This road follows an historic 1903 railroad route and features two lakes, stunning views and an easy hike to Needle’s Eye Tunnel. It is open to unlicensed vehicles after you turn off County Road 16. You can camp and park across the road south of the starting point. The trail has no seasonal closures, but won’t be passable, except by snowmobile, in the winter.
Submitted by Tom
Road was in good shape, a little rough and rocky, with some big puddles and some run-off crossings. There are two cuts for the RR bed about 1.5 miles before Yankee Doodle Lake. Both were full of snow. The first was just barely passable in the Jeep, we didn’t try the second and can’t see where anything other than mountain bikes and ATV’s had been through. Several Jeeps turned around before the first cut – we probably should have, too. We talked to a few bikers and they said the snow had turned them around a little further up – not sure if they made it Yankee Doodle Lake. There was still a lot of snow on the side of the mountain leading up to the tunnel.
Submitted by Charles Wells of FunTreks
In mid-July of 2018, I was surprised to find the trail completely blocked by snow just above Yankee Doodle Lake. I hiked past this point and found an even worse blockage higher up. This means it is possible you might not be able to drive all the way to the tunnel until August some years. I’d also like to point out that side trail Jenny Creek, F.S. 502, is now officially open, but part of the trail has been re-routed away from the creek. There is a full description of Jenny Creek in the new 4th Edition of Guide to Northern Colorado Backroads & 4-Wheel-Drive Trails set to be released for sale in mid-April 2019.
October 4, 2021 - Got up to Yankee Doodle Lake but didn't go further on account of how scooped the...See More