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    
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         
2010-12-03 Access to the lower trailhead is easy by car, packed snow on the road. No chance of making it up more than 100 yards up the road to the 4wd trailhead. yorksman         
2010-06-13 Road was completely passable to ~12,800-13,000ft. We saw a jeep parked at ~12,300 on one switchback pulloff. There is a snow embankment that hangs on the right part of the road at ~12,500ft, but should be able to be skirted on the left hand side. Lyssah         
2010-05-29 Clear. A Jeep and a Ford Explorer made it a little ways past Baldwin Creek with no problem. Picture is our party standing in front of Baldwin Creek. randalmartin  1       
2010-05-23 Road is still blocked by snow about 1/2 mile up from the 2WD trailhead. It will be at least another week, possibly longer. There are also a number of trees down across the road that will need to be removed before the upper TH can be accessed. Kevin8020         
2010-05-16 Road is blocked by snow about 1/2 mile up. It will be at least another 2 weeks BillMiddlebrook         
2010-04-13 Winter closure still in effect (as of 4/11/10). Road to that spot was dry. The 4w road consisted of a solid pack trail from snowmobiles and snowshoes about two people wide; snow to either side varied from a few feet deep to melted out in a few spots. Marmot72         
2009-10-25 we got a Jeep Rubicon a very short distance up the road before the ice under the snow kept us from going any further. With chains it is possible we could have made it to the lower creek crossing. After the 1st creek crossing the road has more than a foot of snow pack. centrifuge         
2009-10-19 10/18/09: Road was free of snow until just above the second creek crossing (about 1/2 mile or so above the road split). The lower shelf road has some water on it, so be careful after a freeze as it may be icy. Above the second creek crossing patchy icy snow to treeline then more consistent snow on the switchbacks (depending on which direction they face). This info is only good until the next storm... Chicago Transplant         
2009-07-13 The road is completely clear of snow. Bumpy as usual on the lower portion. Requires clearance and good driving. If you have enough clearance to make it to the creek crossing, the creek crossing is no issue. If desired, an experienced driver could drive most stock 4wds to the highest point on the road to Antero. RoanMtnMan         
2009-06-26 Road is almost free of snow. Saw one patch at about 13,000 that a Jeep tour was able to drive though. Just added a trip report with good pics of the road: We went in a Land Rover and had no problems. Saw a truck stopped at the Lake, and a Cherokee at tree line. l-a         
2009-06-08 Road is in good shape and clear of snow until about 12,700. Stream crossing @ Baldwin Gulch/Lake intersection was not a problem in my Jeep Grand Cherokee. Miners are shoveling the snow off the road and I would anticipate the road to be snow free within a couple of weeks. mattpayne11         
2009-06-01 Creek about a foot deep and passable. Small patches of snow on the road above the creek but melting quickly. higherhigher         

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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