The only direct road access to the trailhead is from a turnoff along US50 a few miles east of Cimarron. From the center of Montrose, the turnoff for CR864 is appx. 21 miles east on US50, or appx. 64 miles west of Gunnison on US50. The road turnoff is marked. Drive generally south for 17 miles on a good graded, gravel road to reach the trailhead, which is a very small parking area on a sharp switchback. When the road crosses into Uncompahgre National Forest land, it becomes FR864. The trailhead is called the " East Cimarron Trail on a sign post."
About a half mile back from the switchback and trailhead parking, there is a primitive camp area that also serves as a location to pick up the Alpine Trail #225. This is primitive camping with no facilities but there is a bridge across the Cimarron here and a trail leads south which eventually ties in with the Little Cimarron Trail #246 which provides the access for Sheep Mountain and UN 13,100.
When CR864 crosses into the National Forest, there is a primitive camp area almost immediately on the right and there are at least two other such camp areas as you continue driving south.