Crystal/Spruce Creeks Trailhead


Road Difficulty

2WD, easy dirt road 1   (0=Paved, 6=Very Difficult 4WD)
2WD dirt to the lower TH. 4WD to the upper Spruce Creek trailhead. Rough 4WD to the upper Crystal Creek trailhead.

Driving Directions

From the south end of Breckenridge, drive 2 miles south on Colorado 9. Turn right on Spruce Creek Road. Stay right up a small hill and turn left at an intersection. Stay on the main road and drive 1.2 miles (from Highway 9) to the Spruce Creek trailhead at 10,400'. There is a large parking area here.
To continue to either of the upper, 4WD trailheads, pass through the parking area and continue up the rough road:
Crystal Creek: After 0.2 mile, turn right and follow a narrow, rough road approx. 2 miles to reach Lower Crystal Lake, near 12,000'.
Spruce Creek: From the lower TH, drive nearly 2 miles on the 4WD road to reach the upper Spruce Creek trailhead, near 11,100'.

Winter Access

Lower TH (10,400') open in winter but the road up from Highway 9 is fairly steep and often requires AWD, at least.
Status Updates 
Posted By: Chicago Transplant
Info: Winter closure still in effect, large snowbank at the foot of the road. Spruce Creek road has several dry patches that extend across the road, generally 5‘ to 10‘ wide. You can skin across them, but probably need to take skis on and off on the way back down. The start of the Crystal road at the turnoff is dry, so I skinned up the aqueduct road instead.
Note that if you are not on skis, the Spruce Creek road has long sections where the snow only covers half the road.
Posted By: Alby426
Info: The trailhead to Chrystal peak, Father Dyer is only open to the 2wd lot. There is a huge snow bank past that. The road up to Chrystal lakes , after about 1/4 miles of trailhead, is covered in snow. The snowpack on the road is thick and, it will take a while to melt.
Posted By: adrenalated
Info: Crystal Creek Road is passable for ~0.5mi from split, to about 10,900‘. Not too much snow on road past year, so it should melt quickly. Road is real 4x4 and requires low range gearbox and clearance (my stock Tundra had no issues).

Spruce Creek Road is passable for ~1.5mi from winter TH to around 10,950‘, then is blocked by avalanche debris. This road is passable for anything with a bit of clearance - Subaru Outbacks, AWD SUVs, etc.
Posted By: jeremy27
Info: Drove up spruce creek rd, past the winter trailhead, to where the road intersects the Wheeler trail (Aquaduct Rd too maybe - I‘m not certain but thats what it looks like on the map) just below the east ridge of Helen in my 4wd stock Ford Ranger. 4wd was necessary but we saw a Subaru up there too. Snow is not a problem and another 4wd truck passed us and traveled further up the road so I assume the road is clear for some distance past that point.
Posted By: mstender
Info: I drove all the way to the gate on Aqueduct Rd in a RAV4 4WD without any problems. There are a couple of deep ruts (dry) that require a little bit of clearance.
Posted By: dougald
Info: I drove about halfway to the upper parking today in my Rav 4 before snow forced a halt. A higher-clearance 4WD probably could have made it to the top without much trouble. Should be fully open within 3 or 4 days, I‘d estimate.
Posted By: Nathan Hale
Info: The standard winter parking lot is easily accessible, and most 2wd drive vehicles can get here (they were fixing some rough spots).

Beyond that there is lots of snow, and you couldn‘t even start onto the 4wd roads.
Posted By: kaiman
Info: I just wanted to post an update that there is lots of water running down the 4WD road about 3/4 mile below Lower Crystal Lake. There is also a tricky stream crossing in the willows around treeline that I watched several parties negotiate with a second person directing them from outside the vehicle. Still drivable, but does require some caution.
Posted By: IHikeLikeAGirl
Info: I’m sure everyone knows this by now, but thought I’d add it anyway. Clear all the way until the road ends at the Spruce Creak TH, was wet in spots, but not muddy with all the rock imbedded in the road. As far as 4WD roads go, this one wasn’t bad at all (IMHO). Any 4WD with reasonable clearance can make it with some care in a few spots. Saw a Subaru up there, but I probably wouldn‘t have taken a Subaru to the end. Not a ton of parking at the end, but there were several places to park between the lower 4WD parking and the upper. Beautiful area with a great trail, definitely worth the trip.
Posted By: clemsonmtneer
Info: Road is clear to the 2wd TH. Past this parking area, 4wd vehicles can make it another tenth of a mile up the road before there is a split... from this point, there is a gate blocking the Crystal Creek Road (which we hiked up) to the right, while to the left it looks like you can probably drive a good ways up the Spruce Creek Road... however, we didn‘t go down this road so I don‘t know how far you can make it.

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