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: CO Native
Info: Road blocked at the Placer Creek crossing. (13S 398331mE 4270282mN WGS84) 10 foot deep drift 150 foot long. Not opening up again anytime soon. Careful approaching after a recent storm as the road down to the creek can get slick and getting down to the creek is easier than turning around and getting out.
Posted By: jlarocco
Info: As of 11/22 the road is completely dry to the trailhead. It‘s a bit rough in places, but I made it easily in a passenger car.
Posted By: Jay H
Info: Road to trailhead is fine, a couple of hairy waterbars though. 2WD passenger car made it fine.

Placer creek campsite though is currently closed for revegitation. Some campsites across the FR252 appear to be trashed, not sure the legality of those though. But the placer creek campsite mentioned in the trailhead directions is currently closed.
Posted By: covfrrider
Info: Same as previous. Road is in decent shape, but watch out for the water bars, as they are considerable in size in a couple of places.
Posted By: ShullCM
Info: Blank Cabin TH is entirely clear as of 5/31, and road to TH is free of snow.
Posted By: geoffirons
Info: Road is now open to all vehicles all the way to the trailhead. The large snowbank on the west side of Placer Creek was shoveled clear today (one lane only).
Posted By: Jim Davies
Info: The alternate "right-at-the-fork" route using 250 and 250A is reportedly clear of snow.
Posted By: Yikes
Info: Road to Blanks Cabin is still impassible due to snow. This is for both the std road and the "turn right at the fork" option (which usually melts out early).
Posted By: BillMiddlebrook
Info: Road still blocked by snow about 3.75 miles from the trailhead. It won‘t be long before you can get to within 2.5 miles of the TH. The remaining snow on the last couple of miles will take a while to melt out.
Posted By: Kojones
Info: Agree. Completely dry access to trailhead. 2WD no problem (though I used my Cherokee).
Posted By: drex27
Info: The road to the trailhead is completely free of snow and accessible by any 2wd vehicle
Posted By: Yikes
Info: I decided to jog up the road to Blanks Cabin to get an idea of road conditions. Road is getting pretty dry (probably about 95% dry). The only issues seem to be at the fork where there is about 100 yards of deeper snow (which you can probably bypass by driving in the field) and about 2 miles short of the TH there is a large snowbank where the road crosses the creek and heads up the hill (this is really deep, maybe 8’ deep, and won’t melt anytime soon). You can probably drive to that point in 4wd easy. I jogged up another mile beyond that and all was dry.
Posted By: Greg Frank
Info: snow is bad. I got stuck and spent the night. i have a 4 wheel drive jeep with quadratrack. it cost me $1,154.50 to get toward down. dont try it.
Posted By: gprovost
Info: New TH is open. Large parking area and several good camping spots nearby.
Posted By: Nathan Hale
Info: As of 4/29 the road is easily passable.
Posted By: contour900
Info: No change as of 8/19/05. New parking area still not open. Continue parking at Blank Cabin area. Pit toilet is functional but not yet maintained (yuk). Be sure to close gate at beginning of trail out of parking area.
Posted By: sisyphus
Info: 6-28-05: No change. TH is easily accessible. I think they might be building an improved TH just before the Blank Cabin site. A working restroom is already there, and a parking area has been outlined. There were building materials nearby, and it seemed like the FS would connect the trail to there.
Posted By: Marmot
Info: Trailhead open, road is dry.
Posted By: Tommy Dorr
Info: The road getting to Blank Cabin Trailhead was easily accessible. A regular passenger car with normal clearance should be able to make it, but you may need to drive slowly in a couple spots.
Posted By: realhillboarding
Info: the road is blocked by a large snowdrift about 2 miles before the trailhead, which adds at least 500‘ of elevation gain to the ascent. The road up to this point is snowy/icy, so 4wd is highly recommended.

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