St Kevin  
Maps:        
USGS 7.5' Map: Leadville North, Homestake Reservoir
Statistics:
Difficulty: Number: Miles: Altitude: Obstacles: Time:
Graded FR 103, CR 9A 3.40, 2.00 9,770 to 10,890 ft. None 1-2 hrs
County: Lake
Adopted by:      
Managed by: San Isabel National Forest,
Leadville Ranger District
810 Front Street
Leadville, CO 80461
719-486-0749
Summary: St. Kevin is an easy road into an mined area north of Turquoise Lake.
Attractions: Camping, Mines
Seasonal
Closure:
Natural - Closed by heavy snow
Best Time: July - Best
August - Best
September - Best
October - Early snows may block the road
Trail Heads
Accessed:
 
Camping: There are dispersed campsites along the east end of the road that overlooks Tennessee Park.
Base Camp: This would be a good area to base camp and explore the roads and trails around Turquoise Lake.
Fall Colors: Poor - Mainly pine forest.
Navigation: From Leadville, CO head west on W 6th Street toward Pine Street for 0.8 miles. Turn right onto County Road 4/McWethy Drive. Continue to follow County Road 4 for 1.0 miles. Turn right onto County Road 9 and go 1.2 miles. Turn right to stay on County Road 9 and go 0.45 miles. Trun left to stay on County Road 9, cross the railroad tracks and go 0.1 miles. Turn right onto County Road 9A. This will continue to St. Kevin
History: Originally Saint Kevin Gulch was called Sowbelly Gulch. The Griffin, St Kevin, and Belle Silver Mines were active in the gulch. The mines attracted workers who created a small mining camp near the Rosse Mine toward the head of the gulch called Saint Kevin. In 1886 the mining town got a post office. All the ore was hauled down the gulch, across Tennesse Park and up to Leadville for processing at the smelters. Later a concentration mill was constructed to reduce the tonage hauled. By the 1890s the population had reduces to the point that the post office was closed.

Jessen, Kenneth Ghost Towns Colorado Style, Volumn 2, 1st ed. Loveland, Colorado: J.V. Publications, 1999. Print.
Description:
Starting from County Road 9 you will head north on County Road 9A following Tennessee Creek. You will pass three spur roads on your left and then go under the high voltage power lines. The road is about one and a half lanes wide, graded gravel. Just past the power lines you will come to a spur road to the left and to the right. Both of these go to dispersed campsites. A short distance further is another spur to the right to a dispersed camp site. Just a bit further along the county road and you will come to another spur to the left and right, both going to dispersed camp sites. Just past here will be a spur to the right to a larger dispersed camp site. Past it is another spur to the right to a dispersed camp site. As the road curves left you will pass a double spur to the right which goes to private property. Stay to the left following the main road. You are now on public lands for the next 0.60 miles. The road will now follow along the forest to your left and the large open Tennessee Park on your right. About a quarter of a mile from the double right spur you will come to a spur road to the left that goes to a dispersed campsite. Next you wll cross a cattle guard which is where you will leave public lands. The county road will continue along the forest boundary, making a curve to the right and heading north. Next you will come to an intersection. The road to the right continues as County Road 9A for about a mile and a half. Just under a half mile from the intersection is an old homestead along the road that overlooks Tennessee Park.
Homestead in Tennessee Park

photo by:
Adam M

The road will head in and out of the trees, and then pass through a larger meadow.
Homestead in Tennessee Park

photo by:
Adam M

Homestead in Tennessee Park

photo by:
Adam M

Taking the left at the intersection will put you back on public lands on FR 103. About a quarter of a mile from the intersection you will pass an old ore chute on your right.
Ore chute in St Kevin Gulch

photo by:
Adam M

Ore chute in St Kevin Gulch

photo by:
Adam M

Mine remains in St Kevin Gulch

photo by:
Adam M

Past the ore chute the road will continue to head up St. Kevin Gulch toward the Wilkes-Barrs Mine. The mine is on the right and closed to access. The road will now head up above the creek for a half mile and run past the Wilkes-Barrs Mine toward the Rosse Mine.
Road along St Kevin Gulch

photo by:
Adam M

Just past the Rosse Mine the road will make a sharp hairpin turn and head southeast climbing up the side of the gulch through the trees, becoming a bit narrower.
Road climbing out of St Kevin Gulch

photo by:
Adam M

After 0.35 miles from the hairpin turn you will cross the tailings of the Griffin Mine. Past the mine tailings you will be back in the trees. The next spur road on your right goes to a yurt, followed by a spur on the left that goes to house. You are now to the top of the ridge. The road will turn south and pass under the power line again as it starts to head downhill. About a quarter of a mile from the power line you will come to three dispersed camp sites. Past the last camp site it is a short distance down to the intersection with Bear Lake, FR107, road. Turn left here to drop down to the paved road that goes around Turquoise Lake.
Data updated - January 4, 2021        4WD Road driven - September 6, 2020        Copyright 4X4Explore.com - 2000-2021