Near Grant in the Pike National Forest, the Hall Valley Road is a 4 mile route. The upper Hall Valley road climbs to the headwaters of the North fork of the South Platte River in a basin below the Continental Divide. This road is rather slow and rocky. Approximately 1.4 miles past the Hall Valley Campground is the trailhead for the 2.4 mile Gibson Lake trail. Beyond this, the road continues to climb until it ends above timberline at a locked gate. The basin has a long mining history, beginning with the original location in the 1850s by Scott Shaw. In the 1860s, the original claims were purchased by the Hall Valley Silver-Lead Mining and Smelting Company, Ltd. The Whale and Missouri mines were the largest in the valley. The company also constructed a smelter near the foot of Handcart Gulch, near which the small town of Hall Valley grew.
The road ends at a locked gate to a mineral claim. Most old mines are privately owned. Enjoy historical artifacts you find, but leave them where you found them for others to enjoy. Be very careful around old mine sites and beware of vertical shafts and collapsing tunnels. Vegetation includes spruce, lodgepole pine and aspen at lower elevations with tundra and boulder fields at higher elevations. Do not drive off the road, particularly not on delicate alpine tundra.
To reach the trailhead from Denver, travel southwest on US 285, through Bailey and Grant, to Hall Valley (CR 60). Turn northwest on CR 60 (FDR 120) and travel .25 miles past Handcart Gulch Campground to the Webster Pass and Red Cone sign at the junction of FDR 120 and 121. Here you will bear left, continuing up FDR 120 past the Hall Valley Campground.
Trail Head: 9,880 Feet FDR 120 and 121 junction
Trail High Point: 11,600 Feet, Gate-End of road
Trail End: 11,600 Feet, Gate-End of road
Note: Colorado residents must register their off-highway vehicle with the Colorado State Parks (303) 866-3437. Out-of-state residents who bring OHVs into Colorado must purchase a Colorado Non-Resident OHV permit which is valid from the date of purchase through the following March 31. These permits can be purchased anywhere you get your hunting/fishing licenses in Colorado. All off-highway vehicles must have an approved muffler and spark arrester. These requirements are subject to change so make sure to contact the Colorado State Parks prior to using your off-highway vehicle.
Note: As of September 2007, ATV riding on Forest Service roads is limited to designated roads that are signed as open or marked on the forest recreation map. To be safe (and legal), contact the Forest Service HQ to obtain a map at (719) 553-1400.