Old Roach  
USGS 7.5' Map: Old Roach and Kings Canyon
Difficulty: Number: Miles: Altitude: Obstacles: Time:
Graded FR 200 20.00 8,050 to 9,470 ft. NA 2-3 hours
County: Larimer
Adopted by:      
Managed by: Roosevelt National Forest,
Canyon Lakes Ranger District
2150 Centre Ave., Building E
Fort Collins, CO 80526
Summary: Old Road road is a long loop road into the forest west of the Laramie River.
Attractions: Old Logging Camp remains.
Natural - Closed by heavy snows.
Best Time: June - Snow drifts possible in the upper sections
July - Best
August - Best
September - Best
October - Early snows possible
Trail Heads
Camping: There are quite a few dispersed campsites along the south end of the loop. I have not been on the north end.
Base Camp: This would be a good area to base camp to explore all of the roads in the area. It is remote, so you will need to bring the supplies you will need.
Fall Colors: Poor - Most of the forest is pine. There are small aspen groves along the northern part of the road.
Navigation: From Rustic, CO. head west on CO-14 W for 19.8 miles. Turn right onto County Rd 103/Hohnholz Lakes Rd and continue to follow Coounty Rd 103 for 27.6 miles. Turn left onto Hohnholz Lakes Rd and go 2.2 miles. Take a slight right to stay on Hohnholz Lakes Rd and go 1.0 miles. Take a slight left to stay on Hohnholz Lakes Rd and go 3.2 miles. Continue on the Old Roach 4WD road, FR200.

From Walden, CO. head north on CO-125 N/Main St for 13.2 miles. Continue onto CO-127 N Entering Wyoming for 9.1 miles. Continue onto WY-230 E for 1.7 miles. Turn right onto Forest Rd 526 entering Colorado for 3.2 miles. Forest Rd 526 turns slightly left and becomes Forest Service Rd 200 heading south. This is the Old Roach 4WD road.
History: Old Roach is a logging camp ghost town, occupied roughly between 1923 and 1938. Old Roach was built by the Otto Lumber Company for the purpose of railroad logging, or tie hacking, cutting trees into railroad ties. Railroad ties were needed to build and maintain the growing railroad network in the American west, and tie hacks were the loggers who cut the timber and shaped it into railroad ties. Old Roach was a large company town which had homes with indoor plumbing as well as a post office, a store, and a school. It was populated from the early 1920s to the 1930s when it was dismantled and removed from the National Forest lands where it was located. All that remains today are a few foundations, and the remains of a wooden flume and splash dam located along nearby Stuck Creek. The splash dam and flume were used to regulate water flows needed to float the new railroad ties down to the Big Laramie River during the annual spring tie drive. The ties were collected in Laramie, Wyoming where the Union Pacific Railroad was located.
Stuck Creek Dam

Old Roach Flume, 1920s

Archaeological exploration of Old Roach is currently being conducted by the U.S. Forest Service. The town site was examined and surveyed by Forest Service archaeologists and volunteers in the summer of 2006. The splash dam and Stuck Creek flume were also surveyed and artifacts noted. In 2007, archaeologists expanded the survey to include the search for the remains of Forrester Camp, a satellite logging camp operated by the Otto Lumber Company. This camp was found located about 5 miles southeast of Old Roach. The 2008 field survey resulted in the finding of another satellite logging camp known as "Camp 3" located about 3 miles west of Old Roach. Another satellite camp known as East Beaver Creek was located and recorded during the 2009 field survey. East Beaver Camp is about five miles northwest of Old Roach. Several other satellite camps of the Otto Lumber company remain in the forest and the hope is to locate and record them in future years.

Wikipedia Old Roach, Colorado Online.
Old Roach is an easy wide road that sees some maintenance. It is mostly graded running up into the Medicine Bow mountains. From the south end the road begins in ranching lands along the Laramie River as County Road 200 and works its way past Hohnholz Lake. The road will climb into the forest and enter public lands becoming FR200. It follows Stuck Creek, north of the road, along a wide ridge.
Barn near Hohnholz Lake, July 1999

photo by:
Adam M

There will be a lot of spur roads that lead to campsites along the lower section where there are more open meadows. As the road climbs higher into the mountains the forest gets thicker reducing the open views. About a mile from the public lands boundary will be the intersection with FR338, which is a short spur road that runs along a small bluff above a branch of Grace Creek. Staying with FR200 you will continue up the ridge as the forest gets thicker. About 2.5 miles from the public lands boundary you will come to a large intersection. The road to the left is FR143. It is a long network of roads that go west toward the Rawah Wilderness. All of these will dead end, or enter private property.

Continuing on FR200 will pass other spur roads before coming to another intersection. To the left is Pinkham Creek, FR157, which heads west over the Medicine Bow range. To the right will continue FR200. After a mile you will come to the next large intersection. The townsite of Old Roach will be on the right in an open meadow. Nothing much remains of the old logging town. The road to the right is FR203, which heads back to the Laramie River. Continue to the left to follow FR200. After about 1.2 miles you will come to the next intersection. The road to the right is FR206, stay to the left and follow FR200. In less than a mile you will come to a T intersection. To the left is Pinkham Creek, FR204, that crosses into the Parks Ranger District and heads down to Highway 127. To the right continues FR200.

From here FR200 continues north passing many spur roads to dispersed campsites. There will be an intersection with FR337 and FR202 before the Old Roach road crosses the Colorado / Wyoming border.
Data updated - April 12, 2022     4WD Road driven - September 4, 2016     Copyright 4X4Explore.com - 2000-2022