South Fork Lake Creek  
Maps:            
USGS 7.5' Map: Independence Pass
Statistics:
Difficulty: Number: Miles: Altitude: Obstacles: Time:
Easy 2 FR391 5.62 10,120 to 11,210 ft. NA 2-3 hours
County: Lake, Chaffee
Adopted by:      
Managed by: Pike/San Isabel National Forest, Leadville District 810 Front Street, Leadville, CO 80461 (719)486-0749
Summary: South Fork Lake Creek road follows the South Fork of Lake Creek up to its headwaters and ends at the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness boundary at a trailhead.
Attractions: Scenic views, Trailhead
Seasonal
Closure:
Natural - Closed by heavy snows.
Best Time: June - May still have snow at the end
July - Best
August - Best
September - Best
October - Watch for early snowstorms
Trail Heads
Accessed:
Lake Pass, FT1466 - Hiking
La Plata Peak Trail, FT1474 - Hiking
Camping: There are dispersed sites after the first 1.6 miles, which is private property.
Base Camp: This would be a good area to base camp and explore the other roads in the area, or to hike the trails into the Wilderness.
Fall Colors: Good - There are aspen groves along the gulches in this area.
Navigation: From Leadville, CO. head south on Harrison Ave toward East 8th Street. Continue onto Silver Drive for 0.3 miles. Continue onto US-24 E/Front Street. Continue to follow US-24 E for 14.3 miles. Turn right onto CO-82 W and go 14.5 miles. Turn left onto 82C / FR391 at the parking area.

From Buena Vista, CO. head north on US-24 W toward W Sterling Ave and go 19.1 miles. Turn left onto CO-82 W and go 14.5 miles. Turn left onto 82C / FR391 at the parking area.

From Aspen, CO head east on W Main Street toward S Garmisch Street and go 0.5 miles. Continue onto S Original Street and go 0.1 miles. Turn left onto CO-82 E/E Cooper Ave and continue to follow CO-82 E for 28.4 miles crossing over Independence Pass. Turn right onto 82C / FR391 at the parking area.
History:  
Description:
The South Fork Lake Creek 4WD road heads southwest from Hwy82 at the bottom of the east side of Independance Pass. The road starts at a large parking area, trailhead for the La Plata Peak trail, and then crosses a shallow gorge of the North Fork of Lake Creek. There are a few small waterfalls up from the bridge. After crossing the bridge the road will start on private property. There are signs indicating the start of this section of road. Stay on the road for the next 1.6 miles.

South Fork Lake Creek road

photo by:
Adam M

The road is a lane and a half wide, natural surface. There are some small rocks and pot holes to deal with. After getting out of the trees the road will run along the west side of the South Fork of Lake Creek through some open areas. Shortly after that you will be on public lands. As the road turns toward the west you will pass a few campsites on then north side of the road before coming to the Sayres Gulch, FR382, intersection. Stay to the right and continue on the South Fork Lake Creek road.

South Fork Lake Creek road

photo by:
Adam M

After a half mile you will come to another intersection with the McNasser Gulch, FR394, road. Stay to the left to continue on the South Fork Lake Creek road. As you continue on you will pass more dispersed campsites. The road will continue to follow the creek going through forested areas and then crossing open areas giving you nice views of the surrounding mountains.

South Fork Lake Creek road

photo by:
Adam M

The road will turn toward the south as you come to the last intersection. To the right is the Peekaboo Gulch, FR393, road. Stay to the left. You will pass two old log cabins that have been fixed up and are now private property.


Aspen grove along the road road

photo by:
Adam M

After the cabins the road will get tighter and you will be in more brush. Continue south for a mile where the road will end at a small trailhead parking area at the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness boundary.

Trail head parking area

photo by:
Adam M

Data updated - November 5, 2018     4WD Road driven - September 4, 2018     Copyright 4X4Explore.com - 2000-2018