Lamartine  
Maps:    
USGS 7.5' Map: Idaho Springs, Georgetown
Statistics:
Difficulty: Number: Miles: Altitude: Obstacles: Time:
Easy 2 FR712 8.24 10,500 to 11,160 ft. NA 1-2 hours
County: Clear Creek
Adopted by:      
Managed by: Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forest,
Clear Creek Ranger District
101 Chicago Creek Road
Idaho Springs, CO 80452
303-567-3000
Summary: Lamartine is a network of roads on a ridge above Trail Creek and Ute Creek. At the top of the ridge was once the town of Lamartine.
Attractions: Historic town site and mines.
Seasonal
Closure:
Natural - Closed by heavy snows.
Best Time: June - May still be snowed in
July - Best
August - Best
September - Best
October - Possible early snows
Trail Heads
Accessed:
 
Camping: There are a few dispersed camp sites near the Lamartine site, and up near the Spring Creek intersection.
Base Camp: This would be a good area to base camp to explore the 4WD roads around Saxon Mountain.
Fall Colors: Average - Most of the aspen are along the lower section
Navigation: From Idaho Springs, head south on 13th Ave toward Center Alley for 0.1 miles. Continue onto CO-103 South for 0.5 miles. Turn right onto South Spring Gulch Road and go 4.1 miles. Continue straight onto Lamartine Road and go 0.6 miles. Turn left onto Forest Road 712 and go 0.4 miles. Continuing you will enter public lands and start the Lamartine Road.
History: The town of Lamartine once sat on a sloping meadow below a high ridge between Saxon Mountain to the west and Alps Mountain to the east. Mining in the area began in 1887 with silver and some gold being the main ore mined. Two years later in 1889 the town got a post office. It is estimated that less than 500 once populated the area. In a historic photo from the 1900s the town had 18 cabins.

By the 1940's when Muriel Sibell Wolle visited the area, only 12 cabins still remained. Later in the 1970's when she returned little remained. Today only cabin foundations can be found stair stepping down the sloping meadow.

Lamartine is at a cross roads. From the east Trail Creek road passes the Lamartine mine remains a mile below the Lamartine town site, then climbs a narrow road to the meadow. Also from the east County Road 130 follows South Spring Creek to the Lamartine site. From the west you can come over Saxon Mountain from Georgetown. And from the south, Ute Creek climbs up from the bottom of the meadow to the town site.

Jessen, Kenneth Ghost Towns Colorado Style, Volumn 1, 1st ed. Loveland, Colorado: J.V. Publications, 1998. Print.
Description:
After driving up County Road 130 you will come to a large area of tailing on the right side of the road. This is the mine to the north of the townsite of Lamartine. Below the tailing piles you will find the remains of some of the mining equipment.

Mine north of Lamartine

photo by:
Adam M

Just past the mine you will come to a large open area with a road to the left. This is FR712.2A which is the top of the Ute Creek road. In the open meadow just to the right of this road is the townsite of Lamartine. Not much remains except a few cabine foundations.

From the intersection you will continue west following FR712, the Lamartine road, into the forest. It will narrow to a wide single lane road with some turnouts.

Lower section of road

photo by:
Adam M

After about eight tenths of a mile you will come to an intersection with FR712.2F on the right, which climbs up a steep hill section to tie back into FR712. Continuing past this intersection you will come to another intersection. This left turn is the Molly Bawn, FR712.2B, road. Continue to the right to stay on FR712. You will quickly come to a swtichback that will begine your climb up the ridge. The road will now become more rocky and loose as you make your ascent. You will drive two more switchbacks before coming to a tight intersection in the trees. This is where FR712.2F reconnects. It is also where FR712.2G heads northeast to end (legally) in about 0.3 miles at some prospect holes. (The road does continue and head back to connect with FR712, though it is not shown as a legal route on the Clear Creek Ranger District map.) From the tight intersection turn left and follow the switchback to stay on FR712.

In a quarter mile you will come to another intersection with FR712.2I contnuing left, or straight ahead. This road goes about a half mile. Take the right to stay on FR712 and drive around a switchback. There are three more switchbacks as you climb further up the ridge. The forest will start to open up along this upper section.

Upper section of road

photo by:
Adam M

The next intersection you come to will be with the non-legal connection to FR712.2G on your right. Stay to the left and head west. In a quarter mile you will come to another intersection. The road coming into FR712 on the right is the Spring Creek, FR712.2J, road. This is a difficult 4WD road. Stay to the left, or straight ahead to continue on the Lamartine road. As the road heads down you will come into an opening with great views off to your right.

View near Spring Creek road

photo by:
Adam M


Road below Spring Creek road

photo by:
Adam M

A half mile past the meadow you will come to another intersection. The road on your left is the connection over to Cascade Creek, FR710. Stay to the right, or straight ahead.

Section going over to Cascade Creek

photo by:
Adam M

The Lamartine road will continue up an incline and T into the Saxon Mountain road.
Data updated - August 10, 2019      4WD Road driven - July 6, 2019      Copyright 4X4Explore.com - 2000-2019