|USGS 7.5' Map:||Central City, Idaho Springs|
|Managed by:||Clear Creek County||405 Argentine St., P.O. Box 2000
Georgetown, CO 80444
|Summary:||Trail Creek is a graded gravel road that runs from west of Idaho Springs southwest to the remains of the Lamartine Tunnel. A side road connects with the South Spring Gulch road.|
|Lower section plowed by the county|
June - Best
July - Best
August - Best
September - Best
|Camping:||No dispersed camping along the road.|
|Base Camp:||No dispersed camping along the road.|
|Fall Colors:||Great - There are many stands of aspen all along the Trail Creek road.
|Navigation:||From Idaho Springs, CO head west on Colorado Blvd toward Placer Street for 1.0 mile. Take a slight left onto Stanley Road and pass under I-70. Continue on the Stanley Road for 1.0 mile. Turn left onto County Rd 136, the Trail Creek Road.|
|History:||The road up Trail Creek was access to the mines in the gulch that soon formed the town of Freeland. The Freeland lode discovered in 1877 was rich in silver. Other ore found in the area included Gold and Copper. By 1878 thirty four homes had been built as well as stores, a blacksmith shop, and post office. By 1879 there was a public school with 21 students. Other mines in the area were the New Era, Bell of the West, and the Lamartine Mine. The Freeland Mine and the Lone Tree Mine were the better producers. Down in town, the Bullion smelter, built in 1884, was kept busy processing the ore. It employed about twenty-five men and smelted 6000 tons of ore. By the early 1800's the town had over 400 residents. But the ore did not last. By 1901 the ore was declining and the town along with it. The post office closed in 1908.
Jessen, Kenneth Ghost Towns Colorado Style, Volumn 1, 1st ed. Loveland, Colorado: J.V. Publications, 1998. Print.
Brown, Robert L. Ghost Towns of the Colorado Rockies Caldwell, Idaho: Caxton Printers Ltd., 1990. Print.
Wolle, Muriel Sibell Stampede to Timberline Athens, Ohio: Swallow Press / Ohio UniversityPress, 1949. Print.
|Trail Creek begins off of the frontage road out of Idaho Springs just past the Stanley Mine complex. The road is graded, but climbs steeply following Trail Creek. In less than a mile you will come to the Phoenix Gold Mine, which offers mine tours. As you continue up Trail Creek you will pass private residences as well as some old mine tailings.
You will come to an open area with some large tailings to the south of the road. The large intersection is with the Miners Candle Road which goes to the right up hill to private homes. Following the Trail Creek road you will quickly come to another intersection with the South Spring Gulch road, Cnty130, to the left and the Sunny Skies Trail road to the right, which goes to private homes as well.
Trail Creek will continue to follow the creek further into the mountains. You will pass a few more private homes before coming to a turn in the road that crosses Trail Creek. From here the road changes to a less maintained single lane road from the graded road it has been. You will come to the remains of the Lamartine Tunnel operations. There are many old buildings, foundations, and old steam equipement in the area. Opposite the buildings is a large tailing pile from the mining that took place.
The road will loop around behind the buildings and do a switchback as it heads toward the South Spring Gulch road.
You will head south through the forest for over a mile until you connect with the South Spring Gulch Road, Cnty130. A left at this intersection will take you back to Idaho Springs.
|Data updated - December 16, 2017 4WD Road driven - June 24, 2010 Copyright 4X4Explore.com - 2000-2018|