For anyone planning on visiting Hinsdale County/Lake City area, be aware of the following road closures. Visit this link for more details. Click Here For the San Juan National Forest click here to be taken to a page on their site that has road closure information. Currently there is no off-road/primitive site camping allowed along the South Mineral Creek FS585 out of SIlverton. Do your research before leaving. Many areas commonly accessible by this time of year are still closed! Check other National Forest websites for additional information.
From the main intersection in Creede where CO149 reverses direction after crossing the creek, drive 33.0 miles SW, then north to the uneventful summit of Spring Creel Pass. The Snow Mesa/Continental Divide Trail heads out from the east side of the highway. On the west side of CO149, you can drive in on pavement and there's a small parking area for trail hikers with a vault toilet. The road continues to a circle where there are some picnic tables and another vault toilet. This use to be a campground but is now technically closed to camping. There's no water available here. The Continental Divide Trail also continues to the west and heads up onto Jarosa Mesa.
If coming from Lake City, drive south from town on CO149, remain on CO149 when the turnoff for Lake San Cristobal comes in on the right, and begin the long, steep climb to the summit of Slumgullion Pass. CO 149 then descends south from the pass winding through beetle-kill forest that has been cleared back from the highway and open, attractive meadows. Farther down are nice stands of aspen. The highway then makes one short gain to reach the summit of Spring Creek Pass. From Lake City, it's 17.3 miles to the summit of Spring Creek Pass as described above. It takes a good half hour to make the drive from Lake City.
There are three national forest campgrounds close by. They are: Slumgullion - at the top of Slumgullion Pass; South Clear Creek Falls and North Clear Creek. The South Clear Creek has been closed for some time but reopened recently from what we could tell. The Slumgullion is located in the midst of a lot of beetle-kill mitigation. A little farther drive away are the Rito Hondo CG at Rito Hondo Reservoir and Bronw Lakes, which is a state park area. South of Spring Creek Pass is your best chance to locate primitive sites.