Directions begin from Lake City. From Gunnison, go west on SH50 to the intersection near the beginning of Blue Mesa Reservoir with SH149 and turn south. From Montrose, drive east on SH50 to the east end of Blue Mesa Reservoir for the same turnoff on SH149. Drive west and south on 149 to Lake City, just over 45 miles from the previous intersection. Once in Lake City, watch for either 3rd or 2nd street. Turning west on either will take you to Bluff St. in two blocks and a left turn (south). 2nd St. is considered the "official" access to CR20 which heads west following Henson Creek, but if you take 3rd St., it passes by a nice city park with restroom and picnic tables for those who need a break before proceeding further.

Once on CR20, drive 9.1 miles west to Capitol City on a graded, gravel road passable to passenger vehicles. On the Gunnison National Forest map, this road is labelled as BLM3303. At 5.2 miles into this drive, you'll pass the Nellie Creek Road (FR877) which accesses Uncompahgre Peak and several 13ers located in that area. At Capitol City take the right fork and continue NW on FR870 (aka: CR24) to the Matterhorn Creek trailhead turnoff at 11.1 miles from Lake City. The road becomes rougher but higher clearance SUV's and cross-overs should be able to handle. Coordinates for the turnoff are: N 38° 01' 22.65" W 107° 29' 31.09". Many vehicles will choose to park here. If you have better clearance, drive north on rougher road (FR870.2A) for just over .6 mile to the trailhead parking area. See coordinates below. There's a small parking area with a gate. Best to have at least stock 4WD for this last section.


There are no forest service campgrounds along CR20. All camping is in primitive sites which can be found along CR20 and the best location is in the vicinity of Capitol City, but be careful about private property in that area and be aware of weekend, large group incursions if you're looking for peace and quiet. There are also a few other primitive sites at the turnoff for the trailhead both before and beyond.

Warning! Climbing peaks can be dangerous! By using this site and the information contained herein, you're agreeing to use common sense, good judgement, and to not hold us liable nor sue us for any reason. Legal Notice & Terms of Use.
Donate to ›