Chimney Gulch  
Maps:    
USGS 7.5' Map: Saguache Park
Statistics:
Difficulty: Number: Miles: Altitude: Obstacles: Time:
Easy 2 FR743 2.81 9,860 to 10,300 ft. NA 1 hour
County: Saguache
Adopted by:      
Managed by: Rio Grande National Forest
Saguache Ranger District
46525 State Highway 114
Saguache, CO 81149
(719)655-2547
Summary: Chimney Gulch runs along a ridge in Saguache Park that has interesting rock formations, including Chimney Rock.
Attractions: Geologic features
Seasonal
Closure:
Agency - Closed March 15 to May 15.
Best Time: June - Best
July - Best
August - Best
September - Best
October - Early snows may close the higher sections
Trail Heads
Accessed:
None
Camping: There are no dispersed camp sites along the Chimney Gulch road.
Base Camp: This would be a good area to base camp and explore the roads around Saguache Park.
Fall Colors: Average - There are a few aspen mixed in with the pine forest.
Navigation: From Gunnison, CO. head east on US-50 E/E Tomichi Ave toward N Iowa Street. Continue to follow US-50 E for 8.1 miles. Turn right onto CO-114 E and go 25.9 miles. Turn right onto County Rd 17 GG and go 5.3 miles. Turn left onto County Rd NN 14 and go 1.1 miles. Turn right onto County Rd 17FF and go 11.9 miles. Turn right onto a side road. This is the Chimney Gulch road.

From Saguache, CO head west on CO-114 W/Gunnison Ave toward 9th Street. Continue to follow CO-114 W for 35.7 miles. Turn left onto County Rd 17 GG and go 5.3 miles. Turn left onto County Rd NN 14 and go 1.1 miles. Turn right onto County Rd 17FF and go 11.9 miles. Turn right onto a side road. This is the Chimney Gulch road.
History:  
Description:
The Chimney Gulch road starts off of the Saguache Park, FR787, road where it climbs up a ridge to the west onto an open meadow. The two track road will head toward the pine forest and turn northwest near the base of Chimney Rock. There is a short spur road to the left that will take you closer to the base.

Chimney Rock

photo by:
Adam M

From Chimney Rock, the road will follow a fence line along the ridge above Chimney Rock Gulch, with an open meadow on the right and forest on the left. You will pass a road going off to the left that is not a legal route. As you reach the higher point on the ridge you will enter the forest and immediatly come to an interseting geologic area. On you left will be a large eroded area with deep cuts exposing a light gray ash looking material with rocks and wood chunks in it.

Geologic area

photo by:
Adam M


Geologic area close up

photo by:
Adam M

This is probably the remains of an exposed, long past, volcanic event. It is an interesting feature in the surrounding landscape. The road will continue to follow the fence line as a two track making a left turn then turning back northwest again.

Road in the distance, past the Geologic area

photo by:
Adam M

The road will continue along the ridge and pass through the fence line. From here you will continue to climb to a high point of the ridge.

Looking back at the Geologic area

photo by:
Adam M


Road along fence with Geologic area in the distance

photo by:
Adam M

The road will head down a bit to cross the head of a side gulch, then climb back up to the top of the small saddle. You will have a short steep section just before the top.

Road crossing the side gulches

photo by:
Adam M

On the other side you will again head down into an open gulch and head toward some rock outcrops.

Vehicles coming down from rock outcrop

photo by:
Adam M

The road will climb up into the rock outcrops and turn southwest to run along the top.

From the top of the rock outcrop

photo by:
Adam M

The road will head down hill into another short gulch. At the bottom the road will connect to the Chimney, FR777, road.
Data updated - December 4, 2019     4WD Road driven - September 2, 2019     Copyright 4X4Explore.com - 2000-2020