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gore range - east side trailheads

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gore range - east side trailheads

Postby goofball » Sun May 20, 2012 10:40 pm

heading to the gore range june/july. what is the best access point for either the black or slate creek drainages ? will have 7 days, 2 vehicles, and want to wander in n out of them. s. black, slate & s. slate.

many thanks.
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Re: gore range - east side trailheads

Postby alpine345 » Mon May 21, 2012 8:28 pm

Try this site : http://www.gorerange.info/# ...Also try Dave Cooper's book "Colorado Scrambles", either edition, and look up his directions to Peak L. I'd recommend 4x4 if it rains. It took a land cruiser with chains on all four to get up there one time...I've also been up there in a Subaru...
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Re: gore range - east side trailheads

Postby goofball » Mon May 21, 2012 11:16 pm

alpine345 wrote:Try this site : http://www.gorerange.info/# ...Also try Dave Cooper's book "Colorado Scrambles", either edition, and look up his directions to Peak L. I'd recommend 4x4 if it rains. It took a land cruiser with chains on all four to get up there one time...I've also been up there in a Subaru...


thanks alpine. maps show numerous roads and possible TH locations heading into the east side, but info seems lacking. the virtual dillon ranger district is surprisingly incomplete, and i am awaiting a reply from teh dillon ranger district itself for TH access points. we'll probably just start at the rock creek TH, i just hoped for more options but it seems not.
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Re: gore range - east side trailheads

Postby alpine345 » Tue May 22, 2012 2:46 am

It's true that access from the E side is lacking. Pebble, Boulder, Slate and Black drainages are all blocked with private property. However, there is an access called the "cemetery" access. I forgot the official FS road number but it's called Brush Ck. It's the closest to the drainages that you want. Here goes...Go north on CO 9 about 12 miles-ish to the Heeny road (Summit County Rd 30?) Turn W (left) and go about 1/4 mi to a gate on your W. Turn onto the dirt and go about 2 mi(?) uphill to the wilderness boundary. This access will put you on the gore range trail between Slate Ck and Black Ck. This TH is the second TH north of Rock Ck. until you get to Cataract Ck; way too far N of your objective. However, I've gone in N Rock Ck, N on the GRT and out Cataract...a nice backpack-y type trip...I remember about 14 mi one way and 1 night of camping. Be aware there's lots of beetle kill and some blow down, so ask when the trails were last cleared. Also, ask the DRD if they can send the district map. It's a topo based on the USGS Summit county map at 1:50,000 and not too bad...
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Re: gore range - east side trailheads

Postby Scott » Tue May 22, 2012 3:39 am

Jason, I guess your figuring out quickly that private land blocking access to the mountains is the bane of Colorado, but you can still get into those areas.

As mentioned, there is a trailhead at Brush Creek. It would be the best way into Black Creek. You can get there from Lower Cataract Lake too, but there is much downed timber to cross over and the going is slow and it's much harder. I've heard it said that coming over Kneeknocker Pass from the west is easier, but I haven't come in that way.

To get into Slate Creek you can come in Boulder Creek, but Rock Creek is just as fast and more asthetic. Boulder Creek is (or was in 2007) accessible to the public, but you have to walk the road rather than drive it.

PS, if you are looking for company I wouldn't mind joining for a few days.
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Re: gore range - east side trailheads

Postby alpine345 » Tue May 22, 2012 6:50 pm

Piney Lake access to Kneeknocker pass is the way into the head of Black drainage, and accesses Mt Powell, Pk C, etc., if they're on your agenda. It might be the start to a "one way" to come out on the east side, if you can spare a half day for the car shuttle from Vail to the East side... But its not the easiest way into Slate creek...Rock creek is at least 4 hrs faster. There is also another access called Columbine that accesses Harrigan Ck that isn't mapped or promoted. It's right at the Hwy 9 bridge over the Blue River, on the west side, but it's only 50 yds off the highway, so no advantage there.

