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California Gulch 4x4 Road

See Animas Forks Ghost Town and incredible scenery

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Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Easy
Length: 4.6 miles
Duration: Half day
Family Friendly

Overview :  East end of trail starts at historic Animas Forks Ghost Town, gateway to the Alpine Loop. A remote, memorable drive with many... more »

Tips:  To be absolutely sure road is cleared of snow on way to pass, wait until July. Pass is located at 12,930 feet, so be prepared for all ... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Start Here

From County Road 2, turn left towards Animas Forks Ghost Town.

2. Animas Forks Ghost Town

Large parking area for Animas Forks Ghost Town on left.

3. California Mill

After a road joins on right, continue past California Mill on right.

4. Bagley Mill

Recently restored Bagley Mill on right.

5. Placer Gulch to Left

Continue straight to reach California Pass. Road on left comes down from Placer Gulch, where there are lots of great mine buildings to see. This route is described in FunTreks book "Guide to Colorado Backroads & 4-Wheel Drive Trails".

6. Lingering Snow

Heavy snows often linger in this area where you begin ascent to pass. If you arrive too early (before mid June), snow plows may not have cleared the trail yet.

7. California Pass

Gorgeous views from the top of California Pass at 12,930 feet.

8. Driver's Choice

Right here goes down difficult Poughkeepsie Gulch. Left goes up over Hurricane Pass, where you can turn right for Corkscrew Gulch, or continue straight downhill to Gladstone and eventually Silverton.