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Lefthand Canyon 4x4 OHV Area

Popular OHV area north of Boulder

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Difficulty: Strenuous
Length: 6.5 miles
Duration: Half day
Family Friendly

Overview :  An outstanding hard-core OHV area close to Boulder. We drove every Jeep trail and selected what we think is the best introductory... more »

Tips:  Please stay on marked trails at all times. Over the years, nearby property owners have tried to get this area shut down. Don’t help... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Start Here

Entrance to Lefthand Canyon is well marked. Look for kiosk as you cross boundary into Roosevelt National Forest. There's a bit more parking room along the road if you drive in a short distance.

2. Big Mother Hill South Entrance

Right here climbs very difficult Big Mother Hill marked Forest Road 286C. Camping downhill to left.

3. Top Entrance to Big Mother Hill

Main Lefthand Canyon route turns sharp left here. Steep rocky climb on right goes to top end of Big Mother Hill. You can drive it in either direction, but top to bottom is a bit easier after you get up this first part.

4. Five Points

Several roads converge here. We turned right to follow Fireman Hill, 286D in a counterclockwise direction. You'll return to this point later. Straight ahead to left is main route 286. Slightly right on 286E follows canyon bottom and reconnects with main route higher up. Hard left downhill on unmarked road deadends in short distance at large mine... More

5. Driver's Choice

After steep difficult rocky climb up Fireman Hill, you reach a fork. Right is more scenic route. Left is direct route. Both routes reconnect higher up.

6. Camping in Trees

Two routes converge in trees with several nice campspots. Continue west on narrow rocky road that soon drops steeply downhill.

7. Complex Intersection

To return to Five Points, bear left here and follow 286 back downhill. Right goes uphill around another smaller loop and connects with Castle Creek Road that almost goes all the way back down to Highway 94. Unfortunately, a private gate blocks the exit and you have to turn around.

8. The Squeeze

Roads converge in this general area at a point called the "Squeeze." Left is the upper part of 286E mentioned earlier. An interesting road also goes right up a steep spot. This is a fun road that goes almost all the way downhill to Highway 94. Unfortuneately, it's gated and you must turn around. Still it's a fun side trip due its narrowness and... More

9. Return to Five Points

If you continue downhill on Forest Road 286, you'll return to Five Points intersection you were at earlier. Continue to head west to return to start.