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Central City, Colorado, United States

Pickle Gulch 4x4 Trail

Remote, rugged area north of Central City

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Difficulty: Difficult
Length: 5.2 miles / 8.4 km
Duration: 1-3 hours
Family Friendly • Dog Friendly
Overview: Remote forest land tucked in behind surrounding private mountain property. Confusing at first due to few route markers so follow directions carefully. Connects to Moon/Gamble Gulch Trails (available as eGuide from FunTreks). Great area for ATVs, UTVs and dirtbikes. Open all year, weather permitting. For current conditions call Arapaho National Forest, Clear Creek Ranger District at (303) 567-3000.


Difficult. Applies to two short sections, which can be bypassed. Tight brush. Not recommended for shiny new SUVs, but aggressive models with high clearance can do it. Tight brush may scratch vehicle. Various exit points in case you encounter a locked gate.

This trail is one of 80 trails from the book Guide to Northern Colorado Backroads & 4WD Trails, 3rd Edition, by FunTreks Publishing, available at

Tips: Take along a Forest Service Motor Vehicle Use Map. It will help to determine route numbers, since few are actually marked on the ground.

Trail conditions can change without notice. FunTreks, Inc. and its owner and employees are not responsible for injury, death, or vehicle damage as a result of using this guide. The content of this guide is the property of FunTreks, Inc. and is made available to the user pursuant to EveryTrail’s Terms of Service (

Points of Interest


Start Here

You'll turn left off Missouri Gulch Road 15S following signs to Pickle Gulch Group Campground. Drive in about a mile past the campground until good road ends. Narrow trails continues straight into the trees.

Driver's Choice

Right goes up steep rocky spot. Left is bypass.

4-Way Intersection

Bear left at 4-way intersection. Straight connects to Moon/Gamble Gulches in less than a mile. This trail is available as eGuide from FunTreks.

Stay left

Stay left after going past Snowden Mine (tailings pile). Creek on right is easier alternate route to Point #7. This way is not shown on MVUM because it crosses private land.

Green Shed

You'll pass an old broken-down green shed (approximate location).

Stay Right Uphill

Stay right uphill on less traveled road. Road gets steep and narrow with loose rock. We've rated this short section marginally difficult. As you climb, road seems to fade away, but it continues uphill and connects to larger road at Point #7. Left at Point #6 is Forest Road 707. It heads south 1.5 miles to Apex Valley Road where a private property gate may be locked.

Left on Better Road

You'll climb a faint road uphill to a more defined road shown as 714F on MVUM. Turn left.

Bear right

Bear right. If you continue straight, you'll run into Forest Road 713, which goes south to Michigan Hill and deadends.

Bear Left

At major intersection bear left on Forest Road 716 past a junked camping trailer. Right on 713 goes to Moon/ Gamble Gulches.

Seasonal Gate

Pass through seasonal gate and continue north.

Cluster of Buildings

Bear left downhill past cluster of maintenance buildings. Right is Moon/Gamble Gulch trail, available as eGuide from FunTreks.

Large Gate

Large gate should be open if trail was open. If gate is locked, your options are to return the way you came, or follow Moon/Gamble Gulch Trail out to County Road 15, which, if you head south, connects to County Road 15S, where you started Pickle Gulch.

Follow Main Road Downhill

After passing through large gate, main road continues downhill past ghost town of Apex. This is County Road 4S and continues south to Central City.
Pictures in this guide taken by: FunTreks, FunTreks, Inc.

Copyright 2011 FunTreks, Inc

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