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: 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.
Posted By: alpinewonderer
Info: Went up today to see how far I could get. Made it 8 tenths of a mile past the "Y" and sign that says Trailhead 3 miles. As expected, the "drift" is big this year and long. Might be awhile before we can get past it. Unless you are one of the buttheads that drives around it and tears up the forest floor and such. Then you might be able to get a little farther but in those last two miles there are also some bigger drifts. I made it tougher to cut through the forest. (photo 4)
Posted By: Lithobatiks
Info: Sand as the previous report, but it doesn’t appear to be melting quickly. I would guess it’s at least another month until it’s fully drive-able. Plan for some bad crust skiing if you leave early in the day. Only had to pull skis off twice.
Posted By: Wildernessjane
Info: We had to park three miles from the summer trailhead due to snow on the road but it appears to be melting rapidly. This would add 6 miles and approximately 1000 feet of elevation gain.
Posted By: JasonCrane
Info: Due to snow conditions, road is impassable after the Y junction at CR 252/250. Upper 250 is not plowed & high clearance, AWD is a must-have. The TH parking area doesn’t show any signs of vehicles for about a month or so. The bathroom is accessible & there’s a supply of TP. I had cell coverage (AT&T) without interruption.
Posted By: pkrekeler
Info: Wanted to give a quick update on the trailhead.
Hiked Shavano on Sunday morning. Hadn’t seen any trailhead updates so I wasn’t sure how close we could get to the trailhead. There was initially little to no snow on the dirt road but as we got closer to the trailhead the amount of snow increased. It was easily drivable for an AWD or 4WD vehicle.
The parking lot had a decent amount of accumulated snow but it didn’t prohibit driving.
Posted By: RhodoRose
Info: Road conditions to Shavano/Tabaguache Blank Cabin TH (via U.S. 285 -> CR 140 -> CR 250 -> FR 252) were snowy and a little icy but passable with 4WD or AWD. Very doable with a 2010 Outback with 8.7" clearance, no special snow tires or chains needed.
Posted By: liba
Info: Still drivable all the way if you have 4WD. Drove it today...
Posted By: bjjsthomas
Info: The 6 miles of dirt road to get up to the trailhead was basically dry. Made it easier in our Scion Xa...good road, just a little bumpy. Snow starts about .25 miles up Shavano trail.
Posted By: generic_username
Info: Level 2 for road difficulty, not bad at all (I saw 2WD vehicles up there, but I’d, you know, feel better in a 4WD). Clearance not a huge deal.
TH open (I know it’s closed for the winter, but not as of 9/30). Lots of parking, course I got there at 515am.
Posted By: Pikaskinpants
Info: Road is in great condition, my small front wheel drive car had no problems making it to the trailhead. There are a ton of dispersed camping sites, and very few people. I had enough reception to watch Netflix on my phone. Bring water, no good options nearby. Cow manure is everywhere, not a huge deal.
Posted By: ScottHendrick
Info: Road is totally dry and easy to follow based on the instructions at The trailhead parking lot was maybe half full today. Its nice to have a bathroom, but remember to take your own toilet paper!
Posted By: BillMiddlebrook
Info: Still completely dry to the summer TH.
Posted By: drchele
Info: 250 and 252 rough 2WD navigable by passenger car, TH parking lot snow-free. Basically summer conditions this date.
Posted By: supranihilest
Info: As other reports state the road is mostly dry. There are several wet ruts and of course it’s bumpy but otherwise good to go. I drove my Civic to the trailhead in the dark with no problems.
Posted By: Stratosfearsome
Info: Sitting at Blank Gulch TH right now. (9,800ft) Easy 4wd to trailhead < 4 inches of snow on last ~ 2 miles of Chaffee 252. Stock ’97 Jeep Cherokee. Going for 13,712/Jones at Dawn!
Posted By: Tufftommy-BV
Info: Totally dry via CR 252 to Blanks Cabin. Any type vehicle should be fine as of today...
Posted By: jscully205
Info: Road is dry for the most part with a couple of muddy/icy sections. I had no trouble driving to the summer TH parking lot in a Toyota Tacoma.
Posted By: kushrocks
Info: Ridiculous, other than the icy spot about 1.8 miles from the trailhead which posed no issue in 2 wheel drive if you don’t mind the bumps you could drive a Honda Civic up here right now.
Posted By: JtheChemE
Info: Road passable to Blank TH. ~100ft icy spot after the cattle guard, generally not too much snow on the road, and did not pose any issues.
Posted By: Kcmartinez22
Info: Clear all the way to the TH barring two ice patches. One of them has gotten quite large but is passable. Just take care to not slip off the road. Totally doable in a 2WD.

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