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Porphyry Gulch 4x4 Road, Colorado

Steep, narrow climb to beautiful high-mountain lakes.
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Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 2.8 miles
Duration: 1-3 hours
Family Friendly

Overview:  Although short, this trail is fun to drive and very scenic with lakes and waterfalls at the end. Look for seasonal wildflowers near... more »

Tips:  Drivers intimidated by narrow shelf roads may wish to hike the last mile of this trail. At 1.6 miles, there is a road that heads north... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Start of Trail

Head west from Highway 550 on Forest Road 822. This point is about a half mile south of mile marker 80. There is very little room to park here. Unlicensed vehicle owners may have to drop their ATVs here and park their transport vehicles farther north on Highway 550. Unlicensed vehicle owners must have driver's license and carry proof of insurance.

2. Road Joins On Right

Porphyry Gulch Road continues straight. Road on right is a connecting road to Black Bear Pass. Unlicensed vehicles can reach Porphyry Gulch this way, since there is plenty of room to park at start of Black Bear Pass Road.Photos show narrow shelf road after point where road joins on right. For a complete explanation, see the book ATV Trails Guide,... More

3. Mine Ruins

Turn left here. Fun section follows as trail winds through interesting rock formations.

4. Parking Area

Road ends here at small parking area. Hike short distance to Bullion King Lake and waterfall. There are two other lakes higher up.