|Los Pinos Pass|
|USGS 7.5' Map:||Cold Spring Park, Rock Creek Park, Stewart Peak, Mineral Mountain, Cannibal Plateau, Slumgullion Pass|
|Managed by:||Gunnison NF, Gunnison Ranger District||216 N. Colorado, Gunnison, CO 81230||(970)641-0471|
|Summary:||Los Pinos Pass is a long connection road between Hwy 114 west of Saguache, CO. and Hwy 149 south of Lake City, CO. It follows Los Pinos Creek to Cathedral, CO. then Cebolla Creek to Lake City.|
|Attractions:||Hiking trailheads. Camping. Fishing.|
|Agency - Closed from March 1 to May 26|
June - May run into snow drifts
July - Best
August - Best
September - Best
October - Early snows may close the road
McDonough Reservoir - Day use fishing
Cebolla Day Use - Picnicing
Mineral Creek FT466 - Hiking, Equestrian, Fishing
Rough Creek FT463 - Hiking, Equestrian
Canyon Infierno FT461 - Cross Country Skiing
Calf Creek Plateau FT458 - Motorized (less than 50 in.)
Cannibal Plateau FT464 - Motorized (less than 50 in.)
|Camping:||There are dispersed camp sites along the Los Pinos Creek section. There are a few dispersed camp sites along the Cebolla Creek section, as well as the Spruce Campground, Hidden Valley Tent Campground, Deer Lakes Campground, and the decommissioned Slumgullion Campground off of Hwy149.|
|Base Camp:||This would be a good area to base camp and explore the roads and trails around the Cochetopa Dome and along the Cebolla River.|
|Fall Colors:||Average - There are aspen groves along Cochetopa Creek, with the larges on Los Pinos Pass proper.|
From Saguache, CO. head west on CO-114 W/Gunnison Ave toward 9th Street. Continue to follow CO-114 West for 41.3 miles. Turn left onto County Road NN 14 and go 3.4 miles. Turn right onto George Bush Drive and go 6.5 miles. The road will now cross onto public lands and become FR788.|
From Lake City, CO. head south on CO-149 S/Gunnison Ave. Continue to follow CO-149 South for 9.7 miles. Turn left onto County Road 5/FR788.
|History:||Los Pinos is Spanish for "the pines." The Hayden Survey crossed this 10,200 foot pass back in 1874 and Otto Mears built the Saguache and San Juan toll road over the pass the same year.
For the history of the Old Agency, or Los Pinos Indian Agency, go to Los Pinos Indian Agency
For the history of the Old Agency Ranch, across from the Old Agency, go to Old Agency Ranch.
|The Los Pinos Pass road is a long connection between Cochetopa Dome and Lake City. The road heads southwest from Cochetopa Dome and Dome Lake. As the valley narrows you will pass the Old Agency Work Center building.|
Just past the Old Agency Work Center is the McDonough Ranch on the left. The road will loop around the ranch and heads southwest. Just before entering public lands you will pass a right turn for FR806, which dead ends to the northwest. Continuing on FR788 you will enter public lands, the road will pass McDonough Reservoir #2, off to the left, which is private, and head toward McDonough Reservoir on public lands. On the right side of the road here is a grave site just up from the road. The next right turn you come to is for FR808 which heads northwest as well, but becomes FR599 and then ties back in with FR788 further southwest. Just beyond this right is a second right turn that goes to a private home. Next you will cross Los Pinos Creek. Staying with FR788 you will come to an open meadow with a main intersection to the left for FR790. This road follows Blue Creek and is part of a large network of roads to the south. Stay with FR788 to the right.
Next you will pass a few spurs to the left that go to camp sites. The next right turn off of FR788 is for a short spur, FR788.2K that goes over to Los Pinos Creek. After crossing a short gully you will come to another right turn for FR788.2A which goes over to the dam end of McDonough Reservoir. At the next right turn are a few dispersed campsites. The road to the right is FR788.2B, which goes to the south shore of McDonough Reservoir near a small inlet. FR788 will continue southwest and cross a shallow gulch which is Bull Creek, before turning northwest. The road will then come out into a large open meadow, called McDonough Park, and head southwest again. Part way into the meadow a spur road, FR788.2F will head across the meadown to the far side, then run along the trees passing a few dispersed campsited, then tie back into FR788. Another spur to the left near here heads to a dispersed campsite. FR788 will run down the meadow to where FR788.2F connects back in on the right. The meadow will narrow and you will come to a left turn, FR788.2J, that loops around a low hill to a large dispersed campsite. The road goes a short distance beyond the campsite to end in the forest. Just past this left you will cross Elk Creek and come to a second left, FR788.2I, which also goes to a few dispersed campsites before ending.
