From the town of Creede, where CO149 crosses the Willow Creek, drive south and west about 5.1 miles to where the highway crosses to the south side of the Rio Grande. Continue another 1.7 miles to just before where the highway crosses back to the north side of the Rio Grande. Forest Road 523 turns off to the left just before the bridge crossing. Head south on FR 523. The graded gravel road follows along the Rio Grande briefly, then passes by a subdivision of houses and comes to an intersection in about 4.7 miles. Stay right here. Drive another 3.7 miles to another intersection and veer left to stay on FR 523. Now the road will finally leave the river valley and begin to do some climbing. Follow FR 523 to Love Lake. There's a vault toilet here and not much else. Measure from Love Lake another 2.5 miles. In this next section of driving, the road deteriorates some after the lake and becomes rougher but still passable for passenger cars with better clearance. Do not depend on the Trails Illustrated map at this point. It is inaccurate in showing where the road really goes. There will be an intersection where you'll need to make a sharp left turn to remain on FR 523. By now, you are in an area of extensive logging with multiple logging roads heading off in various directions. Drive about 3.7 more miles on FR 523 to an intersection at these coordinates: N 37° 36' 56.93 W 107° 02' 41.58". Elevation 11,480 ft. Make a sharp left here and drive another half mile to where the "good" road ends at an area with piles of old cut logs. 4WD is not required to reach this point as of 2010, but better ground clearance is useful. The road actually continues, turning back to the SE, but a berm seems to be intended to halt further traffic, so let this location serve as the trailhead to reach South River Peak.


Camping is possible right at the trailhead, or at any number of other locations in the final mile or even farther back. Water may not be immediately available. It's not too likely to find competition for campsites in this logged and now beetle-kill forest.

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