From Rist Canyon VFD Chief Gann:
I’m getting questions on how to access Uppper Buckhorn and Crystal Mountain area for the purposes of winterizing and evacuating items. It is important to note this is not a viable winter access — this is only for evacuating an getting ready for the winter.
• If you have proof of residence/ownership in that area you should be able to proceed to the Poudre Canyon roadblock. They will escort you through (in groups) to Pingree.
• From Pingree you can access the Upper Buckhorn via Pennock Pass.
• 4 wheel drive is required – but normal offroad type 4x4s should work.
• No trailers can make it all the way to the Buckhorn.
• If you have livestock you need to get out – send and email to email@example.com with details. We will work with the LCSO Posse to help. This will require taking a trailer part way and walking/herding the livestock to that trailer. We have done this successfully. I do not want unescorted trailers on this route. If somebody sticks a trailer (and they will) in the bog on Pennock, the road is closed for all.
• In the Buckhorn, you can travel down only a short distance past the Ranger Station – then the road is destroyed and you will be on foot.
• Do not try to access the Middle Buckhorn (approx mm 20.5 to 28) this way.
Right now access to Crystal Mt is limited to a very rugged track – ATV or walking I think – from Ballard Road.