Red Park  
Maps:                    
USGS 7.5' Map: Elkhorn Mountain, West Fork Lake
Statistics:
Difficulty: Number: Miles: Altitude: Obstacles: Time:
Easy 3 FR500 16.12 9,712 ft. NA 3-4 hours
County: Routt
Adopted by:      
Managed by: Routt National Forest,
Hahns Peak / Bears Ears Ranger District
925 Weiss Drive
Steamboat Springs, CO 80487-9315
970-870-2299
Summary: Red Park is a main 4WD road that accesses a lot of the recreation in the forest north of Hahns Peak.
Attractions: Access to camping, hiking and motorized trails north of Hahns Peak.
Seasonal
Closure:
Forest Service - from December 2 to June 14
Best Time: June - Best. May still have snow at higher elevations
July - Best
August - Best
September - Best
October - May be snowed in
Trail Heads
Accessed:
Ellis Trail, FT1155 - ATV, Motorcycle, Mountain Bike, Pack and Saddle, Hike
Ellis Trail, FT1155 - ATV, Motorcycle, Mountain Bike, Pack and Saddle, Hike
Farwell Connector, FT1203.1A, .1B - Motorcycle, Mountain Bike, Pack and Saddle, Hike
Manzanares Connector, FT1204.1A - ATV, Motorcycle, Mountain Bike, Pack and Saddle, Hike
Camping: There are many dispersed campsites along the lower elevations of the Red Park 4WD road around Big Red Park.
Base Camp: This would be a good area to base camp and explore the road networks north of Hanhs Peak.
Fall Colors: Poor - Mostly pine forest.
Navigation: From Hahns Peak Village, CO, head northwest on County Road 129 toward Lucky Camp Lane for 5.2 miles. Turn right onto Forest Road 550 and continue to follow Forest Road 550 for 3.7 miles. Turn right onto Forest Road 500, Red Park 4WD road.
History:
Description:
Starting from the west end where Red Park leaves Whiskey Park, FR550, road, you will cross Little Red Park on a graded lane and a half wide road. From the intersection you will pass a spur road on the left, FR506, which is just under a quarter mile long going to a few dispersed campsites. You will continue across the open Little Red Park before coming to another intersection. The road on the right is FR500.1D, which goes a half mile to the Ellis North Trailhead where the Ellis Trail and Farwell Connector trail are. There are also a few dispersed campsites here. Continuing east on the main road you will quickly come to another intersection on the right with FR509 which is just over a half mile long, also going to a few dispersed campsites. Staying on the main road you will pass along some lightly forested areas before coming to a four way intersection. The road on the left is FR500.1I which is 0.30 miles long going to more dispersed campsites. The road on the right is the King Solomon, FR402, road which heads south along King Solomon Creek. Continuing on the main road you will cross King Solomon Creek and head through a small side valley toward Big Red Park. Just before coming into Big Red Park you will pass FR505 on your right, and then make a left where a road on the right goes to private property. You will be headed across Big Red Park going north and then east.
Crossing Big Red Park

photo by:
Adam M

Along the north side of the park you will pass a spur road on the left, FR500.1F, and FR500.1G, that are short spurs going to dispersed campsites. The main road will continue east crossing the Middle Fork of the Little Snake River and then making a sharp curve to the left and heading into the forest. This is where the road will change into a well used two track. You will pass a dispersed campsite on the right and then FR500.1A on the right. FR500.1A is a mile long ending at the Big Red Trailhead where the Farwell Connector trail heads east. Continuing left on the main road you will quickly come to FR500.1B on the left. FR500.1B is 1.90 miles long connecting with FR500.1H which is 0.70 miles long. Both of these roads just head into the forest with no dipsersed campsites along the roads. Continue north on FR500. You will cross a low saddle and then drop down into a small valley crossing a creek and then climbing up to the ridge of the Continental Divide, just 9,500 feet here. The road will become less traveled and a bit rougher.
Higher elevations

photo by:
Adam M

The road will now run along the Continental Divide following the top of the Sierra Madre Mountains. As you cross the low peaks you will drop down into some saddles and then climb back up to the flat ridge line of the divide. The road will get roughter and the forest will be a bit thin, but not enough to give you many great views of the surrounding landscape.
Rougher section along the north end

photo by:
Adam M

After over 3.5 miles running along the divide you will come to a kiosk and the end of FR500.
At the north end looking south toward Hahns Peak

photo by:
Adam M

Continuing north the road will change over to the Ellis Jeep Trail, FR499, which is a rougher and narrower road.

Data updated - February 11, 2024     4WD Road driven - September 3, 2023     Copyright 4X4Explore.com - 2000-2024