|USGS 7.5' Map:||Bonanza, Klondike Mine|
|Managed by:||Rio Grande National Forest
Saguache Ranger District
|46525 State Highway 114
Saguache, CO 81149
|Summary:||Findley Gulch road runs north of Saguache, Colorado along Bonita Hill, Sheep Mountain, and Flagstff Mountain to connect over to the Bonanza area.
|Attractions:||Fall Colors, Mines|
|Agency - March 1 to May 15.
June - May still have snow in the forested areas
July - Best
August - Best
September - Best, fall colors
October - Early snows will close the upper part of the road
|Camping:||There are dispersed camp sites all along the road.|
|Base Camp:||This would be a good area to base camp and explore the roads around Bonanza and north of Saguache.|
|Fall Colors:||Very Good - Lots of aspen along Findley Gulch and Flagstaff Mountain.|
|Navigation:||From Villa Grove, CO. head northwest on US Hwy 285 N toward County Road LL56 for 0.3 miles. Turn left onto County Rd LL56 and go 7.8 miles. Turn left onto County Road HH50 and go 13.6 miles. Turn left onto County Road 46MM and then right again to stay on County Road 46MM. At the hairpin turn to right again toward the Brewery Creek Guard Station Cabin. Take the left instead of going to the cabin to start the Findley Gulch 4WD road.
From Saguache, CO head west on CO-114 W/Gunnison Ave toward 9th Street. Continue to follow CO-114 W for 2.8 miles. Turn right onto County Road 33BB and go 3.9 miles. Continue onto County Road 43BB for 1.1 miles. At the cattle guard you are entering public lands and starting the Findley Gulch 4WD road.
|History:||The Klondike mine is along the road as tailings that climb up and around a low hill.
Bonita got its post office in 1881 under the name "Bonito". In 1883 the post office was closed. Though Bonita was described as a silver mining camp, there are only a few cabin remains in the narrow meadow beside the road. Bonita may have been a ranching town.
Jessen, Kenneth. Ghost Towns Colorado Style, Vol. 3, Southern Region Loveland, Colorado: J.V. Publications, 2001. Print.
|Starting from the south end, near Saguache, the road past the cattle guard will be graded gravel. Withing a quarter of a mile you will come to the intersection with FR858 to the right, which heads up Sawlog Gulch. Continue driving on the main road. In less than a half mile you will come to another intersection with FR879 to the left, which heads into Tub Gulch. Continue on the main road. In another half mile you will come to the hill where the Klondike Mine was. It will be on the right side of the road, distinguished by its road cuts and tailing piles. Today this property has new houses being built on it. Past the Klondike Mine the road will become more of a two track and continue up the gulch. There will be large open meadows on the right with forested areas on the left.
In a small grove of aspen trees you will come to the next intersection on the left. This is the other end of FR879. The road will continue to climb through the pine forest passing through small aspen groves. The next intersection is a double left to a camp site, and a double right that is a cutoff to the Little Kerber, FR857. Further up is the actual right turn onto the Little Kerber road. North of this small meadow is Bonita Hill. Beyond these interscections you will head into the pine forest for a while. The next intersection is with FR786 to the left. The main road continues north through the forest and then drops down to cross Ford Creek. Just past this crossing in a thin meadow on the right side of the road is the site of the town of Bonita. Today there are a couple of cabin walls left.
The road will continue around a couple of short peaks through open meadows. The next intersectin on the left is with the other end of FR786. As you cross the large meadow past this intersection, Sheep Mountain will be on the left. The road will become a single lane two track and head into the forest. It will drop down to cross Tuttle Creek. Here you will come to an intersection on the left with FR880.2A, which is a mile long spur off of FR880. The main road will climb up a short gulch through the aspen forest. You will continue to climb up the gulch, then it will flatten out as you reach the site of the Twins Mine. Here there are a few remains of the mine. A few buildings remain. In this area there are a lot of spur roads. Stay with the main road that heads northeast. In a half mile you will come to a T intersection. The road on the left is FR880.2B, which heads north to a motorcycle trail head, FT764, near Antoro Peak. Take the right to continue on FR880.
The road will continue to the east as it loops around the south side of Flagstaff Mountain. After crossing a small saddle you will continue heading east along the north side of Skunk Creek. You will be in a pine forest from the saddle dropping down along the ridge above Skunk Creek. The forest will give way to aspen as you get lower. The next intersection you want to take the left to continue on FR880. You will now head north and cross Sawmill Gulch then run along a ridge before dropping down toward Brewery Gulch. At the next intersection a left will take you to the Brewery Gulch Guard Station, the right will become a graded road and head down through private property to County Road LL56. After crossing Kerber Creek a left heads to Bonanza, a right takes you to Villa Grove.
|Data updated - November 8, 2019 4WD Road driven - September 1, 2019 Copyright 4X4Explore.com - 2000-2019|