Kilpacker basin Trailhead


Road Difficulty

Easy 4WD, good clearance recommended. 3   (0=Paved, 6=Very Difficult 4WD)
2WD Dirt

Driving Directions

From Telluride, drive south on Colorado 145 to Lizard Head Pass. Continue south for 5.2 miles and turn right onto Forest Road (FR) 535. Drive 5 miles on the 2WD dirt road to reach the signed, Kilpacker trailhead on the right.

Winter Access

Usually closed a short distance up the 535 road - miles below the TH.
Status Updates 
Posted By: ScreeSurfer
Info: Was able to drive all the way to Kilpacker Basin Trailhead in a Honda Passport Friday night, a little bit of drifting in the high meadow a mile short of the Trailhead made it a bit challenging (a Subaru Crosstrek was not as lucky on Saturday as it was stuck and abandoned in the middle of the road). Although I stopped at Kilpacker, their were plenty of tracks leading further west on Dunton Road.
Posted By: Kiefer
Info: Dunton Road isn’t plowed, ever. The trailhead starts at CO. 145. Road is old snow. Not packed. Posthole maybe a few inches, so not bad. Some melted out, muddy spots but all lower down. Snow depth increases (on the road) the further one hikes towards Kilpacker.
Room at the trailhead for 3-4 cars at most.
Posted By: CO_GPS_Guy
Info: Gravel road from highway to trailhead is dry and in great shape. Several recent fallen aspen trees cut up and cleared off road. Easily driven in low clearance/2WD vehicles.
Posted By: Misi197
Info: Road is good to go. A little rocky and bumpy at places, but pretty much any vehicle can make it up there at present.
Posted By: KY Climber
Info: The road to the Kilpacker trailhead is now completely free of snow.
Posted By: annsparks
Info: Current conditions 2.5 miles from Kilpacker trailhead when coming from Telluride. Deep
snow in patches then solid snow after that for as far as I could see. No car tracks after the point I turned around.
Posted By: dwoodward13
Info: Easy passenger car access
Posted By: mtn_clmbr
Info: Dry the whole way as of 5-18
Posted By: RWSchaffer
Info: Wheeled vehicles park at CO 145. Snow machines and foot traffic will find mostly continuous groomed snow plus snowmobile tracks to the trailhead and beyond, though the first mile of road is somewhat icy and occasionally melted out.
Posted By: Randy1983
Info: Road is still open, dry and in great shape all the way to the trailhead parking lot.
Posted By: kayleenann8
Info: Road is dry and in great shape. Plenty of spots to camp at TH. Put in your GPS coordinates so you don’t blow by the turn off in the dark.
Posted By: MountainMo
Info: Dunton Road in good shape, any 2wd vehicle can make it to the trailhead.
Posted By: alsrun
Info: I just received an email from someone who took the first turn off below Lizard Head and he made it to the KTH without any problems.
Posted By: alsrun
Info: I just spoke with the Dolores Ranger Dist. and they said the only way to get to the Kilpacker TH is to use the Dunton Rd. turnoff below Rico then park at the Navajo Lake TH and hike to the KTH. Apparently there are two washouts. One between Navajo Lake and Kilpacker THs and one between the Kipacker TH and route 145. I believe the hike from Navajo Lake TH, using the Navajo trail, to the main stream crossing on the Kilpacker trail would be roughly the same as hiking from NLTH to KTH and then to the major stream crossing(around 5 miles). You are able to hike between NLTH and KTH but you can‘t drive it.
Posted By: alsrun
Info: The Dunton Rd. turn off that is 5.2 miles below Lizard Head Pass will be closed for 2 weeks about 2 miles in starting 09/06/2016. There is another turn off for 535 below Stoner that will get you to this TH. Since you will come to the Navajo Lake TH first, you can park there because the Navajo Lake trail cuts into the Kilpacker trail. If you need more details the Dolores Ranger Dist. number is 970-882-7296.
Posted By: bdloftin77
Info: Rained recently, so some big puddles on the Kilpacker turnoff. Trailhead accessible via any car. (I did it yesterday with a 2wd Toyota Echo sedan)
Posted By: jeffs
Info: Road was clear to the TH. Passed a Mini Cooper and a Mustang convertible with the top down on the way out!? I’m not sure the road is THAT smooth....
Posted By: drhansenej
Info: Hit continuous old snow drifts across the road at about 2.3 mi from TH. Looks like someone tried to drive across the first drift unsuccessfully, the tire tracks barely made it halfway.
Posted By: DoctorBreaks
Info: Per Norwood Ranger District the road is clear to the TH
Posted By: mspalding
Info: This is currently a 2wd road. Even with all the rain and mud it’s a low clearance Honda Fit or Prius 2wd road. Also watch closely. The turn off of 145 headed south from Telluride is on your right exactly 5.1 miles from the Lizard Head Pass sign. It is marked with a small sign that I think says 535.
Posted By: Johnson
Info: Great road conditions all the way to the TH.
Posted By: Eagle Eye
Info: No sign of 4 wheeled tracks or travel on this road, except people unloading from the paved shoulder at the start of the road. There are ski and snowmobile tracks going up the road now.
Posted By: Eagle Eye
Info: FR 535 right off CO 145 has a blanket of snow over it & shows no sign of having recently been driven on. A fairly deep drift area has formed at the bottom of the first incline.
Posted By: sjhiker
Info: Driving by, so I did a little recon. Dry all the way to TH. Hiked in running shoes for a mile and a half before turning around due to deeper, patchy snow (need gaiters). Turned around before the fork.
Posted By: 2giqs
Info: Still in good shape for 2wd passage. Very narrow first 3 miles with limited turnouts. Be wary of impatient downhill drivers.

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