turn around at all the way up as mentioned above. The road is not for ATV‘s only, yet with snow on the sides it makes it narrow, right now. The first half to the creek is by far the hardest portion of the drive, with larger rocks along the way, and bottoming out in some areas, but if you‘re not worried about gaining 3,000‘ of elevation on your hike you can get pretty close to the summit. Would not recommend wider full sized SUV‘s, or Trucks though as the road is definitely Jeep width. Boomerang         
2012-05-31 The 4wd road is cleared of downed trees. There‘s a nasty rocky section about .7 mi up that I had to get out and re-evaluate (stick far right and go SLOW), but my Japanese-built AWD made it to the 3 mi turn and through the stream. For real offroad drivers who think about heading all the way up, there‘s still a sizable snow field over the road around 12,000 ft. that will block you. Ceastar  1       
2012-05-04 You can still only drive about .7 miles up the road past the 2wd trailhead. Once it melts out ......whoever drives up should bring a chainsaw. There are about 3 to 4 trees down. steventraylor         
2012-04-28 Just past the turn off (1/4 mile) there was reportedly a large snow patch covering the road. I had just crossed a partial snow patch when I ran into a guy ahead of me who was turning around. The snow was soft and slippery, so neither of us were up to risking it. I never actually saw it, but I might give it a week or two for it to melt out, or bring a few shovels and shovelers. dubsho3000         
2012-03-14 The road to the trailhead is clear and almost completely dry, with an occasional small, well-sanded patch of snow-packed roadway. It should be easily passable in any vehicle. There is a large, plowed pull-out for parking just across the road from the actual trailhead. gprandall         
2011-12-17 Parking is available at the bottom. The road itself has about a foot of snow on it -- give or take a few inches here and there. We booted up it this morning in a previous track. I snowshoed down this afternoon though. We hiked Mt. White, not Antero. I‘ll post pix later. d_baker         
2011-11-09 Road is snowed over, not too much snow and there are sets of ATV tracks up part of it, but its not the snow that will get you - its the ice underneath. Even just walking on the road you can feel the ice under the snow in several spots. I would recommend parking at the bottom at walking, the risk of sliding on ice is just not worth it. Chicago Transplant         
2011-07-09 This is a legitimate 4WD, jeep trail. You should know how to maneuver a vehicle over loose rocks and pick your way up the trail. I drove in my stock Jeep Cherokee and it took me about 45 minutes to go the 3 miles to the first creek crossing. After this the road appears to become easier (I hiked it) to 13,500‘. I never bottomed out but it took some technical driving. There are a few places where you need to be very careful not to ding your oil pan. Don‘t be afraid to get out and move a big rock out of the trail or build up small rocks around it so you can drive over. Go slow and use your low gears. If your passengers complain of whiplash tell them to quit whining. The road is plenty wide and there are numerous places to pass other vehicles. Good Luck! MonGoose         
2011-07-04 FYI Roach‘s book says this trail is 2.0 miles past the other trailhead (starts with a C) but it is actually 2.7 miles past. I got all the way to the creek crossing 3 miles up the 4wd trail in a subaru forester but it was pretty rough. I just got new tires which give me 9.5 inch clearance and it‘s the ‘11 forester which has more torque than the previous models but even still I probably shouldn‘t have tried it. I saw a nissan xterra off road edition a mile past where I parked and surprisingly an old suburban all the way at treeline with worn out tires but he had a really bad flat. The road gets worse soon after the creek crossing. Don‘t try it in a rav4 or something like that, it doesn‘t have the clearance. mikefromcraig         
2011-05-28 Parked .4 miles up the road in a 4wd Expedition. There is a big snow drift there that lighter vehicles were able to drive over and continue on to the avalanche area. I chose not to for fear the snow would become soft later in the day and I would sink in my very heavy vehicle. Once beyond that snow drift the road is good up to the avalanche area refered to in the previous trail conditions report. The avalanche area has not improved and is not passable at this time. A vehicle tried and backed down part way through. I would expect that area to remain impassable for quite some time. mrschaible         
2011-05-28 2WD TH is easily accessible. I would say 8 inches of clearance or more gets you about 1 mile up the road. Snow drifts are melting fast. About 2 miles up the road a large snow drift will stop any car. Artvandalay         
2011-05-14 Same as below. The large drift is avy debris and it likely won‘t melt any time soon. Monster5         
2011-05-07 No real change from the last update. We parked at the bottom and walked all the way in, but there was a 4wd that had made it maybe a 1/2 mile up the 4wd road. The steep bottom part will start to melt pretty fast, but there is a large drift blocking the road about half way to the 4wd parking area. sdkeil         
2011-04-16 Snow starts at the bottom of 277. You can drive 1/4 mile up 277 but there isn‘t anywhere to park (no surprise there) so you have to start at the bottom anyway at 9,400ft. Carl         

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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