“A moderate dirt road climb high above Keystone.
— Nick Wilder
Closed May 15-June 15 for elk calving.
From the parking area, immediately start climbing right next to a stream. The grade is not too steep, and the surface is very smooth, so enjoy the views of the many beaver dams and pretty valley scenery.
At around 3 miles, you'll pass two lifts near Labonte’s Smokehouse which is at the base of Ruby and Santiago lifts of Keystone ski area. Shortly thereafter, at around 3.4 miles, there is a turnoff that crosses the stream and heads uphill. That turnoff is CO Rd 176, and part of the popular ride called Keystone Gulch to Soda Creek Loop
After passing a third lift at around mile 4.5, the road leaves the drainage and starts climbing a bit more steeply. Beginners may wish to turn around here. To continue, crank up switchbacks as the oxygen gets thinner and thinner.
An optional left turn near the top of the ski area will take you to the Outpost, where you may be able to grab a burger. This trail continues right through a gate and now climbs above timberline until you get to the Erickson Mine where the road ends.
This road is open to ATV's and Keystone service vehicles use it quite a bit, so keep an eye out.