Homestead  
Maps:        
USGS 7.5' Map: Sawtooth Mountain, Cold Spring Park
Statistics:
Difficulty: Number: Miles: Altitude: Obstacles: Time:
Easy 2 FR854 8.36 9,480 to 10,200 ft. NA 3-4 hours
County: Gunnison
Adopted by:      
Managed by: Gunnison NF, Gunnison Ranger District 216 N. Colorado, Gunnison, CO 81230 (970)641-0471
Summary: Homestead road
Attractions:  
Seasonal
Closure:
Natural - Closed by heavy snows
Best Time: June - May run into snow drifts
July - Best
August - Best
September - Best
October - Early snows may close the road
Trail Heads  
Camping: There are dispersed camp sites from the center to the southern end of the road.
Base Camp: This would be a good area to base camp and explore the roads around the Cochetopa Dome.
Fall Colors: Average - There are aspen grove at the southern end of the road.
Navigation: From Saguache, CO. head west on CO-114 W/Gunnison Ave toward 9th Street. Continue to follow CO-114 W for 41.4 miles. Turn left onto County Rd NN 14 and go 3.4 miles. Turn right onto George Bush Drive and go 3.7 miles. Turn right onto a gravel road and pass over a cattle guard. (You will need to drive the north part of the BLM Homestead Road to get to the Homestead Forest Service road south end.) Follow this road 3.25 miles to a fence line where you will enter Forest Service lands. This is now the Homestead road.

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 17.5 miles. Turn right onto a gravel road just before a bridge that crosses Cochetopa Creek. This road will become a two track and climb up a steep hill. Follow this road for 2.68 miles. (You will need to drive the main east-west part of the Mercury Mine road to get to the Homestead Forest Service road north end.)
History:  
Description:
The Forest Service Homestead route lies between two BLM roads, the Mercury Mine road, and the Homestead Road. Starting from the north end where the Mercury Mine road ends, you will pass through a gate to start the Forest Service Homestead road. The road will be a two track that comes to an intersection in a quarter mile. The road straight ahead is FR854.2A, which is a spur road that ends in a half mile. Turn down hill to the left.
Homestead road north end

photo by:
Adam M

The road will drop to the bottom of the valley and cross the upper end of Alkali Creek, then climb up and around a hill crossing the upper end of the southern branch of Alkali Creek. After crossing the creek bed the road will come to an intersection. Turn right and head into the aspens. The road going left will head back to private property. As you enter into the aspens the road will get steep as it climbs up to the top of a long hill. You will come out into a small open meadow. The road will cross over the hill as the aspen change over to pine and then head down into Homestead Gulch.
Road down into Homestead Gulch

photo by:
Adam M

After crossing the gulch you will come to another intersection. The left will go to a fence that is private property. Take the right and head up the gulch. You will come out into an open area and the road will climb up onto the the hill to the south of Homestead Gulch. The road drop down to the other side of the hill and head up Townsite Gulch.
Road up Townsite Gulch

photo by:
Adam M

The road will continue up Townsite Gulch skirting the aspens. You will come to another intersection where the right turn off the main road will go to a camp site in the aspens. Stay with the main road. You will get closer to the gulch bottom and then cross to the other side. Here the aspen will give way to pine trees. There will be another intersection with the right going to another camp site in the pines. Staying with the main road you will climb up the south side of the gulch and head into the pine forest. When you come back out into an open area you will be crossing the upper part of Willow Creek. The road will head into the pines again and climb up and over the south side of Willow Creek gulch. You will come out into another opening, then head into the forest again, and very shortly come back you into and open meadow. Here there is another camp site to the right of the main road. The road will head to the southeast as it starts down Dry Gulch. the road will stay along the bottom of the gulch passing through aspen groves. At one point you will pass a large rock outcrop.
Rock outcrop in Dry Gulch

photo by:
Adam M

Just over a half mile from this outcrop you will come to a fence. This is the end of the Homestead road and the start of the BLM Homestead Road.

Data updated - November 25, 2019       4WD Road driven - September 1, 2019       Copyright 4X4Explore.com - 2000-2019