Spring Creek  
USGS 7.5' Map: Almont, Cement Mountain, Matchless Mountain, Italian Creek, Pearl Pass
Difficulty: Number: Miles: Altitude: Obstacles: Time:
Graded FR 744 19.08 8,500 to 11,200 ft. NA 3-4 hours
County: Gunnison
Adopted by:      
Managed by: Gunnison National Forest,
Gunnison Ranger District
216 N. Colorado
Gunnison, CO 81230
Summary: Spring Creek road runs northeast from Almont to the Spring Creek Reservoir as a graded gravel road. It continues north to the Flag Divide road, FR759.1E.
Attractions: Scenery, Camping
Natural - Closed by snow
Best Time: June - Lower section will be open July - Best
August - Best
September - Best
October - Good. May have early snows
Bear Creek Trail, FT415 - Hike, Horseback, Mountain Bike, Motorcycle
Deadman Gulch Trail, FT420 - Hike, Horseback, Mountain Bike, Motorcycle
Flag Creek Trail, FT422 - Hike, Horseback, Mountain Bike, Motorcycle
Rosebud Trail, FT413 - Hike, Horseback, Mountain Bike, Motorcycle
Camping: The Spring Creek road has a large number of well defined dispersed campsites all the way to Spring Creek Reservoir. At the start of the Spring Creek road where you enter public lands, there is a Forest Service campground.
Base Camp: This would be a good are to base camp and explore the Doctor Mines, Deadman Gulch,
Fall Colors: Poor - Mostly pine forest

Navigation: From Almont, CO. head southeast on County Rd 742 for 6.9 miles. Turn left onto Spring Creek Rd and go 2 miles to enter the public lands. This is the Spring Creek Road.
History: A group of Leadville prospectors lead by Martin Brennan discovered lead-silver ore above Spring Creek to the west of Taylor Park. The winter season drove them out of the area in 1879 but they returned in 1880 and established the Doctor Mine up Doctor Creek. Below in the valley where Spring Creek runs two towns became established. Spring Creek City was northeast of Doctor Gulch and Moscow was established at the mouth of Doctor Gulch. The access to the area was difficult traveling over a pack trail from Cement Creek to the northwest up to the headwaters of Deadman Creek and then down Deadman Creek to Spring Creek.

By the fall of 1880 Spring Creek City had stores, a hotel, and two saloons. The Doctor Mine became one of Gunnison Counties best producers due to its solid vein of lead carbonate ore. The vein ran eight feet wide and up to ten feet thick. The ore was packed down to Abbeyville near Tin Cup to a smelter for processing. In 1881 Spring Creek City got its post office.

Moscow started later, in 1881, located at the mouth of Doctor Gulch. It had a dairy as well as the usual town stores and a post office. With Moscow's location closer to the mine it began to grow faster than Spring Creek City, but in the 1890's the miners began living at the mine. Even with the silver crash of 1893 the mine continued to operate into 1910 and through World War I. Mining continued off and on until 1952 with over one million dollars of metals being mined.

Jessen, Kenneth Ghost Towns Colorado Style, Volumn 2, 1st ed. Loveland, Colorado: J.V. Publications, 1999. Print.
After passing through the residential area you will be on public lands. Spring Creek road starts as a well maintained two lane graded road. It follows Spring Creek north heading toward Spring Creek Reservoir. All along this section of road there will be dispersed camp sites. Some are large sites that 5th wheel campers use while others are smaller for tent camping. After six miles from the start of the public lands you will come around a sweeping curve and have an intersection to the left. This is FR744.2C, a short spur road up Deadman Gulch, which goes about a mile to a trail head for FT423 and FT420.
Spring Creek Road. FR744.2C is to the left up Deadman Gulch

photo by:
Adam M

Continuing on the Spring Creek road you will come to the intersection to the right with the South Matchless road, FR550, after three quarters of a mile. A mile further on is an intersection to the left with FR744.2I. This road will reconnect with the Spring Creek road after a mile. You will now be heading up a wide open valley with Spring Creek flowing through the center. Just past where FR744.2I reconnects with the Spring Creek road There will be another loop road on the right, FR744.2J. Just past where FR744.2J reconnects is a large Y shaped intersection with dispersed camping in many spots. To the right is Rocky Brook, FR748, to the left is a short spur FR744.2K, and straight ahead is the continuation of the Spring Creek road.

About a quarter mile from the big intersection is a right turn to FR744.2D. This road is a loop that goes through the Mosca Campground near Spring Creek Reservoir. Continuing on the Spring Creek road you will pass the reservoir and come to another intersection to the right with FR744.2L and Dark Gulch, FR880. From here the Spring Creek road becomes more of a lane and a half wide and has less maintenance.
Spring Creek Road past Spring Creek Reservoir.

photo by:
Adam M

In a half mile from the intersection with FR880 you will come to the trail head for motorized trails FT422 and FT415. The road will continue to climb along the left side of a narrow meadow before doing two switchbacks and gaining more altitude.

The road will now zig zag along the top of a forested ridge passing a few dispersed camp sites. After about three miles you will come to an intersection with FR744.3C to the right and motorized trail FT415 to the left. Continue to the left to stay on the Spring Creek Road. From here the road will be single lane.
Spring Creek Road at the upper section.

photo by:
Adam M

After a mile you will come to the top of an open ridge and connect with the Flag Divide 4WD road, FR759.1E.

Data updated - January 31, 2015      4WD Road driven - September 1, 2014      Copyright 4X4Explore.com - 2000-2015