Iowa Gulch Trailhead


Range: Mosquito Range
Coordinates: 39.22587, -106.18519
14ers: Mt. Sherman
Elevation: 12,000'
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Road Difficulty

2WD, rough dirt road 2   (0=Paved, 6=Very Difficult 4WD)
Rough 2WD dirt to the TH.

Driving Directions

Take US 24 through downtown Leadville to the southern end of town. Turn east onto Monroe Street and drive 0.2 miles. Turn right (south) on Lake County 2 (Toledo St). Follow CR 2 (paved) for approximately 3.8 miles to a fork in the road. Turn left on a 2WD dirt road and continue 3.0 miles up into Iowa Gulch to the trailhead. A total of 7 miles from US 24 in Leadville. The trailhead is unmarked - park along the road. If you're hiking Mts Sherman or Sheridan, locate the trail (below the edge of the road) as it heads toward the creek under the power lines.

Winter Access

Closed at the junction, 3 miles below the TH.

More Info

Parking: Parking along the road and 6-8 spots at the indicated TH.
Camping: No good camping spots in the area.
Restrooms? No
Fees? No
Trailhead added by BillMiddlebrook
Status Updates 
Posted By: BillMiddlebrook
Info: The road closure from 2022 is still in place at 3 miles up from Leadville. The road is blocked, with parking off to the left. This means youll have to walk nearly 4 miles to get to the actual Iowa Gulch trailhead.

As for conditions, the road is snow-free almost all the way to upper trailhead. Too bad we cant drive there.
Posted By: dude4mountains
Info: Lake County Road 2 with be closed to vehicle traffic indefinitely.
Posted By: GuiGirard
Info: Easy road; no issue with an Outback. I saw at least one 2WD low clearance car at the TH. I just wanted to add that there a few nice dispersed campsites with amazing views on Mts. Massive and Sheridan within ~ 1 mile from the TH.
Posted By: EndWillows
Info: Super easy road. Any car can do it with good line picking. Priuses, go right ahead.
Posted By: cloudkicker
Info: Dry to TH.
Posted By: PikaSteve
Info: Road is very smooth and snow is avoidable to within a half mile of the end of the road. There are a few six inch rocks to dodge but otherwise easy driving.
Posted By: Russ
Info: Starting about two miles from the trailhead, the road still has significant amounts of snow on it (2+ feet in places). Definitely walkable, especially with spikes, but I don’t recommend driving that section without high ground clearance *and* low center of gravity.
Posted By: awermann
Info: Gate is closed for the Winter. Dyer is 9 mi RT. Icey along the road even to the gate. AWD/4WD recommended through tomorrow. After the storm hits next week - Game over without snowshoes and many miles. Pic is looking back down the road from near true TH.
Posted By: chronos
Info: The dirt road (2B) looked a lot sketchier than it really was. It snowed overnight, maybe an inch. The little rocks on the road were still visible. I had no problem with a 2WD sedan. It is rough though, so go slow and pay attention if you cant see the rocks and its icy, then thats a different story.

