Union Canyon  
Maps: Location Map        
USGS 7.5' Map: Taylor Park Reservoir and Matchless Mountain
Statistics:
Difficulty: Number: Miles: Altitude: Obstacles: Time:
Moderate 5 FT 631, 631.1A 3 9080 to 9639 ft. Rock 1 2-3 hours
County: Gunnison
Adopted by:      
Managed by: Gunnison National Forest,
Gunnison Ranger District
216 N. Colorado
Gunnison, CO 81230
(970)641-0471
Summary: Union Canyon is a short 4WD trail, open to full size vehicles, that follows Lottis Creek taking you to Union Park from the Lottis Creek Campground. There is one main obstacle, a large boulder that you must drive around with a steep bank on one side.
Attractions: Large boulder to navigate around. Small rock ledges. Scenery.
Seasonal
Closure:
Natural - Closed by snow fall.
Best Time: June - May still be snow packed.
July - Best. Lottis Creek running high.
August - Best
September - Best
Trail Heads
Accessed:
South Lottis Trail FT 428 - This trail is in the Fossil Ridge Wilderness and is 4.3 miles long. It begins at FR 742.1T and ends at the Gunnison Ranger District Boundary. The trail is open for the following uses: Hiking, Horseback Riding.
Camping: There are a few small dispersed sites along Lottis Creek. Be aware that the creek bottom is private property.
Base Camp: This area would be a good place to base camp to explore the forest roads around Union Park. The closest town with fuel and some supplies is Almont to the southwest.
Fall Colors: Poor - There are few Aspen trees in Union Canyon.
Navigation: From Almont, CO head northeast on County Rd 742 for 16.6 miles. Turn right onto County Rd 758 going past the Lottis Creek Campground. You will go through a gate. After 0.6 miles you turn to the left and start up Union Canyon on FT 631.

From Tincup, CO head north on County Rd 765 toward County Rd 267A. Continue to follow County Rd 765 for 5.7 miles. Turn right to stay on County Rd 765 and go 1.9 miles. Turn left onto County Rd 742 and go 6.4 miles. Turn left onto County Rd 758 going past the Lottis Creek Campground. You will go through a gate. After 0.6 miles you turn to the left and start up Union Canyon on FT 631.

Alternate to start on the east end of Union Canyon. From Tincup, CO head north on County Rd 765 toward County Rd 267A. Continue to follow Co Rd 765 for 5.7 miles. Turn left onto County Rd 55 and go 1.4 miles. Take a sharp left onto County Rd 752 and go 2.7 miles. Continue onto Forest Service Rd 752 for 0.3 miles. Turn right to stay on Forest Service Rd 752 and go 1.5 miles passing the Union Park Cow Camp and crossing Lottis Creek. Turn right just after crossing the creek to begin FT 631.
History:
Description:
Union Canyon is a moderate motorized trail. Full size vehicles will have a challenge with the large boulder at the west end of Union Canyon that you must maneuver around. Starting from the east end of the trail you will leave Union Park and enter a narrow canyon cut by Lottis Creek.
Crossing Lottis Creek at the top of Union Canyon

photo by:
Karla H

As you follow Lottis Creek you will pass large rock outcrops in the canyon walls. There is a single spur road FT631.A that climbs the south side of the canyon a short distance to a mine tailing. At this intersection stay to the right to continue down the canyon.
Heading down Union Canyon

photo by:
Karla H

You will enter into a more forested part of the canyon before crossing Lottis Creek. The trail will continue very close to the creek passing small pools and one low waterfall.
Waterfall on Lottis Creek

photo by:
Karla H

Just before you leave the canyon there will be a large boulder on the drivers side with a steep embankment on the passengers side. To get around the boulder you will have to drive very close to it while the bank tips you into it.
Adam Mehlberg at the boulder obstacle

photo by:
Karla H

Richard H at the boulder obstacle

photo by:
Karla H

A spotter can help you navigate this obstacle to avoid paint damage. Once past the boulder it is a short distance to FR 758 and the Lottis Creek Campground.
Data updated 05/02/12       4WD Road driven 09/04/10       Copyright 4X4Explore.com - 2000-2012