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This trailhead is mainly for reaching Brown Mountain only, however, some may wish to add in Red Mountain #1 which is close by to the WSW. What we are calling Gray Copper Pass, is not an official name found on any maps. This pass is at the head of Gray Copper Gulch, so we named it after that, and it can be accessed from the Ironton area along US550, or it can also be accessed from Silverton by the following means described in the next paragraph, which is the easiest vehicle access. The access from Ironton utilizes the 4WD road up Corkscrew Gulch. This is FR886. We drove this road DOWN once we had finished hiking Brown Mountain. The road has some very steep sections, is very narrow for much of its length and has some very tight switchbacks. Longer bed vehicles are not advised.
From Silverton, drive northwest on the main street through town, past the courthouse, and one block later, you'll come to a "Y" intersection. Instead of veering right, as you would for all the 13ers located up along the Animas River, stay straight. In another block, the paved road will make a turn to the left, then back to the right, then it will come to another intersection. Turn left to follow the gravel based CO110 north for 7.5 miles all the way to Gladstone, which is a large mining operation.
At Gladstone, veer left above the mining operation to gain CR10, which continues north, following the west side of Cement Creek. It's 1.9 miles from the Gladstone turnoff to where we suggest parking for the hike. Drive this road north from Gladstone until you come to an intersection at about 1.8 mile up. Make a hard left turn, drive about 1,000 feet to another intersection and park. The only portion of this road that was in any way difficult when we drove it in 2002, was just this last 1,000 foot section and to where we parked. We drove to here in a stock Cherokee Sport and experienced no difficulties. If your vehicle is capable, you could follow the road that goes to the top of Gray Copper Pass and park near that summit. It may be possible for some cross-over type vehicles to make it to here, but keep in mind that it's been 18 years since we drove this road and with increasing 4WD, ATV, ORV use, the road may not be as passable as it once was.
The nearest national forest campground is the one located four miles up South Mineral Creek. Otherwise, all other options are primitive, undeveloped sites. Back at Ironton, there is a good primitive area located up the road that leads to both Gray Copper and Corkscrew Gulches. There are also other primitive sites along US550 just southwest of Ironton and down by the river. We have made no notes regarding any primitive sites along Cement Creek out of Silverton. There's a NF campground up at Little Molas Lake and the Molas Lake Park operated by the Town of Silverton at Molas Lake. This is a fee area as well as the Little Molas Lake site. A primitive site shows at the top of Gray Copper Pass. There's also some open camping if you drive south from Gladstone up the short distance along the South Fork of Cement Creek.