Reno Divide  
Maps:        
USGS 7.5' Map: Italian Creek and Pearl Pass
Statistics:
Difficulty: Number: Miles: Altitude: Obstacles: Time:
Moderate 7 FT 642 3.30 11,146 to 11,644 ft. Ledge - 1
Rocks - 1
4-5 hours
County: Gunnison
Adopted by:      
Managed by: Gunnison National Forest,
Gunnison Ranger District
216 N. Colorado
Gunnison, CO 81230
(970)641-0471
Summary: Reno Divide connects Cement Creek and Italian Creek between Taylor Park and Almont, CO. It is a bypass on FR 759 (Italian Creek) that climbs above timberline on a narrow ledge road.
Attractions: Reno Divide is a high altitude pass that gets you above timberline. It follows Cement Creek on the west side and Italian Creek on the east side. The main attraction on Reno Divide is the ledge road and talus slope, containing the main obstacle, that you cross on the side of Italian Mountain.
Seasonal
Closure:
Natural - Closed by snow seasonally.
Best Time: July - Late in the month due to snow and spring run off
August - Best time
September - Fall colors
October - Until fall snow
Summer
Activities:
Hiking -
FT 422, FT 648, FT 643, FT 411, FT 534
Equestrian -
???
Mountain Bike -
FT 422, FT 648, FT 643, FT 411, FT 534
ATV -
FT 534 (part)
Motorcycle -
FT 422, FT 648, FT 643, FT 411, FT 534
Camping: There are dispersed camp sites at the northeast end of Cement Creek. Be aware of the private property. The eastern side, Italian Creek, contains a large amount of dispersed sites and has gentler terrain. There are a few large parcels of private property at the head of Italian Creek.
Base Camp: The eastern side, in Taylor Park, is a great place to base camp with the large amount of 4WD roads and motorized trails. Taylor Pass, Tincup Pass, and Napoleon Pass are a few.
Fall Colors: Poor - Reno Divide itself is above timberline.
Winter
Activities:
Snowshoeing -
Italian Creek FR 759, Reno Divide FT 642,
FT 422, FT 648, FT 643, FT 411, FT 534
Cross Country Skiing-
Italian Creek FR 759, Reno Divide FT 642,
FT 422, FT 648, FT 643, FT 411, FT 534
Snowmobile -
Italian Creek FR 759
Navigation: From Almont, CO head north on Colorado Hwy 135 for 10.4 miles. Turn right onto Cement Creek Road, County Road 740, continuing through the subdivision to the Gunnison National Forest. Stay on the Cement Creek Road for approximately 8 miles and look for a right turn onto FR 759. Follow FR 759 for approximately 3 miles to a fence line at a small meadow. Just past the fence is the start of FT 642 to the left at the Y. The lower road is the continuation of FR 759.

From Tin Cup, CO head north on County Road 765 for 5.7 miles. Turn right to stay on County Road 765 and go 1.9 miles. Turn right onto County Road 742 and go 11.6 miles. Turn left onto FR 759 and go 6.4 miles to a sharp right turn climbing a switchback. You will go about 1 mile to bypass private property before coming to the Star Mine area. Stay on the main road for about 1.5 miles crossing Italian Creek and climbing to a saddle between American Flag Mountain and Italian Mountain. Contiue on FR 759 for about 1 mile past the Stewart Mine to a right turn onto Reno Divide.
History:  
Description:
Reno Divide is a motorized trail, open to full size vehicles, off of the Italian Creek (FR 759) 4WD road. The time shown is to drive Italian Creek as well to get to Reno Divide. The GPS data will include the Italian Creek sections as well. From the west side leaving the Cement Creek (FR 740) road, you will climb through the forest toward a saddle off of Italian Mountain. Be aware that old topo maps show an old route for Italian creek connecting to Cement Creek that is now a motorized trail (FT 620). After approximately 3 miles you will come to a clearing at a saddle that has a fence running across it. After going through the fence, leave it in the same state that you found it in, there are multiple routes to choose from. Going straight ahead, and down, on FR 759 continues Italian Creek. To the right is Flag Divide (FR 759.1E) which connects with Spring Creek (FR 744). To the left is Reno Divide heading into some trees running at the same level as the saddle. There is another left that climbs to a peak with a radio facility on it.
Reno Divide, west end

photo by:
Karla H.

Taking the Reno Divide route will follow the Italian Creek 4WD road at a higher altitude and connect back into it. Reno Divide is a narrow two track that runs along the south flank of Italian Mountain. It crosses small groves of trees, but is mosly above timberline on exposed sections. This part of the route is a two track cut into steep slopes of the mountain. It isn't too bad, but would be difficult to pass someone going the other way for most of its length. There will be some downhills and short climbs as you work around two gulches cut into the mountain.
Reno Divide

photo by:
Adam Mehlberg

After the second gulch you will head toward a prominent point of rock outcrop. The road will flatten out at this point, which is a good place to stop and take pictures as well as walk a short way down the route to take a look at the obstacle.
Just before the obstacle

photo by:
Adam Mehlberg

Around the point the east side of Italian Mountain is a steep talus slope of angular boulders. Reno Divide becomes a narrow ledge route cut across this jumble of boulders. For the most part the route is drivable, its a 30 foot section of boulders that tips you out toward thin air that makes the obstacle. There isn't much room to navigate and there are only a few lines to pick from. High clearance will help to keep the boulders from beating up the underside of your vehicle, but it will also increase the vertigo of tipping toward the edge.
Obstacle

photo by:
Adam Mehlberg

Reno Divide, past the obstacle

photo by:
Adam Mehlberg

Once off the talus slope of boulders, the route heads back into some small groves of trees and shortly connects back with Italian Creek heading toward the Stewart Mine and the Star Mine complex.
Reno Divide, east end

photo by:
Karla H.

After crossing another saddle between Italian Mountain and American Flag Mountian you will drop down to the Italian Creek drainage. The last six miles of Italian Creek 4WD road are easy before coming out into Taylor Park.
Data updated 04/22/2012       4WD Road driven 09/06/2010       Copyright 4X4Explore.com - 2000-2012