Winfield  
Maps:        
USGS 7.5' Map: South Peak, Granite, Mount Harvard, Winfield
Statistics:
Difficulty: Number: Miles: Altitude: Obstacles: Time:
Easy 3 FR 390 12.00 8,200 to 10,550 ft. None 2-5 hours
County: Chaffee
Adopted by:      
Managed by: San Isabel National Forest,
Leadville Ranger District
810 Front Street
Leadville, CO 80461
719-486-0749
Summary: Winfiled is a graded road to the town of Winfield. It passes Vicksburg and Rockdale, also old towns. The western part of the road gives it a rating of Easy 3.
Attractions: History, Mining, Scenery
Seasonal
Closure:
Natural - The roads past Winfield will be closed by snow. Graded part to Winfield will have winter maintenance.
Best Time: June- May still be snow at west end
July - Best
August - Best
September - Best
October - Early snows may block the road
Trail Heads
Accessed:

Camping: There is a Campground at Clear Creek Reservoir.
Base Camp: This would be a good area to base camp and explore all of the history and scenery in the valley.
Fall Colors: Excellent - There are large stands of aspen all along the valley. Vicksburg and Winfield are near large stands that blanket the mountain sides.
Navigation: From Leadville, CO head south on Harrison Ave. toward West 8th Street for 0.5 miles. Continue onto Silver Drive for 0.3 miles. Continue onto US-24 E/Front Street for 18.6 miles. Turn right onto Clear Creek Road, County Rd 390. This is the Winfield road.

From Buena Vista, CO head north on US-24 west toward west Sterling Ave. Go 14.9 miles. Turn left onto Clear Creek Road, County Rd 390. This is the Winfield road.
History: Clear Creek west of Granite was placer mined as early as the 1860s but it was mainly used for ranching until 1881 when silver ore was discovered. The town of Beaver City was laid out at the mouth of the canyon. It never got very far and only two cabins remain.

Further up the gulch the town of Vicksburg was started by Vick Keller. Vicksburg got its postoffice in 1881 and had stage service from Granite. By 1882 there were two billiard halls, saloons, hotels, an assay office, blacksmith, and livery stable as well as a school. By 1885 there were over 200 people living in Vicksburg. One of the neat features of the old town is the two rows of large shade trees that lines main street. There is also and irrigation ditch that runs along each side of the main street.

Further up Clear Creek is the old town of Rockdale. This area was also going to be a town site but did not get far. It had a post office in 1882 for four short months. Today there are some private cabins on the site.

Beyond Rockdale is Winfield which also got it's start in 1881. It was laid out in small lots that were free to anyone building a cabin or business. By 1890 the town had hotels, saloons, stores, a mill and smelter, a churh and school. The silver crash in 1893 had a large impact on Winfield. By 1912 the post office closed and by 1918 the last ore was hauled out of the surrounding mines.
Description:
The 4WD road to Winfield starts at the dam for Clear Creek Reservoir south of Granite, CO. The road is well maintained as a two lane graded gravel road. It runs along the north side of the reservoir heading up the valley of Clear Creek. At the west end of the reservoir you will pass a campground. At about three miles past the reservoir you will enter public lands. After another 2.5 miles you will come to the parking area for Vicksburg on the left (larger one) and on the right (smaller one). From the parking area on the right there is a short trail to the old townsite.
Vicksburg

photo by:
Adam M

Main street is clearly visible with its row of facing cabins on each side. There are large trees lining the old main street as well. The town is all private property, but it welcomes guests. Please respect the property owners by looking only.
Vicksburg

photo by:
Adam M

Continuing west on FR390 you will come to the town of Rockdale after about 2 miles. The town is on the left side of the road and its homes are still occupied. From Rockdale the road continues west.
FR 390 to Winfield

photo by:
Adam M

After about a mile and a half you will come to an open meadow where Clear Creek splits into the North Fork and the South Fork. This is the setting for the town of Winfield.
Winfield

photo by:
Adam M

Winfield 1998

photo by:
Adam M

View at Winfield

photo by:
Adam M

Winfield

photo by:
Adam M

Winfield

photo by:
Adam M

At the intersection in the center of town the left hand road, FR390 continues across the South Fork of Clear Creek and heads into the woods. This section of the road is more difficult, narrower and not maintained. After just over a mile you will come out into a more open section of the south fork. The road will continue into the valley where it becomes more muddy. In less than a half mile you will come to an intersection in the open meadow of the valley. The road to the left goes to the Banker Mine, the large tailings in the trees. The main road will continue a bit more before ending at the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness boundary.
Banker Mine in 1998

photo by:
Adam M

Banker Mine in 1998

photo by:
Adam M

Back at Winfield, the right turn that follows the North Fork of Clear Creek, FR390.A, will come to the Winfield Cemetary after a half mile. The road continues beyond the cemetary through the forest up the wide valley of the north fork. After about 1.5 miles it will also end at the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness boundary.
Data updated: December 23, 2013        4WD Road driven: September 17, 2010        Copyright 4X4Explore.com - 2000-2014