Missouri Gulch Trailhead


Range: Sawatch Range
Coordinates: 38.99807, -106.37508
14ers: Mt. Belford, Mt. Oxford, Missouri Mountain
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Road Difficulty

2WD, easy dirt road 1   (0=Paved, 6=Very Difficult 4WD)
2WD dirt to the TH.

Driving Directions

From Leadville: Drive 20 miles south on U.S. 24 and turn right on the Chaffee County 390 road. From Buena Vista: Drive 14.5 miles north on U.S. 24 and turn left on the Chaffee County 390 road.On the 390 road, drive 7.5 miles to a sign for the Missouri Gulch trailhead. Turn left and drive down into the large parking area. There are restrooms here.

Winter Access

Closed near 9,200 feet - almost 4 miles below the TH.
Status Updates 
Posted By: Eagle Eye
Info: A small amount of snow on the road starting at the beginning of CC 390 off US 24. It increased a little past Clear Creek ranch fork towards the TH. The bathrooms at the TH are unlocked and stocked with tp!
Posted By: mightycuine
Info: Road 390 is dry to the TH. First time I’ve ever seen space in this lot at 7am on a Saturday.
Posted By: JasonCrane
Info: Chaffee Road 390 has the typical "washboarding" & some potholes. There’s one massive pothole/puddle that has been washed out from run-off. It takes a little bit of shake ’n bake, but can be circumvented around to the side. Saw a 2WD turn around at this point, however 2WD should be okay with careful driving. Use your best judgment. Note - Toilet is open & operational at TH.
Posted By: Mountain_Maniac
Info: Arrived at 5am on a Wednesday and there was plenty of parking. The toilet is open again with plenty of toilet paper inside.
Posted By: hokierock
Info: Main parking lot filled @ 6:15am on FRI morning, just before sunrise - no issue, just parked on 390 on roadside. Single restroom on-site is OUT OF ORDER.
Posted By: E_A_Marcus_949
Info: Straight forward dirt road to get to with normal washboarding and a few potholes to look out for, but they can mostly be avoided. One larger puddle that may prove difficult if you have a lower clearance vehicle or not enough power.

Got one of the last spots at 4:15am on Sunday.
Posted By: ranger_reamer
Info: Every spot filled at 4:30am. Car sleepers...forest road though so you can park pretty much anywhere along it if the lot is full.
Posted By: Alpinefroggy
Info: Road until it becomes forest service land is graded and nice. Rest is rougher but not at all a problem. Steve the Prius did just fine getting to the gulch taking it slow. Even saw a wild civic as well. So basically any 2wd car can easily make it.
Posted By: bangerth
Info: Dry all the way to the trailhead, and about as smooth a road as one can find in the mountains. With a bit of care, could probably be driven with a Prius, and was no problem at all with a Subi.

As mentioned in the previous report, the outhouse is open but has no toilet paper.
Posted By: supranihilest
Info: Dry to trailhead. Bathroom is unlocked but there is no toilet paper so bring your own.
Posted By: JasonCrane
Info: Chaffee Road 390 is 98% dry to Missouri Gulch TH & passable for 2WD. Only obstacles were potholes & several softball-sized rocks just requiring some careful driving.
Posted By: RWSchaffer
Info: All but a few small patches of the snow that fell in last week’s storm cycle was gone. The report from April 12 remained valid as my 2WD hatchback made it to the trailhead without issue.
Posted By: Posthole Pete
Info: Can make it here with any car. No clearance or 4WD needed. Bathroom is unlocked with an adequate amount of tp. Still one of my favorite places to poop.
Posted By: angry
Info: 2 cars parked near snow plow turnaround. Approximately 2 miles below the th, there is a large open space on the left where another 2 cars parked and I also parked there (pic 1). ~1.2 miles below the th, there were 2 cars parked on right side of road (pic 2). Nobody parked at actual th (pic 3). however when I was walking back to my car in the evening someone stopped to check on me who stated they had made it fairly close to sheep gulch in a burly 4wd but another car had gotten stuck back there. Lots of options depending on how frisky youre feeling.
Posted By: supranihilest
Info: Chaffee County Road 390 is only plowed a couple of miles in. Past that there is a set of tire tracks continuing up the very snowy road, but that’s it: one set of tracks. If you venture outside of that track you instantly get sucked into the bottomless powder on the sides. We didn’t make it to the trailhead (our intention was to go to Winfield) and I almost got stuck, requiring me to rock my van back and forth in 4WD to get back on the tracks, whereupon I backed nearly a mile very carefully down, staying neatly on the tracks. They did continue past our stopping point but for how long I can’t say. Don’t get stuck.
Posted By: jscully205
Info: Was able to drive all the way normal trailhead in a 4wd Tacoma. Similar vehicles with some clearance would most likely make it until the next storm. Road was tire tracked the entire way but some sections still had 8-12 to drive through.
Posted By: RWSchaffer
Info: Chaffee County Road 390 was well plowed to the new plow turn, about three miles below the trailhead. 2WD vehicles should park just below the plow turn. The remaining road was fairly uniformly and continuously covered by several inches of snow; the snow was well tracked, and most 4WD vehicles would probably make it to the trailhead.
Posted By: lasallecrew2
Info: Easily accessable by 2WD. No snow on road or at parking lot.
Posted By: mountainmanfrank
Info: Trailhead is easily accessible by any vehicle. Plenty of parking on dirt road if parking lot is full (which it probably will be early in the morning).
Posted By: hogantheepic
Info: Totally accessible with a RWD low clearance vehicle (though not suuuuper low clearance, just your average clearance). No snow anywhere near road elevations anymore.
Posted By: angry
Info: Dry to th. Stop being disgusting and leaving your poop bags next to the restroom.
Posted By: Eagle Eye
Info: The CC 390 road is in fine, washboard-like summer shape. However, the bathrooms are now closed.
Posted By: Posthole Pete
Info: Easily driveable with 4WD. Southern side of the road is still holding some snow. Snow is mostly in patches. Only one big patch of snow left about .15 mile from the trailhead but the north side of the road of that patch is dirt. Bathroom is unlocked. Had a great poop.
Posted By: Wildernessjane
Info: Got about a mile up the road past the turn-around in a 4WD van. Easy to turn around here and space for multiple vehicles.
Posted By: angry
Info: Parked right below snow plow turnaround, approximately 3.1 miles below th ~9,000ft.

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