Lefthand Canyon - Main  
USGS 7.5' Map: Boulder, Lyons
Difficulty: Number: Miles: Altitude: Obstacles: Time:
Moderate 6 FR286 3.90 7,700 ft. Rock - 2 1-2 hours
County: Boulder
Adopted by: Trailridge Runners 4WD Club P.O. Box 1716, Longmont, CO 80502  
Managed by: Roosevelt National Forest,
Boulder Ranger District
2140 Yarmouth Ave.
Boulder, CO 80301
Summary: The Lefthand Canyon Main 4WD road is the central route into the Lefthand Canyon OHV area. It runs from County Road 94 to the top of Spruce Gulch Ridge with multiple side 4WD roads and motorcycle trails that loop off of and back onto Lefthand Canyon Main, FR286.
Attractions: Multiple Routes, Challenge, Easy Access.
The Lefthand Canyon OHV routes are open all year.
When there has been heavy rain or snow it is recommended not to recreate on the 4WD roads and motorcycle trails.
Best Time: April - Early season use when other routes are still seasonally closed.
May-October - The summer and fall season is the heaviest use.
November - Late season use.
Trail Heads
Bauman's Ridge Trail, FT844 (motorcycle only)
Wiltz's Trail, FT843, FT843A, FT843B (motorcycle only)
Camping: There are a few dispersed camp sites at the start of Lefthand Main and at the top near the third information kiosk.
Base Camp: The Lefthand Canyon OHV area is not necessarily a good place to base camp due to the limited size of the network. You can explore the entire area in a day.
Fall Colors: Poor - There are very few aspen in the Lefthand Canyon OHV area.
Navigation: From Boulder take Hwy 36 north to Altona. Head west on County Road 94 for about 4 miles. You will pass Buckingham Park where Old Stage Road ties in with County Road 94. Continue west on County Road 94 to the Lefthand Canyon OHV network parking lot.
History: There was minimal mining done in the area. Most of the mining activity took place in Castle Gulch to the west at the Golden Age Hill mines. The first part of Lefthand Main follows the old stage road that ran to Jamestown overlooking County Road 94.
Note: The following description is for the Lefthand Main 4WD road before the 2013 Flood. The lower section and middle section of this road have changed due to the flood. Presently the whole Lefthand Canyon OHV Network, including Castle Gulch, is in the process of a new Forest Service Area Plan Analysis, to begin in 2016.

The Lefthand Canyon Main road climbs from County Road 94 through a series of easy switchbacks. In a few places you will be looking down at the County Road. Just after the last switchbacks near the upper connection with Mother Hill, FR286C, there is an open area with a rock outcropping that the road traverses. Just past this obstacle is Five Points and the second information kiosk. Lefthand Canyon Main continues from Five Points as a narrower ledge road. You will continue to climb heading for Spruce Gulch Ridge. After passing the intersection with Upper Carnage, FR286E, you will come to the intersection with Castle Gulch Ridge, FR287B. Past this intersection is the main obstacle, Squeeze Rock, a larger rock outcropping with an upper more challenging route, and a lower route. Continue climbing for another half mile to reach the third information kiosk at Spruce Gulch Ridge. From here is the interscetion with East Golden Age, FR288, Fiarview View, FR286H, and Fireman Hill, FR286D.
Data updated April 23, 2015       4WD Road driven May 7, 2010       Copyright 4X4Explore.com - 2000-2015