Miller Rock
Maps:     
USGS 7.5' Map: Raymond
Statistics:
Difficulty: Number: Miles: Altitude: Obstacles: Time:
Moderate 7 FR252, 254, 523 11.74 8,600 ft. Rock - 3
River - 1
4-5 hours
County: Boulder
Adopted by: Trailridge Runners 4WD Club P.O. Box 1716, Longmont, CO 80502  
Managed by: Roosevelt National Forest,
Boulder Ranger District
2140 Yarmouth Ave.
Boulder, CO 80301
(303)541-2500
Summary: Miller Rock 4WD road climbs to the top of a ridge and connects with three spurs. One drops to the other side and crosses South St. Vrain Creek, one goes east to an old sawmill site, the other goes west to Miller Rock. There is one obstalce on the climb to the top of the ridge, one on the way down to the South St. Vrain Creek and one at the base of Miller Rock.
Attractions: Rock obstcles, Water crossing, Scenic views
Seasonal
Closure:
Natural - Closed by heavy snows.
Best Time: May - Early season use when other routes are still seasonally closed.
May-September - Best.
October - Late season use before heavy snows.
Trail Heads
Accessed:
The Ceran St. Vrain non-motorized trail connects with FR252 from its trailhead parking area off of County Road 94.
Camping: There are dispersed camp sites at the top of the ridge, on the other side of the South St. Vrain Creek, and at the base of Miller Rock.
Base Camp: Miller Rock would not be a good place to base camp. Access is not easy. There is only one way into the Miller Rock area and it does not connect with any other 4WD roads.
Fall Colors: Poor - The forest around Miller Rock is mainly pine.
Navigation: From Lyons, CO head south on 5th Ave for 0.5 miles. Continue onto South St Vrain Drive/Hwy 7 for 12.9 miles. Turn left onto Co Rd 103 N and go 0.6 miles to the Riverside Store. Take a left onto Riverside Drive and go 0.2 miles to a drive way to the right that immediately 'Y's to a house on the left and another on the right. Take the driveway on the left passing by the the home which has a rock wall along the road. DO NOT STOP ALONG THIS SECTION OF THE ROAD, RESPECT THE PRIVATE PROPERTY OWNERS WHOS LAND YOU ARE CROSSING. Follow the road around the house to the backyard and continue along side a small creek following the two track road through the brush. Once you get to the first turn and head away from the creek you are entering public lands and starting the climb up the ridge toward Miller Rock.
History: The one activity that took place on the ridge was to the east of the intersection at the top toward the Headache area. There was once a sawmill in a flat area that supplied timber for the surrounding towns. Today there are some building remains and the sawdust piles that have flattened out. Past the sawmill the road use to continue to the east and cross the Middle St. Vrain, then climb back up and over a ridge to the old town of Balarat. There is no access to Balarat anymore due to private property issues.
Description:
The entrance to the Miller Rock 4WD road, FR 252.1, is difficult to find because it is a private property driveway that passes a house and garage and continues along a small creek in order to access public lands. Once you enter public lands the road becomes a shelf road and climbs up a ridge. Close to the top you will encounter a rock ledge/step in a small chute that will offer you some challenge. Past this obstacle continue up along a narrow shelf road that tips you out away from the ridge, then around the head of the gulch to the flat top of the ridge.
Ray & Wanda C

photo by:
Adam Mehlberg

From here you will head south to the main intersection. Just before you reach the main intersection there is a short bypass for the road that goes to Miller Rock. It has a rocky section to climb. At the main intersection, to the right (west) is the road to Miller Rock, FR 252.1A. It climbs a low hill and works through the trees to an eroded gulch just below Miller Rock. On the southwest side of Miller Rock are some dispersed campsites. There are also two rough hiking trails through the rocks to the top of Miller Rock where you can get great views of the Continental Divide.
photo by:
Karla H

Beyond Miller Rock the road continues as an easy two track heading west until you reach private property.

Back at the intersection, the branch that goes straight ahead (south), FR 252.1 drops down the other side of the ridge toward the South St. Vrain Creek. There is a rocky section along a spring that ends up running down the road for a short distance. It flows more in the spring. Further down you will encouter more underbrush that squeezes the road as you cross over to the other side of the gulch your following. The road is one lane and tips away from the side of the gulch. Keep and eye out for oncoming traffic. As the road widens a bit and comes out of the trees you will encouter some large boulders and drop offs just before the main rock outcropping at a curve in the road.
Adam Mehlberg

Main Obstacle

photo by:
Karla H


Bill B

Main Obstacle, coming up

photo by:
Adam Mehlberg

You will drop off of the rock outcrop and have to navigate another ledge road down to the South St. Vrain. After crossing the creek there is a meadow where you can camp next to the river.
Larry M

photo by:
Karla H

In the Spring the South St. Vrain creek can run very high. The crossing has a hard bottom. The road continues up toward the Skydale Community but there is no access to the highway and you will have to return back down to the South St. Vrain. This section of road is very washed out and unsafe. If you camp at the meadow please pack out everything you bring in and practice minimal impact. Further down the creek from the meadow is a nice swimming hole if you can handle the cold water.
Swim Hole

photo by:
Karla H


Again, back at the main intersection the left (east) brach, FR 523.1, heads along the top of the ridge through meadows and stands of pine. At a left turn there is a short spur road, FR 523.1B, that goes to a few good camp spots and some over looks of the Middle St. Vrain river. Further along FR 523.1 there will be a sharp right turn off of FR 523.1 onto FR 523.1C which continues east to the site of the old sawmill. FR 523.1 will dead end at private property. After crossing a few meadows and dropping down into a gulch and then climbing back up you will come to the intersection with FR 523.1D. Take this short spur road to the small saddle that has the foundations and old sawdust piles where the sawmill once operated. Just beyond the intersection with FR 523.1D, FR 523.1C will end and you will have to return the way you came.
Data updated: November 25, 2013      4WD Road driven: July 20, 2013      Copyright 4X4Explore.com - 2000-2014