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San Juan National Forest Re-opened

The Stage 3 fire and access restrictions to the San Juan National Forest have been rolled back to a Stage 2 condition which means access to the forest is once more open to the public. However, fire conditions still remain high and we are currently in the middle of a strong heat wave. Consult current regulations with the San Juan NF before planning any trips. Fines for violations are significant. 

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This "approach" is intended for those with reliable 4WD with good clearance. From the trailhead parking area by the South Mineral Creek CG, you can continue driving west, beyond the campground, then turning SW on what quickly becomes a single-lane 4WD track that follows on the west side of the South Fork of Mineral Creek for about 2.8 miles to a large, open, grassy meadow at 10,640 ft. There is a trailhead here for the "Rico-Silverton" trail #507. This is also an access for a portion of the Colorado Trail system, which contours below the south slopes of the Twin Sisters. This road receives quite a bit of 4WD visitation on summer weekends. If you don't have your own 4WD, you may be able to hitch a ride. Last time we were on it, the road was not particularly rugged and we easily drove to the end of the road at the meadow in a Jeep Cherokee Sport.


Camping

As you drive up this road, there are a few primitive campsites that can be found off the road and down towards the creek. The best camping will be at the roads end in the large meadow. There are numerous places here where you can set up, assuming the Forest Service has not come in and closed it all down. Since this is a trailhead, some camping is probably still allowed close by.

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