From the Town of Silverton, drive east on the main road through town to where the paved road splits one block past the courthouse and veer right onto the 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. This road is also known as "The Alpine Loop Road and BLM 4500.) 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. The road begins to get a little more difficult and enters a more narrow section of the Animas River canyon. At about 10,740 ft., the valley begins to widen out again. In that location, another road heads off to the left for Picayne Gulch. It is possible to reach UN 13,075 and Hanson Peak by going up this way, but the lower section of this road is intensely steep, so only for lower gear ratio 4WD vehicles.

Continue north, still on the main road, past the two possible turnoffs for Animas Forks and keep driving another two and a half miles north to where FR878 turns off to the left. This road descends from the tundra highlands back down to US550. Do not take, but continue north toward Engineer Pass. This is where the road begins to climb steeply and 4WD with good clearance becomes necessary. At the 4th switchback, park off the curve and out of the way. This is the trailhead.

If coming from lake City on CR20 and Henson Creek, follow the directions for the American Flats TH. From that trailhead, drive the short distance to the top of Engineer Pass, round the west side of Engineer Mtn., then begin descending on CR2 toward Silverton. Park at the first switchback you come to for the same trailhead as above.


See either the camping information posted for Tuttle, Houghton, Hanson, and UN 13,075 for the Silverton side, or refer to the camping information for Sunshine Mtn. and UN 13,093 for the Lake City side.

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