Whiskey Park  
USGS 7.5' Map: Elkhorn Mountain, Hahns Peak
Difficulty: Number: Miles: Altitude: Obstacles: Time:
Graded FR 550 15.20 8,600 to 8,900 ft. NA 2-3 hours
County: Routt
Adopted by:      
Managed by: Routt National Forest,
Hahns Peak / Bears Ears Ranger District
925 Weiss Drive
Steamboat Springs, CO 80487-9315
Forest Service - from December 1 to June 15
Best Time: June - May still have drifts
July - Best
August - Best
September - Best
October - May have snow on the road
Whiskey Creek, FT1197 - Motorcycle only.
Pioneer, FT1149 - Vehicles less than 50 inches.
Ellis North, FT1149 - Vehicles less than 50 inches.
Camping: There are dispersed camp sites all along this road.
Base Camp: This would be a good area to base camp and explore the large number of 4WD roads, motorcycle, ATV and UTV trails in the area.
Fall Colors: Good - Lots of aspen along the road.
Navigation: From Hahns Peak, CO. head northwest on County Rd 129 toward County Rd 62 and go 5.2 miles. Turn right onto Whisky Park road, FR550.
History: The Whiskey Park area has a myriad of history. It was part of the Hahns Peak area that was mined, it also produced cattle, sheep, and timber for the railroads to take back east. Though its early history was based on the discovery of ore on Hahns Peak, it also had a ranching history. With the cattlemen arriving first and running large heards on the open range, the idea of bringing in sheep was not embraced.

The Routt County range wars reached a boil in 1911 with the George Woolley Sheep Massacre, when several hundred sheep were "rimrocked" by driving them over a cliff. The citizens of Routt County were outraged by the crime, and although the perpetrators were never caught, the sheep industry gained much sympathy. The war degenerated to the use of strychnine on sheep in 1913. By 1915 sheep were grazing in Routt National Forest, having been brought into Whiskey Park in 1910, and in 1920 the Northwest Sheepgrowers Association was formed for mutual protection.

In 1987 reports claimed that early prospectors were finding large lodes of precious metals. By the 1900s Whiskey Park was attracting large numbers of miners. It is unknown how Whiskey Park got its name, though it might be interesting. The Elkhorn Mine was the largest and most developed in the Whiskey Park area. At 40 feet deep the mine hit fourteen inches of solid silver. The vein was said to be one-fourth solid silver, valued at $1000 a ton, plus $30 of gold per ton. After these reports not much was heard about Whiskey Park again.

Athearn, Frederic J. An Isolated Empire: A History of Northwestern Colorado Bureau of Land Management: Third ed., 1982, Print.
Eberhart, Perry Guide to the Colorado ghost towns and mining camps Swallow Press, Athens Ohio: Fourth ed., 1987, Print.
Whiskey Park runs from the Wyoming border down to Columbine, CO. mostly following Whiskey Creek. The road is an easy two lane graded road. There are a lot of motorized trails and spur roads that connect into Whiskey Park. There are dispersed camp sites along the road as well. I have only been on the north end and the sothern end near Big Red Park.
Data updated - December 29, 2016      4WD Road driven - September 5, 2016      Copyright 4X4Explore.com - 2000-2016