Spring Creek  
Maps:    
USGS 7.5' Map: Whale Hill
Statistics:
Difficulty: Number: Miles: Altitude: Obstacles: Time:
Easy 2 FR875 2.0 9,035 to 10,040 ft. Steep Climb 1 hour
County: Saguache
Adopted by:      
Managed by: Rio Grande National Forest
Saguache Ranger District
46525 State Highway 114
Saguache, CO 81149
(719)655-2547
Summary: Spring Creek is an easy 4WD road that follows Spring Creek. It climbs continuously up the south fork of the creek to the site of the Chicago Mine.
Attractions: Steep Climb, Fall Colors
Seasonal
Closure:
Agency - March 1 to May 15.
Best Time: June - Thick forest cover will keep the snow on the upper parts of the road late into June
July - May still hit snow and softer road beds early in July
August - Best
September - Best, fall colors
October - Early snows will close the upper part of the road
Trail Heads
Accessed:
None
Camping: There are dispersed camp sites at the start of the road where you enter public lands.
Base Camp: This would be a good area to base camp and explore the roads around Bonanza and Villa Grove.
Fall Colors: Excellent - Spring Creek road runs through a large aspen grove.
Navigation: From Villa Grove, CO. head northwest on US Hwy 285 N toward County Rd 56 LL for 7.2 miles. Turn left onto an access road with a gate. You will be crossing private property for one mile. After passing through the gate you will head west toward the mountains. You will pass through another fence line and under a power line before coming to another gate where you will enter public lands. From the gate, take the middle road to start Spring Creek 4WD road.

From Poncha Springs, CO. head south on US Hwy 285 S toward Hulbert Ave for 14.6 miles. Turn right onto an access road with a gate. You will be crossing private property for one mile. After passing through the gate you will head west toward the mountains. You will pass through another fence line and under a power line before coming to another gate where you will enter public lands. From the gate, take the middle road to start Spring Creek 4WD road.
History:  
Description:
At the gate where you enter public lands you will have three roads to choose from. The road to the left goes into the trees to a campsite. The road to the right also goes over to the trees along the creek to other campsites. The middle road will also head to the creek. Take the middle road. You will come to another intersection as you get to the trees. There will be a campsite near this intersection. The road to the right is FR874, which goes back to the fencline along the trees. The road to the left is also FR874, but it continues into the hills, looping back out to reconnect with Hwy285. Continue straight through the intersection. You will drop down and cross Spring Creek. The road will now stay on the north side of the creek remaining a two track.

Lower section in the aspen

photo by:
Adam M

You will come to a quick switchback and then climb above the creek along the hillside. This is a long up hill section with no level areas. You will keep climbing up, slowly getting closer to the creek. Finally you will come to a wide spot where mine tailings cross the road. Just past this spot is the Chicago Mine at the switchback. Here you will find the remians of an old cabin on the inside of the switchback, and another cabin on the opposite side. There is also the remains of a road continuing past the switchback that goes to the Chicago Mine shaft.

Climbing up

photo by:
Adam M

Continuing on the road that turns at the switchback, you will be on the Whale Hill, FR892, road which continues the climb.
Data updated - November 8, 2019     4WD Road driven - August 31, 2019     Copyright 4X4Explore.com - 2000-2019