Four Mile Creek  
USGS 7.5' Map: Fairplay West and Mount Sherman
Difficulty: Number: Miles: Altitude: Obstacles: Time:
Easy - Graded CR 18 11.50 12,600 ft. NA 2-3 hours
County: Park
Adopted by:      
Managed by: Park County 501 Main Street, Fairplay, CO 80440 719-836-2771
Summary: Four Mile Creek road is a graded county road to the historic Horseshoe Basin mining area near Fairplay. Leavick and Eureka were once towns here.
Attractions: Mining History
Natural - Closed by heavy snow. The upper section is not plowed by the county.
Best Time: June - Best
July - Best
August - Best
September - Best
October - Best
Trail Heads
FT691 - Motorcycle only
FT740 - Motorcycle only
FT689 - Motorcycle only
FT660 - Motorcycle only
Camping: There are two Forest Service campgrounds, Fourmile and Horseshoe, as well as some dispersed campsites near where FR178 and FR18.2A connect in.
Base Camp: This would be a good place to base camp and explore the other 4WD roads and motorcycle trails in the area.
Fall Colors:
Navigation: From Fairplay, CO. head southeast on Main Street toward 5th Street for 0.5 miles. Turn right onto CO-9 S/US-285 S and go 1.3 miles. Turn right onto Four Mile Creek Rd County Rd 18.
History: J.H.B. McFerran filed a plat for East Leadville in May of 1879 to be build in Horseshoe Gulch. There is confusion as to the possible location of East Leadville. Some believe it is along Fourmile Creek while others belive it was up on the ridge above Fourmile Creek below Mount Sheridan where the town of Eureka was located.

McFerran was the supervisor, or owner, of the Last Chance Mine on Mount Sheridan. He also owned a smelter in Fourmile Gulch. McFerran's smelter was the South Park Smelting and Reduction Works and it was listed in the 1879 business directory at Eureka. The smelter employed 40 men and could handle about 10 tons of ore a day. By 1881, the town site of Horseshoe had over taken the East Leadville venture. In 1884 Horseshoe was platted and incorporated.

Felix Leavick bought the Hilltop Mine in 1892 and started this town in 1893 that bears his name. Four years later, the Denver, South Park and Hilltop Railroad laid tracks to the mill that anchored the town which only had one street. Along that street, a store, post office, cookhouse, school and a few cabins clustered. The Hilltop Mine operated off and on until about 1920, but the shutdown of the railroad in 1923 ended the town of Leavick.

Jessen, Kenneth Ghost Towns Colorado Style, Volumn 1, 1st ed. Loveland, Colorado: J.V. Publications, 1998. Print.
Just south of Fairplay county road 18 heads west toward Four Mile Creek. The county road follows the old Denver, South Park and Hilltop Railroad line up Fourmile Creek to the old town site of Leavick where lode mining took place in South Park. You will pass through an open area with private property along the county road. After about three miles you will come to the Pike San Isabel National forest boundary. The road will head to the north side of Four Mile Creek and turn northwest to follow the creek up its shallow canyon.

The county road is a wide two lane graded gravel road. It follows Four Mile Creek toward the mountains passing a few side roads. One of the main crossings is about 3.5 miles from the forest boundary where McFerran, FR178, connects. There is a wide parking area to the north side of the intersection and lots of dispersed camping in the general area. McFerran takes off to the south of Four Mile Creek road and crosses the creek. You will find dispersed campsites on both sides of the creek as this is also one of the trail heads for FT660. A half mile further along Four Mile Creek road is the Horseshoe Campground, a Forest Service campground. As you follow the county road you will come to the Fourmile Camground, another Forest Service Campground, about a mile from the Horseshoe Campground.

The county road will now head southwest and it will pass a bunch of private drives to private homes. At just over two miles from the Fourmile Campground you will come to the remains of the Hill Top Mine Mill. This large building sits along a broad curve in the road. Be aware that there are still a few private homes in the area.
Leavick Hill Top Mine

photo by:
Adam M

Hill Top Mine - history

photo by:
Adam M

(I have not been past the Mill on this road). The county road will continue about 1.75 miles to the Four Mile Creek Trail Head.
Data updated - March 25, 2017      4WD Road driven - August 30, 2014      Copyright - 2000-2017