|USGS 7.5' Map:||Climax|
|Managed by:||Bureau of Land Management,
Royal Gorge District
|3028 E. Main St.
Canon City, CO 81212
|Summary:||Birdseye Gulch runs from Highway 91 west of Fremont Pass up to the base of the west side of Mosquito Pass.|
|Nature - Closed by heavy snows|
June - Early, may still be snowed in
July - Best
August - Best
September - Best
October - Early snows may close road
|Camping:||There are a few dispersed camp sites at the lower end of Birdseye Gulch, off of Hwy 91.|
|Base Camp:||This would be a good area to base camp and explore the roads east of Leadville and Mosquito Pass.|
|Fall Colors:||Poor - Pine forest|
To start at the bottom of Birdseye Gulch
From Leadville, CO. head north on Harrison Ave toward W 7th Street for 0.1 miles. Turn right onto E 9th Street and go 0.1 miles. Turn left after and continue 1.0 miles. Continue straight onto CO-91 N for 5.4 miles. Turn right onto a dirt road and go straight across the bridge over the East Fork of the Arkansas River. Go right at the next intersection and you will be at the start of Birdseye Gulch road.
From Copper Mountain Ski Resort road, head southeast on CO-91 S for 16.6 miles. Turn left onto a dirt road and go straight across the bridge over the East Fork of the Arkansas River. Go right at the next intersection and you will be at the start of Birdseye Gulch road.
To start at the top of Birdseye Gulch
From Leadville head north on Harrison Ave toward W 5th Street for 0.2 miles. Continue on E 7th Street. Turn right onto E 7th Street and go 0.7 miles. Continue onto County Road 3 for 0.1 miles. Continue onto County Road 3 for 0.4 miles. Continue onto County Road 3 for 0.3 miles. Continue onto County Road 3 for 1.2 miles. Turn left onto County Road 3B and go 0.5 miles. Continue onto County Road 3 for 1.0 mile. Turn left to stay on County Road 3 and go 230 feet. Turn right to stay on County Road 3 and go 0.2 miles. Turn left onto the Mosquito Pass road, County Road 3 and go 1.46 miles. Turn left and go 0.8 miles. Take the left and go 0.2 miles. Take the right and start down Birdseye Gulch.
|History:||The small camp of Birds Eye sat in the flats where Birdseye Gulch connects with the East Fork of the Arkansas River. There was a small stamp mill here at one time. The name comes from the large feldspar crystals, that resembled birds eyes, found embeded in the igneous porphyry rock in the area. Above the town, where the Denver, South Park & Pacific Railroad crossed Birdseye Gulch, the railroad build a section house and tool house on the highline from Leadville to Climax.|
Jessen, Kenneth. Ghost Towns Colorado Style Loveland, Colorado: J. V. Publications, 1999. ISBN 0-9611662-9-0. Print.
|Starting from the bottom of Birdseye Gulch, off of Hwy 91, you will cross a bridge over the East Fork of the Arkansas River and then come to an intersection, the road to the left goes to a private home. The road to the right is the Birdseye Gulch road. The road will head toward the forest across a wide flat area. This is where the town of Birds Eye use to be. At the forest edge the road will head west crossing two streams before heading up into Birdseye Gulch. The road is a two track and works its way through the forest as it climbs. You will be following Birdseye Creek in the thick forest. The road will do two short curves and then climb up to a crossing of the railroad tracks. Look for trains before crossing.
After crossing the tracks look for the old cabin remains on your left. Maybe its the old tool house? The road will continue into a more open area.
From here the road continues up Birdseye Gulch until you cross the creek. Just past the creek crossing is an intersection. The road to the left goes along the lower part of the gulch and ends after a short distance. The main road is to the right, which will do a short switchback and climb up a hill that is rocky at the top curve. This is the biggest obstacle to overcome. Past this climb you will be on a low ledge road through the forest.
As you continue through the trees on this straight stretch you will have another small rocky section to drive through. Just as you come out of the trees you will come to an area that has been restored. There is buck and rail fencing here to keep drivers on the designated route.
This is the location of the old bog that use to be the main challenge on Birdseye Gulch.
Past the old bog area the rod will bring you out into a more open area as you get closer to timberline.
The road will take you through one last section of trees before you gain timberline and start heading to the wide saddle at the head of Birdseye Gulch.
The road will continue through low shrubs and alpine foliage working its way to the saddle. On the top you will come to a large intersection. The road to your right and behind will climb up the side, and to the top, of the flat plateau east of Prospect Mountain. The road straight ahead will drop down to the Mosquito Pass road heading to the pass. The road to your right and ahead will make a sharp turn and connect with the Mosquito Pass road headed back toward Leadville.
|Data updated - December 18, 2020 4WD Road driven - September 5, 2020 Copyright 4X4Explore - 2000-2021|