There are two ways to get to this trailhead, both of which share some complications because of recent property developments in this area:

A. This driving route begins from the townsite of Pitkin. From the intersection of US50 and SH135 in downtown Gunnison, drive 11.7 miles east of Gunnison on US50 and turn NE onto CR76 at "Parlin." Drive on CR76 through the township of Ohio and continue 6 more miles to Pitkin. The following directions are provided by Marianne Curtis who used this access in 2016. At Pitkin, on the west end of the town, look for a road you can turn left onto that's marked with a sign for "Quartz Creek Properties." This road will also indicate it takes you to the cemetery, but don't go into the cemetery. Instead continue uphill past "Soul's Ease Road" and then bear left to take Grasshopper Road. Continue past the Skeleton Gulch and Chicago Park roads. The Grasshopper Road will become the Highline Drive Road. Stay on this until you come to the "Terrible Mountain Road." When you make it to this last road, you've already passed the coordinates we've provided for a place to park passenger cars that may be somewhat out of the way for the various private properties. That spot is a short distance back at a "Y" intersection. According to a report we received in 2021, passenger vehicles may have difficulty reaching this "Y" intersection. Higher clearance vehicle is advisable. If you have 4WD with good clearance, you can proceed up Terrible Mountain Road to the ruins of the Fairview Mine or even further up to another possible parking location at 12,130 ft., where the trail takes you on up the south ridge of the peak. Marianne provided some photos she took of a county road map that shows all of the new development roads. See our photo gallery for two images of that map. If you use this route, we would not suggest trying to camp anywhere around here because of all the private property issues. If you do so, do it at your own risk.

B. We now advise taking a minimum, higher clearance vehicle for this trailhead approach. An alternate route still goes from Parlin to Ohio and Pitkin and then continues on past Pitkin on good, graded dirt road to the Quartz Creek campground for a possible camp location. This is a nice little campground and we were surprised to find it not full on a summer, Friday evening - but don't count on that. Under a mile north past the campground, turn left (west) onto FR766 which leads up Halls Gulch. The first two miles of this road are passenger car accessible, but after that, we would recommend at least having a higher clearance vehicle to proceed further. (A 2021 report submitted to us by a contributor says that this road "gets bad, fast, then a little better when you turn onto 766.1A." The same person attempted to take a Honda Element up this way, incurring some damage to their vehicle and eventually parking near the Terrible Mountain Road at 10, 600 ft. and hiking from there.) After the initial two miles, FR766 begins to have multiple branches heading off in various directions and additional development roads have confused things even more. The goal will be to work your way uphill on the west side of the gulch and gain the ridge above. FR766 1A appears to take you up on multiple switchbacks. At some point, that road becomes FR770 1A and then just FR770. This will lead you over to the parking coordinates we have provided for passenger cars. We might add that in 2009, when we drove in this way, we also drove back out and were unable to exactly duplicate our driving route in because of the multiplicity of roads. Nevertheless, we did make our way back down with only one or two wrong turns.


As mentioned above, the best camping option is to use the Quartz Creek Campground about 3 - 4 miles past Pitkin on CR765. (CR76 turns to CR765 at the town of Pitkin.)

Campsite Locations

Quartz Creek CG › N 38° 38' 19.32", W 106° 28' 09.10"
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