Iowa Gulch Trailhead


Mosquito Range
39.22587° N, -106.18519° W
14ers: Mt. Sherman
PhotoPhoto Add

Road Difficulty

2WD, rough dirt road 2   (0=Paved, 6=Very Difficult 4WD)
Rough 2WD dirt to the TH.

Driving Directions

Take US 24 through downtown Leadville to the southern end of town. Turn east onto Monroe Street and drive 0.2 miles. Turn right (south) on Lake County 2 (Toledo St). Follow CR 2 (paved) for approximately 3.8 miles to a fork in the road. Turn left on a 2WD dirt road and continue 3.0 miles up into Iowa Gulch to the trailhead. A total of 7 miles from US 24 in Leadville. The trailhead is unmarked - park along the road. If you're hiking Mts Sherman or Sheridan, locate the trail (below the edge of the road) as it heads toward the creek under the power lines.

Winter Access

Closed at the junction, 3 miles below the TH.
Status Updates 
Posted By: arnavxv
Info: Was able to drive here in a rav4 with snow tires, but just barely. Took everything I got. I was also the first vehicle here in weeks, as I was driving entirely on top of snowmobile tracks the second half of the way.

I packed the road down pretty well and most vehicles with good ground clearance, AWD/4WD, and snow tires and/or chains would be able to make it now. There are some deep spots along the way where the only way to get past is to maintain your momentum. Keep this in mind.

Shovel and chains + more are mandatory. Super easy to get stuck. Road is narrow and sides of the road are super deep snow.
Posted By: daway8
Info: Road is plowed to the 2/2B junction. Neither road was gated but 2B had deep snow - would need good snow tires to attempt and good turn around options would be limited. With incoming storms likely better to just walk it.
Posted By: arnavxv
Info: Packed snow, some gravel/rocks all the way to 12k feet. Made it in a rav4 with 3PMSF tires no issue. The snow in the middle is a bit high, as well as some rocks/boulders towards the end, so a sedan would have trouble. After another storm or two this definitely wont be the case.

I dont know why the desc says closed at the TH. There are two roads: the upper road 2B isnt gated, the lower road is. They both take you to the same place.
Posted By: CaptCO
Info: Open to TH. "Rough 2wd" Minor bits of snow on road which will melt by weeks end at latest
Posted By: bfaulkne
Info: The gate is currently closed 3 miles below the trailhead. Not sure if this is permanent for the rest of the winter or not.
Posted By: Tripp
Info: Road up from Leadville was clear and manageable for our AWD. Parking was limited, but we were there early enough (6:00a) to snag a spot. Starting out in the dark, we missed the cairn to turn south and instead trekked west (mostly along the power lines) for maybe 5/8 mile before realizing our mistake and retracing our steps.
Posted By: brewlabs
Info: Saw a few cars in the trailhead parking area from above. Also, ran into some folks on the trail who were the ones parked there - so whatever had the road closed off was not there today.
Posted By: lkk8815
Info: Gate was blocking the last 3 miles to the TH at 7am on a Thursday. Not sure whats going on, I just left and did a different peak.
Posted By: rudi32
Info: Road to upper TH is open and honestly pretty easy. I would personally rank it a 1, very straight-forward and passable in 2wd vehicles.
Posted By: WanderMolly
Info: Fence is gone at the county road 2/2B split and you can drive all the way to the summer trailhead at the end of 2B!
Posted By: CheapCigarMan
Info: County Road 2B is still fenced off at the junction of 2 / 2B. A truck was coming down and I spoke to the driver as he was opening the fence to let himself out. He said Xcel energy has it fenced off as they are working and flying in helicopters up there. I called the county and no one I spoke to knows anything about the road being fenced off.
Posted By: dwoodward13
Info: Still fenced off as in previous report at 2/2B split. Road is plowed 1.5 miles beyond the closure. After that there is about a half mile of mandatory snow beyond which point you can walk either on the snow or on the very edge of the road on dry dirt until the summer TH.
Posted By: CheapCigarMan
Info: 2B is still closed.
Posted By: maxavanzi
Info: Although the road to the TH may be plowed, it is currently closed by a fence at the 2B fork, where the dirt road begins.
Posted By: SionaRW35
Info: When I was walking the road back from climbing Dyer, they were plowing the road to the upper TH
Posted By: hogantheepic
Info: Went to climb Sherman and the road was plowed until the turn onto the dirt County Road leading up to the trailhead. Ended up snowshoeing up the 3.7 miles of road left, and decided to turn around at the trailhead cause weather was rolling in and the snow conditions were a little too dicey for the traverse across the valley from the trailhead. Traverse should be in in a couple weeks, but the road had probably 8-10 ft of snow covering it. It’ll finally be drivable in early June is my guess.
Posted By: daway8
Info: Paved, plowed (more or less) road to the junction of 2/2B = ~3mi short of the summer trailhead. Ample parking at the turnoff. This seems to be (at least this winter) a more reliable way to get in closer to Sherman than the Fourmile Creek approach for which the plowing has often been stopping 4.5 - 6 miles short of the Leavick site, which is itself almost 3 miles shy of the summer trailhead - thus making the Fourmile Creek route sometimes more than 2x longer than approaching from Iowa Gulch. But note there is some avy terrain along the closed portion of the road for Iowa Gulch.
Posted By: peak576
Info: Drivable to about a quarter-mile from the summer trail head with 4WD or AWD. The recent snow is tracked by vehicles but a few deep or drifted spots.
Posted By: E_A_Marcus_949
Info: Made it to the end where the road is blocked (start of Dyer) in a Subaru Forester. Uneventful drive and any car can make it. A few large boulders in the middle of the road, a snow drift that is melting, and some rock slides, but they are all passable - the road is wide, just weave around.
Posted By: Uffda
Info: Road is passable all the way to the mine, although many still chose to park below the avalanche remnants.
Posted By: connelljanis
Info: 2WD road is open until about 2/10 mile from TH. Snow drift blocking road along with a few rocks.
Posted By: LynnKH
Info: Just to add to the previous conditions update: the avalanche that’s still covering the road is just below the Sherman trailhead. Snow is still at least four feet deep if not a lot more. It might be possible to park below and wade through, but I imagine it could be slow going with or without snowshoes.
Posted By: ARY
Info: Road to the mine is blocked by packed snow about half mile down. Road is in great condition until breakdown about 300 yards below the first snow pack. The trailhead is not visible and after 1400 snow does not hold anymore unless one uses snowshoes.
Posted By: B_2
Info: Impassable snow on road starting at 11,700 but wont be there for long. Walk about 1/3 mile up road to continuous snow, then you can skin/ski most of the way to/from the summit right now, but the ramp up to the amphitheater is going to be melted out soon. Final 100 vert is too rocky/windblown for the skis.
Posted By: bunny256
Info: Dirt road is dry for about 1 mile after turnoff, then drivable for another .25 - .5 mile before deeper snow begins at ~11,400’. Melting fast, but after another .5 mile or so there is some buried avalanche debris and much deeper snowdrifts. Could be a while before the amphitheater/upper basin is accessible by car.

© 2021®, 14ers Inc.