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    
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: 2) To the creek crossing (approx): 3) To the road: 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         
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         

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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