Poverty Gulch  
USGS 7.5' Map: Oh-be-Joyful
Difficulty: Number: Miles: Altitude: Obstacles: Time:
Easy 3 FR552 1.61 9,240 to 10,160 ft. NA 1-2 hours
County: Gunnison
Adopted by:      
Managed by: Gunnison National Forest, Gunnison Ranger District 216 N Colorado, Gunnison, CO 81230 970-641-0471
Summary: Poverty Gulch road is a short 4WD road that ends near a waterfall in Poverty Gulch.
Attractions: Scenery, Mining, Trailhead
Natural - Closed by heavy snows.
Best Time: June - Early, may still be drifted shut
July - Best late in the month
August - Best
September - Best
October - May have early snow
Trail Heads
Daisy Pass, FT404 - Hiking, Raggeds Wilderness access
Camping: There are three dispersed campsites along the creek.
Base Camp: This would be a good area to base camp and explore Washington Gulch, Slate River, Gunsight Pass, and Schofield Pass.
Fall Colors: Poor - There are few aspen higher up. Down near the Pittsburg town site there are more small groves of aspen.
Navigation: From Crested Butte, CO. head north on CO-135 N toward Sopris Ave for 0.1 miles. Continue onto 6th Street and go 0.3 miles. Continue onto Gothic Road and go 0.6 miles. Turn left onto County Road 734 and go 7.2 miles. Turn left onto the Poverty Gulch Road.
History: Starting in 1883 the Augusta mine and other smaller mines were discovered in Baxter Basin off of Poverty Gulch. In 1901 the Poverty Gulch area was seeing a lot of activity. The Augusta Metal Mines Company was working the Augusta Mine and had an adit of 1,900 feet completed to reach the Augusta vein. The upper workings of the mine were still producing Gold and Silver ore. An ariel tram was built to get the ore down from the Augusta Mine, but before it could be put into operation, a snowslide destroyed it.

In 1904 a group of men were working the Augusta Mine. In February 9 men started for Crested Butte on snowshoes (large skis). With two feet of fresh snow on the ground, the mine superintendent wanted the men to wait until he had set off some sticks of powder to make sure the snow would not slide, but the men were impatient and set off for Crested Butte. After getting only a short way down the mountain a huge slide caught them and killed six. The remaining three laid down on their snowshoes and rode the slide to the bottom. By 1910 the lack of good ore and the battle with snowslides ended the mining around Poverty Gulch.

Wolle, Muriel Sibell, Stampede to Timberline Chicago, Illinois: Sage Books, 1949. Pring.
Lee, Harry A. Report of the State Bureau of Mines, 1901-2 Denver, Colorado, 1902. Print.
Ludington, Steve and Ellis, Clarance E. Mineral Resource Potential of the Oh-Be-Joyful Wilderness Study Area Department of the Interior, USGS. Print.
Just bellow the small town of Pittsburg along the Slate River, the Poverty Gulch 4WD road crossed the river and pass a few private properties. Just past these homes you will enter publics lands. The road will become a less maintained two track as it follows the creek up Poverty Gulch.

At an intersection near the creek the road to the left will be blocked. The road to the right will continue up a few switchbacks before ending. At the intersection is a pull off, parking area for the Daisy Pass hiking trail that heads up Baxter Basin.

If you walk up the old road further you will come to an old washed out crossing that may still have a snow drift cut by the creek where the road use to be.
Snow field cut by creek

photo by:
Adam M

Above the washed out crossing is a nice waterfall.
Waterfall at the end of the Poverty Gulch Road

photo by:
Adam M

Data updated - December 22, 2018      4WD Road driven - August 12, 1999      Copyright 4X4Explore.com - 2000-2018