Wolf Creek Pass

Wolf Creek Pass: Beware of the wolf

Wolf Creek Pass is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 3.309m (10,857ft) above the sea level, located in southern Colorado, in USA. It features a dangerous hairpin curve six-and-a-half miles from the summit.

Located on the Continental Divide, in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado, the road to the pass is paved. It’s called U.S. Highway 160. Wolf Creek Pass is a legendary route across the Rockies in southern Colorado’s San Juan Mountains.

What is the grade of Wolf Creek Pass?

The road includes some steep sections. The pass is significantly steep on either side. The west side of the Pass is at a 7 percent downhill grade. The pass was immortalized in a country music song.

Is Wolf Creek Pass open?

The road is often snow-packed and icy in the winter months. The pass is known for its deep, stable snowpack. In most seasons it has double or triple the snowpack of the northern or central Colorado mountains. It can be very dangerous in winter. Like most mountain passes in Colorado, the winter season also makes this highway a challenge to tow on. In fact, when given the opportunity, most over-the-road truck drivers will avoid the entire state during the cold months. Even summertime sees the occasional snow. Harsh storms can induce vertigo even in veteran plow drivers.

Is Wolf Creek Pass dangerous?

Most crashes on the Pass occur at the switchback curve near the Wolf Creek scenic outlook area. It’s said to be one of the most dangerous roads in Colorado. It features a challenging switchback turn -on the west side- with a 200-foot dropoff on the other side of the curve. If you hit the turn too fast you will go right off the edge. There are two runaway truck ramps on the westbound side of the pass for truckers that lose control of their brakes. From 2011 to 2015, 49 semi-truck drivers have crashed on the west side of the pass.

How long is Wolf Creek Pass?

The pass is located on the way from Pagosa Springs (in Archuleta County) towards South Fork (in Rio Grande County). The drive is 67km (41.7 miles) long.

 

 

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NOTICE: Due to the spread of COVID-19, many points of interest and roads are closed and travel is not recommended. Please follow all local health authority directives before venturing off, and stay safe.