Shavano/Tabeguache Trailhead


Road Difficulty

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

Driving Directions

On U.S. 285, one mile north of the U.S. 50 and U.S. 285 junction near Poncha Springs, turn west on County Road (CR) 140. This turn is about 21 miles south of Buena Vista, and across the highway from the entrance to the Salida airport. On CR 140, drive 1.7 miles and turn right on CR 250. Drive 0.8 to reach dirt road and reset your trip odometer. Drive 3.2 miles to a "Y" junction. Stay left on FR 252 and continue to another small junction, near a cattle guard, at ~6.2 miles. Cross the cattle guard and drive a bit farther to reach the Shavano+Tabeguache trailhead.

Winter Access

Usually closed many miles below the TH.
Status Updates 
Posted By: jperry1122
Info: Made it with a Pruis with no problem, maybe one close call on the way in but any 2D Saden can do this, just go slow and take you time.
Posted By: mtgoatmike
Info: Got my 2000 Honda Accord up to the trailhead. Road is rough in spots, especially within the first 3 miles, but careful driving and picking a good line will get you to the trailhead.
Posted By: cpdas
Info: Made it with 0 problems in a Subaru Outback, but I am fairly confident any 2WD sedan would be absolutely fine getting to the trailhead as long as the driver is paying attention
Posted By: hamofthemountain
Info: Made it in a ’96 Honda Civic. Very slow going but totally doable without any scrapes, 4WD is absolutely not required when it’s dry.
Posted By: rosey33
Info: A little bumpy thats it! Made it up in an 02 Mini Cooper with no problem what so ever, just take it slow
Posted By: brichardsson
Info: Road is clear, no issues at all. A bit rough though. I’ve been up this road four times I think, and this is the worst I can remember it. Saw a sedan that was trying to creep up it at 2mph and finally gave up we assume as we never saw it at the trailhead. 4wd not needed bit clearance definitely a help in areas.
Posted By: Emerson4449
Info: Road 250 was a bit bumpy and had areas coated with smooth rocks, nothing a vehicle with decent clearance couldn’t handle. I wouldn’t recommend a sedan, it’s something that a crossover SUV could do just fine. Road 252 was in very good condition. Entire drive was very easy and not steep at all, and dry, do not need 4x4.
Posted By: Evan_Hikes
Info: Road is clear all the way to the trailhead parking lot. A 2003 Accord was able to make it but kept it to 10mph or under all the way up and down: very rough. Dirt road with a lot of rocks and a few tricky dips. Easy driving for 4WD or higher clearance 2WD but reconsider taking a sedan up there.
Posted By: Scotty21
Info: Dry all the way to the trailhead. Some careful driving on some parts of the dirt road if you have a 2WD vehicle. Plenty of camping sites on the way to the TH. Otherwise nice cruise.
Posted By: hogantheepic
Info: Road totally clear of snow all the way to the trailhead. Got caught behind a mustang with like 3 inches of clearance, which was not cutting it. Bring something with a good bit of clearance.
Posted By: JakeByk
Info: Dry all the way to the trailhead. If you value your vehicle, don’t take a 2WD down this road or something with less than 4 inches of clearance.
Posted By: gregpeak
Info: Road is clear and dry all the way to the trailhead
Posted By: fepic1
Info: Drove in a F150 4x4 to the 252-250 Y in the rd. 3 miles short of the trailhead. I used 4x4 for about 1.5 miles. Very doable in the pickup and probably in a 4 wheel suv to that point. No other vehicle track beyond the Y.
Posted By: Wentzl
Info: Why isn’t this called Blanks Gulch? Anyway, snow and ice mostly melted. Drove to the trailhead, road 95% clear. Did not need to engage 4wd.
Posted By: yardman
Info: Got up to the Blanks Gulch TH yesterday, but not without some challenges. Depending upon the time of day the road is icy, snow-covered, muddy or wet. Regardless, it’s slippery. 4WD is needed and higher clearance also probably needed. With another snow dump the road may be impassable.
Posted By: ilikereds
Info: Zero issues getting to the trailhead....just watch out for the cows on the road! Bumpy in a few places, but nothing that most 2WD vehicles wont have a problem with; just go slow. Plenty of parking, with overflow parking and dispersed camping (camping not allowed at TH, but people were doing it anyhow).
Posted By: NathanRL
Info: Had no problem getting there in a Prius.
Posted By: Tornadoman
Info: Clear and dry, no problem in a low clearance 2WD.
Posted By: rsuminsby
Info: Clear and dry all the way to the trailhead on 252.
Posted By: emself
Info: 252 to TH got a light dusting. Seemed pretty dry again as we drove out in the afternoon. Easily passable.
Posted By: pbandchoc
Info: Made it to the trailhead but there was a foot of new snow, multiple downed trees, and some spicy turns/divits. My Jeep did well but my Mazda would have not made that.
Posted By: Voshkm
Info: 252 is now available to trailhead. early spring is worst time to need forest service bathroom.
Posted By: Lithobatiks
Info: The previous report is still accurate.
Posted By: gregpeak
Info: The alternate road to the trailhead is clear and almost completely dry with just a few mud puddles. Stay right at the Y intersection onto FR 250. In one half mile turn left onto FR 250A. This road takes you right to the trailhead. The road is suitable for most passenger cars.
Posted By: randalmartin
Info: Road is blocked about .8 miles past the Y. We then went back to the Y split and went up the Blank Cabin road and was able to get closer to the trailhead down that road although still almost 2 miles from the trailhead.

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