|Crooked Creek Pass|
|USGS 7.5' Map:||The Seven Hermits, Fulford, Red Creek, Crooked Creek Pass, Meredith|
|Managed by:||White River National Forest,
Eagle-Holy Cross Ranger District
White River National Forest,
Aspen-Sopris Ranger District
|24747 US Highway 24
Minturn, CO 81645
620 Main Street
Carbondale, CO 81623
|Summary:||Crooked Creek Pass is a grade gravel road that connects Eagle with the small town of Thomasville near Ruedi Reservour. It crosses east of Red Table Mountain following West Brush Creek on the north, Crooked Creek and Lime Creek on the south.|
|Attractions:||Pass, Camping, Fishing, Hiking.|
|Aspen-Sopris District - November 23 to June 13
Eagle District - November 23 to May 31
June - Open mid month
July - Best
August - Best
September - Best
October - Best
|McKenzie Gulch, FT1869 - Hiking, Equestrian
Sneve Gulch, FT1872 - Hiking, Equestrian
Mount Thomas Trail, FT1870 - Hiking, Equestrian
West Brush Creek Trail - Hiking
|Camping:||There is camping at Sylvan Lake State Park, as well as a few dispersed campsites around the pass.|
|Base Camp:||This would be a good area to base camp and explore the roads around Crooked Creek Pass.|
|Fall Colors:||Very Good - There are aspens all along West Brush Creek and Crooked Creek and Lime Creek,|
|Navigation:||From Eagle, CO. head west on Grand Avenue toward Capitol Street for 325 feet. Turn left onto Capitol Street and go 0.8 miles. Turn left onto Brush Creek Road and go 1.0 mile. Turn left to stay on Brush Creek Road and go 8.8 miles. Turn right to stay on Brush Creek Road and start up Crooked Creek Pass.
From Basalt, CO. head northeast on Midland Avenue toward Basalt Center Circle and go 0.3 miles. Continue onto Frying Pan Road and go 19.4 miles. Continue onto County Road 4 and go 5.1 miles. Turn left onto Eagle-Thomasville Road, the Crooked Creek Pass road.
|History:||Sylvan Lake State Park was a meadow and part of a cattle ranch until 1945. Between 1945 and 1962 the land was owned by Otto Zurcher, who dammed the creek and ran a fur farm and a fishing resort here until he fell on hard times. The State of Colorado was able to purchase the land in 1962, and a contest to rename Zurchers Lake resulted in the much more pleasant Sylvan Lake. In 1987 the area was made a state park, and in 1999 land was added to the park along East Brush Creek and West Brush Creek that today makes up eight conservation areas surrounded by White River National Forest.|
|Crooked Creek Pass, also known as the Eagle-Thomasville Road, crosses the mountains east of Red Table Mountain. Starting from the north end the road is graded gravel and about two lanes wide. You will immediately pass a right turn to the Colorado State Parks, Meadows Day Use parking area, that also has a small historic school house to visit, that is part of the Sylvan Lake State Park. This parking area requires a Colorado State Parks pass. It offers picnic tables and fishing access to West Brush Creek. Also the West Brush Creek trail that follows West Brush Creek up to Sylvan Lake starts from this parking lot.
The road will run along the east side of West Brush Creek. You will pass a small cabin and corrals, then a foot bridge across the creek. The long flat area here will pinch out as the valley narrows and you head into some aspen trees. You will pass another foot bridge across the creek and the West Brush Creek Trail will croass the road. Past this spot the road will also cross the creek. You will continue along the west side of the creek crossing some open areas. There will then be a wide parking area on the left side of the road. Here the McKenzie Trail heads up McKenzie Gulch on the right side of the road. Just past this parking area you will cross the creek again. The road will run between the creek and aspen forest as it continues up the valley. You will come to a parking area on the right side of the road in the Bear Gulch Conservation area. Just past this parking area is a spur road on the right that heads back below the road getting closer to the creek. The valley will open up again into a long meadow with the creek on the west side of the meadow and the road on the east. There will be another parking area on the right side of the road. This is Boran Gulch. Down by the creek in the meadow will be an old homestead. At the head of the meadow is Sylvan Lake. You will pass the entrance to Sylvan Lake State Park on your right. Just past the park entrance will be the Sneve Gulch trail parking area on your left. The road will continue up the valley running above the east side of Sylvan Lake.
Past the end of Sylvan Lake the valley will narrow up again and you will drive through pine forests. Shortly you will come to a spur road on the right, FR417, that has a parking area at the start. The road will continue up the valley following West Brush Creek through the pines. There will be aspen forests on the west side of the valley covering the slopes. After 1.65 miles you will come to two hairpin turns that climb out of the valley. At each of these turns is a spur road off to campsites. The road will head up a side drainage of West Brush Creek through large aspen groves. You will make another switchback climbing north around a long ridge coming back into the West Brush Creek drainage. The road will continue through aspen trees until you come out into open meadow. You will pass an un-numbered spur road on the right and then the Hat Creek, FR416, road on the left. When you cross over the cattle guard you are now at Crooked Creek Pass. There will be a parking area on the right and a spur road to a campsite as well as a spur road to the Mount Thomas trail.
After crossing the pass the road will head down through aspens following Crooked Creek. The road will come out of the trees and cross a large open meadow, Crooked Creek Park.
You will pass a spur road to the left and one on the right. Both are blocked off. Next you will come to Crooked Creek Reservoir where Little Lime Creek and Crooked Creek come together. The road will cross the reservoir dam and head over to the pines where there are some dispersed campsites. The road will continue to follow Little Lime Creek along the edge of the forest. You will come to another intersection with Woods Lake, FR507, on your left. Continue right and cross over Little Lime Creek. You will now be crossing the western side of Lime Park with Lime Creek in the canyon below. The road will head over to the pines and pass a spur road on the right that goes a short distance. This may be a campsite. Continue left and head back out into the open park. Just before reaching the power lines you will come to an intersection with FR512 on the right. Continue left passing a spur road on the left that goes to private property.
After crossing under the power lines the road will take you through aspen and pine forests with small openings along the way. The trees will become all aspen and you will come to another intersection with FR519 on your right. Continue left and shortly you will come to a dispersed campsite on the left. You will drive three switchbacks and then leave the Forest Service lands at the next switchback where there is a private home. The road will then follow Spring Creek, which feeds into Lime Creek. You will drive a long hairpin turn before dropping down to cross Lime Creek then pass under more power lines before coming out onto County Road 4. A right here will take you through Thomasville and on to Basalt. A left will take you to Norrie and continue as Hagerman Pass, FR105.
|Data updated - December 27, 2021 4WD Road driven - September 5, 2021 Copyright 4X4Explore.com - 2000-2022|