Saguache Park  
Maps:    
USGS 7.5' Map: Cochetopa Park, Saguache Park, Mesa Mountain
Statistics:
Difficulty: Number: Miles: Altitude: Obstacles: Time:
Graded FR787, CR17FF 23.85 9,350 to 10,650 ft. NA 2-3 hours
County: Saguache
Adopted by:      
Managed by: Rio Grande NF Saguache Ranger District

Gunnison NF, Gunnison Ranger District
46525 State Highway 114
Saguache, CO 81149
216 N. Colorado
Gunnison, CO 81230
(719)655-2547

(970)641-0471
Summary: Saguache Park is a graded road that crosses over South Pass, passes Stone Cellar campground, ending at the Sky City Mine property just beyond a La Garita Wilderness trail head.
Attractions: Pass, Trailhead, Campground, Fishing
Seasonal
Closure:
Gunnison side, Agency - Closed Feb 28 to May 26.
Saguache side, Agency - Closed Mar 15 to May 15.
Best Time: June - May still have snow in the forested areas
July - Best
August - Best
September - Best, fall colors
October - Early snows will close the upper part of the road
Trail Heads
Accessed:
Unknown Creek Trail, FT866 - Hiking
South Fork Saguache Creek Trail, FT781 - Hiking
Whale Creek Trail, FT780 - Hiking
Halfmoon Pass Trail, FT912 - Hiking
Camping: There are dispersed sites at the north end, and at South Pass, as well as the Forest Service managed Stone Cellar campground.
Base Camp: This would be a good area to base camp and explore the roads around Saguache Park.
Fall Colors: Poor - Most of the forested area is pine.
Navigation: From Gunnison, CO. head east on US-50 E/E Tomichi Ave toward N Iowa Street. Continue to follow US-50 E for 8.1 miles. Turn right onto CO-114 E and go 20.2 miles. Turn right onto County Road NN 14 and go 9.4 miles. Turn right onto County Road 17FF and go 2.2 miles. You will cross a fence and enter public lands. This is the north end of the Saguache Park road.

From Saguache, CO head west on CO-114 W/Gunnison Ave toward 9th Street. Continue to follow CO-114 W for 35.6 miles. Turn left onto County Road 17 GG and go 5.3 miles. Turn left onto County Road NN 14 and go 1.1 miles. Turn right onto County Road 17FF and go 2.2 miles. You will cross a fence and enter public lands. This is the north end of the Saguache Park road.
History:  
Description:
Where you cross onto public lands the road is a graded gravel road. It will pass a few dispersed campsites in this lower open area. At the start of the road the Continental Divide Trail and Colorado Trail will connect in with the road from the left. This is also FR787.2A connecting in just past the fence on the left, which heads east toward FR864. You will cross Monchego Creek and come to a right turn off the main road that goes to private homes. Staying on the main road you will come to two roads on the left. These roads connect and are FR787.2B, which heads south to Monchego Park and FR864. The main road will continue over a rise through a small pine forested area and then cross Joe Gulch. On the left there are a few dispersed camp sites, and on the right will be another spur road, FR787.2D, which heads west over to Van Tassel, FR597. Within a short distance on FR787.2D you will come to an intersection. Stay to the right with a sign that is FR787.2J. The left is the Colorado Trail and Continental Divide Trail route. If you follow FR787.2D it will go through a few open areas and small forested areas before coming to a fence.

FR787.2D looking to the west

photo by:
Adam M

Past this fence the road is BLM 3088A, which heads southwest. Where it turns back to the west it becomes FR787.2D again. You will come to an intersection where you will stay to the right and drop down to cross Quemado Creek. Just as you cross the creek is another intersection. The road to the right going north is another BLM road. Staying straight here you will Now be on Van Tassel, FR597.

Back at the main graded road, continue south into the forest. The road will climb up along Mexican Joe Gulch passing through some open meadows. The road will move closer to the creek, staying along the sides of open meadows. After passing a few spurs that go to campsites you will come to a left turn off the main road heading northeast, which is FR864. About three quarters of a mile further along the Saguache Park road you will come to an intersection on the right at a little pull off area. This is the east end of the Van Tassel, FR597, road. Stay on the main road as it crosses to the other side of Mexican Joe Gulch. You will head up to the head of one of the side drainages of Mexican Joe Gulch driving through a long open meadow. The road will enter the forest and do a switchback before coming out at the top of South Pass with Saguache Park opening up to the south. There is a Forest Service restroom and large parking area next to the old Salt House cabin.

To the left and right, from the pass area, are roads that go to a lot of dispersed campsites. These are tucked in along the trees with views out into Saguache Park. The road will head out across the park to the south coming to an intersection in a quarter of a mile. The road to the right is Horse Canyon, FR745. Continue on the Saguache Park road as it heads south down the wide Horse Canyon. In a mile and a quarter you will come to an intersection with FR787.3A to your right. This spur road heads west and connects with FR745. After another mile you will come to a right hand intersection with Four Mile, FR740, heading northeast. Go another mile on the Saguache Park road and the intersection to your right is the Chimney Gulch, FR743, road. Chimey Rock is up over the ridge to your west. Another half mile along the main road will come to a left intersection with FR787.3F, another spur road that heads east to the forest. Another half mile will bring you to a small loop pull off above Stone Cellar campground. Below this pull off is the Stone Cellar Campground and the Stone Cellar Guard Station. The Guard Station is rentable from mid May to late November. It sits in a meadow beside Saguache Creek making a good place for fishing. The Stone Cellar Campground in the eastern end of the meadow offers 6 fee sites. These are not reservable, no water is provided, you must pack out your trash. There is a vault restroom available.

The road to the Guard Station will continue as FR744, which goes to a trail head for the La Garita Wilderness. The main road will cross Saguache Creek and climb up out of the valley. As it turns back southwest along a short gulch you will pass a road to the left. This is the Saguache Tie, FR675.3P, road which heads back down along Saguache Creek. The Saguache Park road will continue along the bench west of the South Fork of Saguache Creek. The road will narrow a bit as it heads south. You will head into a short section of forest, then come out into the open meadows again. Ahead is a large trail head parking area for the La Garita Wilderness. The road will continue around a hairpin turn and cross the South Fork of Saguache Creek. After crossing the creek the road will become a two track that will end at the Sky City Mine property in about one and a quarter mile.
Data updated - December 2, 2019     4WD Road driven - September 2, 2019     Copyright 4X4Explore.com - 2000-2020