There were other tire tracks I was following, but they turned around halfway up. I was the first car at the trailhead around 8am. By 11am, the road was 90% dry.
Posted By: alpinenut
Info: Did not drive up but saw the upper section from Sherman today. Looks clear all the way to the end of the road.
Posted By: Carl_Healy
Info: Pretty much same as last update.
Rough but doable in pretty much any 2WD vehicle.
Posted By: Roll_Tide
Info: Mostly smooth ride. A few rough stretches but a normal sedan should be able to make it just drive slow in some spots.
Posted By: Harrison1991
Info: Road is in decent shape. There are a few bumps, and big rocks, but all are avoidable. I made it all the way in my sedan. Pretty much any car can make it, if you take your time
Posted By: JoshPopejoy
Info: The road is clear all the way up, just one Boulder and per of a fallen tree to navigate around, easy with a 2WD vehicle.
Posted By: benjamincolorado
Info: Didn’t drive it, but looking at what I would assume is Iowa Gulch from the Sheridan-Sherman Saddle, it looks clear. There might be one short area that had some snow on the side of the road, but it looked like enough road for a car to get by. Again, I did not go on Hwy 2/2B but it looks void of snow.
Posted By: TBro221
Info: Dry and open to about 0.3 miles from "parking lot". Snow covering majority of road in one spot. Probably passable in 4wd
Posted By: Chicago Transplant
Info: Dry for about the first 1/2 mile+, then some snow covered the road that most people drove a little farther on before parking, more like 3/4 mile. One brave soul made it even farther but there was a lot of evidence of others being stuck around that spot. I skied West Dyer so not sure of conditions on Sherman or Dyer. Dyer amphitheater and hoodoo bowl solid coverage.
Posted By: sodomike
Info: Updating a previous conditions report for Dyer Mountain
04/14/2021 10:19
Went up for a SE face ski 4/12 and was immediately presented with the awful road conditions left by this 4runner and a subsequent subie that’s stuck and still abandoned on the road. On 2B you’ll now find a maze of deep ruts across the road’s entire width as both vehicles repeatedly tried driving further, three point turning etc. Also, all the branches, rocks and dirt used to try and find traction were just thrown across the road and left there on the snow surface. Skinning up was OK - just annoying, skiing down was unpleasant and downright sketchy thanks to this laziness. So much for a nice corn cruise on the road after a long ski. If you’re thinking of shortening the route with a snomo ride up this road, think about other options or proceed slowly and carefully as the ruts are soo deep, sharply cut and braided I’m not even sure a snomo could navigate portions.

Real pro tip: if you’re looking for an outing in the mountains, go for an outing in the mountains - don’t insist on remaining in your vehicle until the last possible second. Or better yet, just stick to 4 wheeling (or stay in Denver next weekend) if ruining roads and trails is your thing.

As for the actual mountain’s conditions, SE face was in for a summit ski and had good corn at about noon/12:30 - but unless this week’s snow comes through - it won’t be for long at all. If it weren’t for the damage above, the road is snow covered and smooth sailing from 2/2B split all the way into upper basin. Would be easy and pleasant cruising up and down.
Posted By: adamorsubtractem
Info: Do NOT attempt to drive past the winter closure. The snow seemed great at 6am, but quickly becomes unsupportive. I only made it 0.5 miles before getting stuck.

I actually ended up having to spend the night there after climbing Dyer just so the snow would refreeze enough to back out.
Posted By: arnavxv
Info: Was able to drive here in a rav4 with snow tires, but just barely. Took everything I got. I was also the first vehicle here in weeks, as I was driving entirely on top of snowmobile tracks the second half of the way.

I packed the road down pretty well and most vehicles with good ground clearance, AWD/4WD, and snow tires and/or chains would be able to make it now. There are some deep spots along the way where the only way to get past is to maintain your momentum. Keep this in mind.

Shovel and chains + more are mandatory. Super easy to get stuck. Road is narrow and sides of the road are super deep snow.
Posted By: daway8
Info: Road is plowed to the 2/2B junction. Neither road was gated but 2B had deep snow - would need good snow tires to attempt and good turn around options would be limited. With incoming storms likely better to just walk it.
Posted By: arnavxv
Info: Packed snow, some gravel/rocks all the way to 12k feet. Made it in a rav4 with 3PMSF tires no issue. The snow in the middle is a bit high, as well as some rocks/boulders towards the end, so a sedan would have trouble. After another storm or two this definitely wont be the case.

I dont know why the desc says closed at the TH. There are two roads: the upper road 2B isnt gated, the lower road is. They both take you to the same place.
Posted By: Unknown
Info: Open to TH. "Rough 2wd" Minor bits of snow on road which will melt by weeks end at latest
Posted By: bfaulkne
Info: The gate is currently closed 3 miles below the trailhead. Not sure if this is permanent for the rest of the winter or not.
Posted By: Tripp
Info: Road up from Leadville was clear and manageable for our AWD. Parking was limited, but we were there early enough (6:00a) to snag a spot. Starting out in the dark, we missed the cairn to turn south and instead trekked west (mostly along the power lines) for maybe 5/8 mile before realizing our mistake and retracing our steps.
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