For anyone planning on visiting Hinsdale County/Lake City area, be aware of the following road closures. Visit this link for more details. Click Here For the San Juan National Forest click here to be taken to a page on their site that has road closure information. Currently there is no off-road/primitive site camping allowed along the South Mineral Creek FS585 out of SIlverton. Do your research before leaving. Many areas commonly accessible by this time of year are still closed! Check other National Forest websites for additional information.
From the Town of Silverton, drive east to where the paved road splits one block past the courthouse and veer right onto blue-signed County Road 2 (set odometer here) for 4.2 miles of nicely graded dirt road to Howardsville. (On Trails Illustrated map #141, this road is labeled #110. Pavement ends after 2 miles.) From the Howardsville intersection, continue north another 4.3 miles to the old site of Eureka. The road will cross to the west side of the Animas River and continue up a steeper shelf section. From Eureka, continue another 3.5 miles to the turnoff for Burns and Grouse Gulch. It is possible to do a low water ford of the Animas about .2 mile before reaching this point and head on up Burns Gulch if water levels in the Animas allow. However, if you stay on the main road, it will cross back to the east side of the Animas on a bridge. Most cross-over type vehicles should be able to make it to here. (See coordinates) If you do not have 4WD with good clearance, park in the vicinity and follow a spur road back south on the east side of the river that will connect shortly with the Burns Gulch road. Hike or drive the road all the way to about 11,680 ft. where it forks. The road is a single-lane, rocky & moderately rough 4WD track and lower down follows along a shelf where meeting another vehicle coming down can be problematic. There may be a couple places to camp up in the gulch.
There are no forest service, designated campgrounds along the Animas River to the trailhead, however, at-large camping can be found in numerous locations. Be aware of private property and watch for postings and please dispose of waste properly.