South Carnero  
USGS 7.5' Map: Bowers Peak, Grouse Creek, Lookout Mountain
Difficulty: Number: Miles: Altitude: Obstacles: Time:
Graded FR675 15.00 8,760 to 10,860 ft. NA 1-2 hours
County: Saguache
Adopted by:      
Managed by: Rio Grande National Forest
Saguache Ranger District
46525 State Highway 114
Saguache, CO 81149
Summary: The South Carnero road follows the South Fork of Carnero Creek, over Moon Pass, around the head of California Gulch, then down along Johns Creek.
Attractions: Pass
Agency - Closed March 15 to May 15.
Best Time: June - Snow may still close the upper section
July - Best
August - Best
September - Best
October - Early snows may close the higher section
Trail Heads
Bowers Trail, FT909 - Motorcycle
Camping: There area few dispersed sites around Moon Pass.
Base Camp: This would be a good area to base camp and explore the roads around Saguache Park and Carnero Creek.
Fall Colors: Good - There are some aspen at the east end of the road.
Navigation: From Del Norte, CO head north on CO-112 E/Oak Street toward 5th Street. Continue to follow CO-112 E for 3.2 miles. Turn left onto Grand Ave and go 2.7 miles. Continue onto County Road 38A and go 7.6 miles. Sharp left onto County Road 41 G, then go 10.1 miles. Turn left onto County Road M33. After a short distance you will enter public lands and be on FR675.

From Saguache, CO Head south on 8th St toward US Hwy 285 N for 0.4 miles. Continue onto Gunbarrel Rd/US Hwy 285 S for 17.1 miles. Turn right onto County Road G and go 5.0 miles. Turn right onto County Road 42/County Road G and go 1.2 miles. Slight right onto County Road 41 G and continue 10.1 miles. Turn left onto County Road M33. After a short distance you will enter public lands and be on FR675.
South Carnero road leaves the Carnero Creek, FR41G, road and passes by two private residents. In about a half mile you will enter public lands. After going 1.65 miles from the Carnero Creek road you will come to the entrance of the Poso Recreation Area, a left turn, which is along Poso Creek. Staying with the South Carnero road you will come to another road on the left. This is Cave Creek with FR673 heading west. Continuing on the main road you will follow South Carnero Creek northwest. This will be a long section through a deep valley. When the valley widens out, Prong Creek will come in on the left and there will be a large corral at a curve on the right side of the road. This is where the Laughlin Stock Driveway connects. Just past the corral you will come to another road coming in on the left. This is FR678, which follow Prong Creek toward Boot Mountain, then tie in with FR673 on Cave Creek.

The South Carnero road will head north into a more open area. On the left will be a road that goes to private property. Contining north you will next come to another road on the left. This is FR676, which heads toward Bowers Peak. There are two ATV trailheads along this road. Continue on the main road and at the next bend you will come to the Deer Creek, FR684, road coming in on your right. South Carnero road will head north and come to a curve to the left in a small open meadow. There are two campsites on the left, and further up the road there is one on the left just before the main road enters the aspens. Once in the forest the road will wind along the side of the La Garita Mountains and then work up to a saddle. Here the road will cross a cattle guard and then come to a large Y in the road. This is Moon Pass. The road to the right is FR729, which heads down a side drainage to Moon Creek near Round Park.

Stay to the left to continue on South Carnero. Just before you enter back into the forest there will be a campsite on the left. The road will head northwest as it works its way through the forest around the north side of the La Garita Mountains. Where the road heads south you will be following along California Gulch. As you drive there will be a few opening to give you some views of the gulch. Where the road heads north after making a large loop you will pass through a small meadow. Just beyond this the road will drop down and cross California Gulch. At the hairpin turn will be a parking area to the left. This is the trailhead for Bowers Trail, FT909, which is a motorcycle trail. Past the trailhead the forest will change over to aspen as you climb out the other side of California Gulch. Further along you will be back into the pines again. The road will head mostly north west now for some distance. The next intersection will be with FR760 to your right. The main road will continue around a ridge past this intersection before heading south again, and entering into the aspens.

Road near Johns Creek

photo by:
Adam M

The road will head toward Johns Creek. The next intersection is with Saguache Tie, FR675.3P, to your right. Just past this intersection you will come to a curve with a view down to Johns Creek. At the curve is a spur to the right that goes to a small campsite. The road will now work its way down into the canyon and cross Johns Creek. After crossing the creek you will come to a hairpin turn with a spur to the right to another campsite. From the hairpin the road will now follow Johns Creek south toward its headwaters. The road will climb up a ridge between Johns Creek and Bear Creek where it will come to an end.
Data updated - December 9, 2019     4WD Road driven - September 2, 2019     Copyright - 2000-2020