California Gulch


The California Gulch Trail is located about 9 miles North-Northeast of Silverton.  When I last rode this trail, it was as a return route to Silverton from the Poughkeepsie Gulch Trail. Therefore, the “trailhead” as shown below is at the end of that trail.  If you were to drive the California Gulch Trail by itself, you would enter at my “trail end”, drive to California Pass, and perhaps take the Placer & Picayne Gulches Loop on the way back.  As such, you would start the California Gulch Trail at the ghost town of Animas Forks by driving northeast out of Silverton on SR 110 (Animas Forks Rd) approximately 12 miles.  Like many other trails in the area, the California Gulch Trail is an easy, scenic drive with lots of history along the way.  As I drove the trail back from Poughkeepsie Gulch, we topped out at 12,900 feet at California Pass (Waypoint CG01-04) and followed CR 19 eastward towards Animas Forks.  At Waypoint CG01-10, we found a horizontal mineshaft off to the left.  At Waypoint CG01-14 is a fork; right to Placer & Picayne Gulches, and straight ahead to Animas Forks.  Just past Waypoint CG01-16 are the remains of the Frisco Mill.  At the trail end, take the self-guided tour through the ghost town of Animas Forks.  The California Gulch Trail is just a little over 4 miles one way and takes only an hour or so to drive, so there’s lots of time to explore the area.

Difficulty Rating:  One (1) Easy
(based on my personal rating scale on the Trails Page)

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Here are a couple shots from the California Gulch Trail.
On the left, information about the town of Animas Forks.
On the right, some of the buildings still standing in the town.

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Cumm. Dist.









N37° 55.236’

W107° 37.139’



0.07 mi

0.07 mi

136° (SE)

N37° 55.192’

W107° 37.085’



0.19 mi

0.26 mi

180° (S)

N37° 55.024’

W107° 37.087’



0.08 mi

0.34 mi

56° (NE)

N37° 55.062’

W107° 37.015’



0.15 mi

0.49 mi

189° (S)

N37° 54.934’

W107° 37.039’



0.11 mi

0.60 mi

164° (SSE)

N37° 54.847’

W107° 37.007’



0.09 mi

0.68 mi

110° (ESE)

N37° 54.822’

W107° 36.917’



0.09 mi

0.77 mi

88° (E)

N37° 54.824’

W107° 36.822’



0.22 mi

0.99 mi

40° (NE)

N37° 54.972’

W107° 36.664’



0.08 mi

1.07 mi

297° (WNW)

N37° 55.002’

W107° 36.739’



0.49 mi

1.56 mi

10° (N)

N37° 55.423’

W107° 36.641’



0.47 mi

2.03 mi

33° (NNE)

N37° 55.764’

W107° 36.357’



0.55 mi

2.58 mi

61° (ENE)

N37° 55.995’

W107° 35.828’



0.43 mi

3.01 mi

103° (ESE)

N37° 55.908’

W107° 35.366’



0.25 mi

3.26 mi

93° (E)

N37° 55.898’

W107° 35.094’



0.23 mi

3.49 mi

80° (E)

N37° 55.933’

W107° 34.849’



0.19 mi

3.68 mi

66° (ENE)

N37° 56.002’

W107° 34.655’



0.26 mi

3.94 mi

92° (E)

N37° 55.993’

W107° 34.374’



0.10 mi

4.04 mi

115° ESE()

N37° 55.956’

W107° 34.273’



0.09 mi

4.12 mi

°148 (SSE)

N37° 55.893’

W107° 34.222’

Notice: Off-highway travel is by its very nature potentially dangerous and could result in property damage, injury, or even death.  If you drive any of the trails on this web site, you acknowledge these risks and assume full responsibility.  You are the final judge as to whether a trail is safe to drive, whether your vehicle is capable of the journey, and whether your skills are up to the challenge.  The publisher of this web site disclaims any and all liability for property damage, bodily injury, or death that could occur to you or any of your passengers.  To the best of my knowledge, the information contained on this page was accurate as of the time I road this trail during the Summer 2003.   However, things change over time.  And portions of this trail may no longer be legally accessible to motorized vehicles.  Therefore, please be good stewards of our sport--always stay on designated trails . . . and always, always remember to Tread Lightly!

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