Alder  
Maps:        
USGS 7.5' Map: South Fork West, Pool Table Mountain
Statistics:
Difficulty: Number: Miles: Altitude: Obstacles: Time:
Easy 2 FR 610 18.40 8,400 to 11,040 ft. NA 2-3 hours
County: Rio Grande
Adopted by:      
Managed by: Rio Grande National Forest
Divide Ranger District
13308 West Hwy 160
Del Norte, CO 81132
719-657-3321
Summary: Alder is a rough forest road the connects South Fork with the Pool Table Road. It has a lot of side roads that connect with it as well as motorized trail heads.
Attractions: Trailhead access
Seasonal
Closure:
Agency - March 15 to May 15
Best Time: June - Upper section may still be snowed in
July - Best
August - Best
September - Best
October - Watch for early snows
Trail Heads
Accessed:
Alder Bench Trail, FT799 - Motorcycle only.
Middle Alder Trail, FT797 - Motorcycle and ATV, 50 inch or less.
West Alder Trail, FT798 - Motorcycle only. 50 inch or less on the 1 mile section from Hansen Mill Campground to FR610.
Camping: There are a few dispersed campsites toward the middle of the Alder 4WD road.
Base Camp: This would be a good area to base camp. There is access to South Fork and a lot of other roads and trails to explore.
Fall Colors: Average - The lower section contains stands of aspen.
Navigation: From South Fork, CO. head north on CO-149 N for 0.9 miles. Turn right onto N River Road and go 1.2 miles. Turn left onto Forest Service Road 610 and go 2.1 miles. This will be the Alder Creek Guard Station and the beginnin of the Alder Creek 4WD road.

From Creede, CO. head east on E 7th Street toward La Garita Street for 269 ft. Turn right at the 1st cross street onto CO-149 South and continue to follow CO-149 S for 20.3 miles. Turn left onto N River Road and go 1.2 miles. This will be the Alder Creek Guard Station and the beginnin of the Alder Creek 4WD road.
History:
Description:
Alder starts out on the north side of South Fork, CO. The road passes an area with many private homes following Alder Creek. Just after you enter the National Forest you will come to a small home that is the Alder Creek Guard Station for the Forest Service. Also, the Alder Bench trail head is here. Just past the parking area at the guard station you will begin the Alder Creek 4WD road.
Beginning section

photo by:
Adam M

The road will climb above West Alder Creek and head through the forest up the valley. The road is wide, but rough with many eroded sections. After about 4.5 miles you will come to the intersection with Viers Creek, FR611.
Middle section

photo by:
Adam M

Middle section

photo by:
Adam M

Continue on FR610 climbing up the valley. The road will do a few switchbacks as it works down to cross East Creek. After about two miles you will come to the next intersection with Middle Park, FR612. Once again stay on FR610 as it follows Difficult Creek. The next intersection is with West Middle Park, FR613, after about 2 miles. Stay on FR610 which becomes much smoother and better maintained. You will pass large open meadows as you work along the south side of Pool Table Mountain.
Upper section

photo by:
Adam M

Upper section

photo by:
Adam M

The road heads south after crossing the headwaters of West Alder Creek and comes to another intersection after about 3 miles. The road to the left is Blue Park, FR601 which will connect with Pool Table, FR600 to the west. Stay on FR610 and travel another couple miles to the intersection with Pool Table, FR600.
Data updated - November 25, 2015        4WD Road driven - July 22, 2015        Copyright 4X4Explore.com - 2000-2015