Directions

If coming from Breckenridge on State Highway 9, drive to the summit of Hoosier Pass, then continue south just over 1.0 mile and turn right (west) onto CR 4. 

If coming north from Fairplay on SH 9, drive north to Alma and just over 5 miles from the center of town, turn left (west) onto CR 4. 

Follow CR 4 as it heads downhill toward the scenic Montgomery Reservoir. Avoid making any turnoffs either left or right and continue down to the north side of the reservoir. Just before the dam, veer right when the road forks. The left fork goes down to the lake. There is parking available there if you're in a passenger vehicle that you do not want to take farther. The right fork will take you around to the west end of the lake. Stock 4WD and many crossovers should be able to continue. Continue to a trailhead parking area at roads' end. If in a passenger vehicle, do not attempt to take the 4WD drive road that turns off to the right and heads up to the Magnolia Mill. Continuing up the 4WD road brings one immediately to a difficult, rock-slab climb with a difficult 2 -3 foot step. If you're driving a stock 4WD of some type and don't feel comfortable making it up this first section, you should probably not try to go any farther, though stock vehicles with better than average clearance may be able to continue over another 2 miles, west along the Middle Fork of the South Platte River. Overgrown willows will likely scratch up your beautiful paint job. On one of the regional four-wheeling sites, the road is rated a 5 to 7 with warnings about rocks and holes larger than 12 inches, 8" deep mud, stream crossings to 18", slopes to 25 degrees, and side hills to 30 degrees. Roach suggests stock vehicles not drive beyond 11,680 ft. where the road begins to gain serious elevation up to Wheeler Lake. 


Camping

There is little to consider as viable camping at the trailhead though you might be able to "car-camp" overnight. The reservoir itself is surrounded by private property and cabins. The closest National Forest campgrounds are back up Four Mile Creek south of Fairplay. For most Front Range hikers, camping is not an issue since this TH is a relatively short drive of less than 2 hours for many. If you need to camp, try the few primitive sites at the top of Hoosier Pass (see North Star Mtn.) or head up Beaver Creek out of Fairplay (see Mt. Silverheels). If you have a capable 4WD that can navigate FR 408 toward Wheeler Lake, there are a couple of possible campsites right off the road, but generally, camping options are poor because of all the willows. 

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