Please Note: During the summer of 2015, a landslide closed the road that leads to the Lily Lake Trailhead, and surrounding private property made it illegal to attempt to find another way around that landslide. Reports from summer of 2016 indicated that a temporary road was built around the landslide and vehicle access to the trailhead had resumed. It should not be assumed however, that this access will remain open. Further damage could result in closure again. It would be best to contact the Forest Service regarding road condition before planning a trip into here. Call 719-269-8500 for the Pueblo/San Carlos ranger district for more information.
From I-25, take exit #52 west and turn onto SH69 that goes through Gardner to Westcliffe. Drive to Gardner and then on the west side of the small town, the road makes a turn north. About a half mile west out of town, after the highway has made that turn north, take a left turn onto CR 550, aka: The Mosca Pass Road. (If coming from Westcliffe, you will reach this intersection before arriving in Gardner.) Shortly after making this turn, a Forest Service sign indicates the Upper Huerfano TH to be 21.5 miles. In 7 miles, the road turns to graded gravel. In another 4.8 miles stay left onto FS580. In 3.4 more miles, the road enters an area of private property with a sign indicating Forest Access. Another sign here indicates the Upper Huerfano Th to be another 5.3 miles. In .5 mile after entering the private property, stay left at the entrance to the Singing River Ranch. The road narrows but remains passable for 2WD. In another .9 mile, pass the entrance to the Aspen River Ranch. The road narrows more and becomes more rough. From the Aspen River ranch, it's 4.2 more miles to signs for the Huerfano and Zapata Trails, however, you will come to the landslide damage before then. When you reach the landslide damage, if in 2WD, you should park here. Only 4WD with good clearance should continue on the re-routed road. Continue 2 more miles to the Lily Lake TH for the upper valley summits or stop at the Huerfano TH for California Peak at these coordinates: N 37° 38' 20" W 105° 28' 16". In these last couple miles, there are at-large camping opportunities and some camping room at the trailhead as well.
At-large campsites on National Forest land are available the last couple miles to the trailhead. Make sure you are not attempting to camp on any of the private property. There are a couple of fairly nice spots just beyond the Huerfano-Zapata TH. See coordinates below.