Hancock Pass is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 12,208ft (3.721m) above the sea level, located on the Rocky Mountains in western Colorado, USA. It's one of the highest mountain passes in Colorado.
Located in Gunnison County, the road to reach the summit is called Forest Road 839, but near the summit the road name changes to Forest Road 299. It’s moderate difficulty and is very rocky and slow going. Hancock Pass follows an old railroad grade up the mountain and is an easy trail until it finally turns off the rail grade. At that point the difficulty increases to moderate. Very rocky and slow-going, but okay for aggressive stock SUVs. Skid plates are helpful. The drive should not be attempted if snow is on the trail.
The weather on this zone is harsh and highly unpredictable and it does not take much time for the bright sun shine to change over to moderate to heavy snow fall. Snow can linger at pass well into July. High alpine environment; carry adequate supplies and warm clothing even on a hot day. Weather can change quickly.
The drive is definitely worth it. Four-wheel drive vehicles are required. Don’t forget your camera! Hancock Pass itself is marked with a continental divide sign. There is plenty of room to park and take in the views, which are spectacular. The views on the other side of the pass are even better.
Pic: Ryan Hodo