Hurricane Basin  
Maps:        
USGS 7.5' Map: Handies Peak
Statistics:
Difficulty: Number: Miles: Altitude: Obstacles: Time:
Easy 2 BLM 3304
CR 21
2.30 11,150 to 12,380 ft. None 1-2 hours
County: Hinsdale
Adopted by:      
Managed by: BLM, Gunnison Field Office

Hinsdale County
650 South 11th Street, Gunnison, CO 81230

311 N. Henson Street, Lake City, CO 81235
970-642-4940

970-944-2225
Summary: Hurricane Basin 4WD road heads up Schafer Gulch off of the Engineer Pass, FR878/Cnty20 4WD road to the Golconda boarding house and black smith's shop in Hurricane Basin.
Attractions: History, Mining, Scenery
Seasonal
Closure:
Natural, closed by heavy snows
Best Time: June- Early, upper part may still be snowed in
July - Late, most of the snow melted
August - Best
September - Best
October - Early snows can close the road
Trail Heads
Accessed:
 
Camping: There are a few dispersed camp sites, one at the start and another about half way up the road.
Base Camp: This would not be a good area to base camp. It is a long distance to Lake City and there are few other 4WD roads in the area.
Fall Colors: Poor - The area is mainly pine forest.
Navigation: From Lake City, CO. head southwest on Gunnison Ave toward 7th Street for 0.5 miles. Turn right onto 2nd Street and go 0.1 miles. Turn left onto N Bluff Street and go 449 ft. Take a slight right onto County Road 20 and go 9.0 miles. Turn left to stay on County Road 20 and go 0.6 miles. Take a slight right to stay on County Road 20 and go 4.7 miles. Continue straight onto County Road 20X and go 0.8 miles. Turn left onto County Road 21 and then cross Henson Creek. This is the Hurricane Basin road.

From Ouray, CO. head south on US-550 S for 3.9 miles. Turn left onto County Road 18 (the Engineer Pass road, FR878. This road is not suitable for 2WD and some stock 4WD vehicles.) and go 4.3 miles. Continue onto County Road 17 and go 2.7 miles. Turn left onto County Road 2 and go 0.8 miles. Turn left to stay on County Road 2 and go 1.5 miles. Turn right onto County Road 20 and go 2.8 miles. Take a slight right onto County Road 21 and go 0.2 miles. Take a sharp right to stay on County Road 21 and then cross Henson Creek. This is the Hurricane Basin road.

From Silverton, CO. head northeast on Greene Street toward W 12th Street for 0.4 miles. Turn right onto County Road 2 and go 7.7 miles. Turn left onto Animas Forks Road and go 0.4 miles. Take a slight left onto County Road 2 and go 5.9 miles. Stay to the right to stay on County Road 2 and go 0.8 miles. Turn left to stay on County Road 2 and go 1.5 miles. Turn right onto County Road 20 and go 2.8 miles. Take a slight right onto County Road 21 and go 0.2 miles. Take a sharp right to stay on County Road 21 and then cross Henson Creek. This is the Hurricane Basin road.

History: The original Golconda Mine, named after a region in India that produced some of the worlds most precious gems, including the Hipe diamond, was destroyed in a massive avalance in the upper sections of Horshoe Basin in 1919. A new surface plant and boarding house were build at the new lower portal of the mine in 1920 to continue production of gold, silver, lead, zinc and copper found in the mine.

The new boarding house was constructed using a lap joint, which is an uncommon form of log building construction. Because the building was built as a main 50' long section and an addition adding 50' more, 25' logs were used creating a lap joint in the center of each section as well as at the connecting point of the main building and the addition. The second story of the bunkhouse is where the miners would sleep while meals were served on the first floor. The boarding house could accommodate up to 100 miners.
Description:
Hurricane Basin road starts off of the Engineer Pass road, FR878, where Schafer Gulch drops into Henson Creek. You will cross Henson Creek and then drive through a small rock talus area before starting up the Schafer Creek gulch.
Start of road up Schafer Creek Gulch

photo by:
Adam M

The road will do a few switch backs as it climbs to the side of the valley. You will come to an intersection to the left that goes to a house. Continue on the main road to the right. The road will have a few rough sectins but there are no obstacles to navigate.
One of the water falls

photo by:
Adam M

Further up the valley there will be some medium sized waterfalls way below the road at the valley floor. As you get to the head of the valley there will be a larger water fall that can be walked to from a switch back. This section is a ledge road as you are now above timberline.

After this last switch back the road will conintue up the valley heading toward Wood Mountain (13,640 ft.) and Gravel Mountain (13,577 ft.). Just as you are running out of road, the restored boarding house will become visible up to the left.
Golconda boarding house

photo by:
Adam M

At the intersection take the left to go up and park at the boarding house and the black smith building. There are interpretive signs at both locations to explain the history of the buildings. The road straight ahead will go up a short distance to the tailings of a mine.
Boarding House sign   photo by: Adam M

Remains

photo by:
Adam M

Blacksmith shop

photo by:
Adam M

Blacksmith shop sign   photo by: Adam M

Drill bit press

photo by:
Adam M

Steam piston

photo by:
Adam M

Electric motor

photo by:
Adam M

Heading back down Schafer Creek Gulch

photo by:
Adam M


Data updated - December 20, 2015       4WD Road driven - August 10, 2015       Copyright 4X4Explore.com - 2000-2016