Beaver Creek  
USGS 7.5' Map: Jefferson
Difficulty: Number: Miles: Altitude: Obstacles: Time:
Easy 2 FR123 5.52 9,600 to 10,500 ft. N/A 1-2 hours
County: Park
Adopted by:      
Managed by: Pike National Forest,
South Platte Ranger District
19316 Goddard Ranch Court
Morrison, CO 80465
Summary: Beaver Creek is an easy 4WD road with dispersed camping.
Attractions: Camping
Natural - Closed by seasonal snow fall.
Best Time: June - May still have snow on upper road.
July - Best
August - Best
September - Best
October - Possible early snows.
Trail Heads
Camping: There are quite a few dispersed campsites along the road.
Base Camp: This would be a good place to base camp and explore the 4WD roads around Kenosha Pass.
Fall Colors: Poor - There are a few aspen along the upper end of the road.
Navigation: From Bailey, CO head west on US Hwy 285 S toward County Road 64A for 14.3 miles. Turn right onto County Road 60 and go 3.2 miles. Turn left onto Beaver Lane, County Road 202, and go 0.1 miles. You will cross onto public lands and be on FR123.

From Fairplay, CO head southeast on Main Street toward 6th Street for 0.5 miles. Turn left onto US Hwy 285 N and go 24.6 miles. Turn left onto County Road 60 and go 3.2 miles. Turn left onto Beaver Lane, County Road 202, and go 0.1 miles. You will cross onto public lands and be on FR123.

History: Back where County Road 60 leaves Hwy 285 the community of Webster once existed. Webster was created in the late 1870s when it was briefly the terminus of the Denver, South Park & Pacific Railroad, receiving its post office in 1877. Construction on the railroad continued in 1878, but by that time the area had attracted other business investors such as the Lamping family, who constructed charcoal-producing kilns in Webster. The charcoal was sent to the smelters in Leadville, and the Lampings saw success in the business until they ceased operations in 1893. The kilns, mining interests, local ranching, and the timber industry kept the town afloat for many years, but the post office closed in 1909 and little historical evidence of the town remains today. The private property along the South Platte River here is from the ranching interests.

Denver, South Park, and Pacific railroad, DSP&P, was a narrow gauge line (3' between the rails) that started life in Denver in 1874 and was headed to the mining camps in the mountains. A number of routes were considered. The first was to go up Bear Creek, the second featured Turkey Creek, and the third, which was ultimately selected, went along the course of the Platte River through Waterton Canyon and over Kenosha Pass.

Kenosha Pass represented a difficult climb for the railroad. The direct route up the canyon which the current US 285 takes was just too steep in the upper sections. In order to make the route less steep, a loop of track was run up toward Webster Pass. The extra length of the track allowed for a more manageable grade. The amount of elevation gain can be seen by observing the cut that the train went through above the highway just west of the highway and county road intersection. The old roadbed which was abandoned in 1938.

After passing the private drives at the start of Beaver Creek road you will head into the pines and work your way to the side of Beaver Creek. The road will be a wide single lane as it heads through the trees. You will come out into an open meadow with some campsites around the edge in the trees. In the center will be the intersection with FR123A to the right.

Intersection of FR123 and FR123A

photo by:
Adam Mehlberg

FR123A follows North Beaver Creek for a mile and a half before ending. Stay to the left to continue along Beaver Creek. The road will become a two track as it follows along the creek.

Along Beaver Creek

photo by:
Adam Mehlberg

The road and creek will head southwest for a mile and a half. Along the way you will pass four more campsites. After this long straight stretch the road will turn northwest following the creek and coming into a more open area. There will be a short spur road on your right that is not a legal route. You will pass another campsite on the left and then come to a large intersection. The road on the left is T-Pit, FR811, which drops down and crosses a wide, possibly deep, section of Beaver Creek. Continue right following the creek as the valley narrows up. Next you will pass another campsite on the left. This section of the valley will have the aspen trees on the northeast side. The valley widens again and you will pass two more campsites. The road will finally turn north away from the creek passing a last campsite before ending in a large loop.

Data updated - August 20, 2022     4WD Road driven - August 3, 2022     Copyright - 2000-2022