A correction to the directions to Brush Ck : Go North, from Silverthorne, on CO 9 for 16 miles.( the 12 mi figure was from my old house) Turn left on Heeny Rd (Summit County Rd 30) and drive 0.6 mi to a steep, rough dirt road on your left (FS Rd 1695) across from Pioneer Cemetery. Go 2.4 mi up this road to the Brush Ck TH. It's now recommended 4x4...I guess much erosion since I was last up there.(late '90's)
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Re: gore range - east side trailheads

Postby goofball » Wed May 23, 2012 3:45 am

thanks alpine, really appreciate the info ! you too scott, and if you would like to join us you are welcome. i'll e mail you.
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Re: gore range - east side trailheads

Postby chicagotransplant » Wed May 23, 2012 11:05 pm

Black Creek is the hardest to get to, its all bushwhacking. There is a private lake at the bottom of it, and I don't believe their are any real trails along the creek. Brush Creek is probably the best access, you can then bushwhack to Black Creek avoiding the private land. I agree that Piney over Kneeknocker is the best way to get high in that drainage and access the peaks, its how I plan to get to Bubble Lakes whenever I finally get back there.

Brush Creek road is not too bad except for the bottom if its muddy. The first 1/2-3/4 mile is probably the worst. Right now the upper half the road is covered in about 100 deadfall trees (no joke, its a mess!!) and the gate is still locked. Maybe by later this summer they will clear it out. I was just at Lost Lake this weekend (for Peak N, awesome peak!).

Brush Creek is also probably the best way to get to Slate Lake, but its long. Boulder and Rock Creek are the alternates, but have more vertical gain and I don't think you can park at either one, you have to park at CO 9 and walk up the road. I think you might be able to drive up and stash a pack, then drive back down - or bike the road, I think some people do that. Slate is awesome and Peak L one of my favorites in the whole state.

The east side access points are hard because of all the darn private land along CO 9 north of Silverthorne. I have actually climbed many of the "east side" peaks from Vail including Keller (from Bighorn), Peaks X and Z (from Pitkin), Peak P (from Booth) and Eagles Nest (from Piney). I even tried to get to Q from Booth but the ledge is pretty sketchy going that way. When I go back for Peak S I will come from Pitkin, and for Bubble Lakes area peaks, I will come from Piney. Of course I live on the Vail side so part of that reasoning is to save on driving - Peak N was only 17 miles "line of sight" from my house by I had to drive almost an hour to get to the trailhead, then hike in 8 miles to its summit!
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Re: gore range - east side trailheads

Postby Matt Lemke » Thu May 24, 2012 12:34 am

DON'T EVER GO INTO BLACK CREEK!!!

I descended that way after crossing Kneeknocker Pass and climbing Powell and if you value having fun in the mountains you don't want to go here. We put an odd look on the ranch owners when they saw us walking down their road from above :o
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Re: gore range - east side trailheads

Postby goofball » Fri May 25, 2012 2:34 am

thanks ct n matt. sounds like black creek is a lot of buck for the bang. seems easiest to stay in the slates and boulder, all of which have real trail to them from th's, which is nice. thanks for all teh very helpful info all !
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Re: gore range - east side trailheads

Postby mconnell » Fri May 25, 2012 6:18 pm

As has been said, it is possible to get to Black Creek from Brush Creek trailhead. This was my plan last July. I never did find the trail that is supposed to go from just below Lost Lake down to Black Creek (I don't recall which guide book talks about this trail). Their is a huge amount of deadfall in the area, so the going is very slow. I ended up bailing after a couple hours of this and went up to the source of Brush Creek and spent a couple days climbing/hiking around there. Next time I head for Black Creek, it will be from the west.
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Re: gore range - east side trailheads

Postby alpine345 » Fri May 25, 2012 9:15 pm

http://www.climb.mountains.com/Classic_ ... Pk_L.shtml
These aren't my pix, but here's some pix from Pk L. If you dig around on Gerry's site he has pix from Keller mtn and others too...They give good views of the Gore Range and routes in and out.
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