FR788 will enter a section of trees, then come out into a small open area with a dispersed campsite on the left side of the road. Just past this site you cross Killdeer Creek and come to a left turn, FR788.2E, that heads south, turns west, and then ties back into FR788. FR788 will head into a long section through a forested area. Where it comes out of the tress you will be close to Los Pinos Creek on your right. The next right you come to is FR788.3A, which goes a short distance over to Los Pinos Creek. Further along FR788 a left turn is the tie in of FR788.2E. Following FR788 you will cross Los Pinos Creek and pass a road coming in from the right. This is FR599.
As you continue on FR788 you will pass a dispersed campsite sitting above Los Pinos Creek. FR788 will continue to follow Los Pinos Creek. It will then head away from the creek as you come to Sage Park. The next intersection is with FR790 to the left. This is a larger intersection. FR788 will head up into the forest toward Horsefly Park. In the forest you will come to an intersection with a road to the right, FR821, which goes north into Horsefly park. Continue on FR788 for a short distance beyond this intersection and you will come to Los Pinos Pass. It does not have any parking area or sign, it is just the high point in the road among the aspen trees.
As you drop down from the pass you will enter into a large meadow. There are two spur roads on the left that head to the same dispersed campsite. Past these two spurs is another spur to the right, BLM3049D that goes a short distance into the forest.
FR788 will continue down past the end of the meadow where it will run along a short section of moderate ledge road to a large switchback. You will pass through a few aspen groves. At the switchback is the Devils Hole Trail, BLM3050, taking off to the right. It will cross a low ridge and then travel across an open ridge top to overlook the deep side drainage of Rock Creek called the Devils Hole.
FR788 will continue down hill across another large meadow. The next switchback is broad and brings the road back into the trees. Here you are leaving public lands, and will be on County Road 45. You will come out of the trees into another small meadow and loop around its edge to a final switchback near private property. The road will turn north here and head down to the main county road, CR52. Continue to the right following Spring Creek. The county road will come to a large intersection. This is Cathedral, CO. Take the left, CR50, and cross the bridge over Cebolla Creek. Follow CR50 for about 4 miles, passing small ranches and private homes along the valley floor along the river. After about 3.80 miles you will come to a road to the left, FR788.1G, which goes a short distance to the Mineral Creek Trailhead, FT466. Beyond FR788.1G you will pass the last of the private homes and enter into the forest, and back onto public lands. On the right, before you cross Cebolla Creek, is a small parking area. This is the Rough Creek Trailhead, FT463. After crossing the bridge the road will be bounded by the creek on the left and rock outcrops on the right. The land to the north of the creek is the Powderhorn Wilderness, to the south of the creek is the La Garita Wilderness.
About 3/4 of a mile from the bridge you will pass the small Cebolla Day Use area on the left. It is tucked into a curve in the creek. Past the picnic ground the valley will open up and Cebolla Creek will meander along the wide valley.
The road will run along the north side of the creek. You will pass a spur on the right that goes a short distance to a campsite. The valley will narrow and you will come to the Spruce Campground on the left. Beyond the campground the road will climb above the creek.
Over 3/4 of a mile the creek will rise up to be at level with the road again. At this point you will come to Cebolla Falls.
At the top of the falls is the Hidden Valley Campground on the left side of the road. FR788 will now follow closer to the creek. You will pass a small pull off on the left and then come out into another long open valley that Cebolla Creek will meander through. After about 1.5 miles from the last campground you will come to a few pulloffs on the left that are above the junction of Cebolla Creek and Brush Creek. FR788 will now turn up to follow Brush Creek. In a half mile the road will cross Brush Creek at the Canyon Infierno, FT461, trailhead and then turn west and follow Mill Creek. From here you will leave the two wilderness areas behind. The valley of Mill Creek will be shallower with forests to the south and more open hills to the north.
Where the road crosses a spur of Mill Creek you will pass the small trailhead for Calf Creek Plateau, FT458, on the right. FR788 will come out into a wide open valley. There will two homes, one on each side of the road, where there is private property in the valley. Next, on the left will be a turn for the old Brush Creek Pass road that is no longer open. Continue on FR788 for 0.4 miles where you will pass the right turn to Deer Lakes Campground, FR788.1E. Just past the Deer Lakes Campground road on the left is a spur road to a short loop of dispersed campsites. Next FR788 will loop around the side of a small pond on Mill Creek, then pass another smaller pond. The road will become wider and you will pass the Cannibal Plateau Trailhead, FT464, on the right. FR788 will continue through an area that has been logged due to pine beatle activity. There will be a spur on the left which is a closed road. Just past this spur you will enter the decommissioned Slumgullion Campground Which has had hazard beatle kill trees removed. Though decommissioned, people still camp in the old sites.
|Data updated - October 20, 2020 4WD Road driven - July 19, 2020 Copyright 4X4Explore.com - 2000-2021|