Hancock Pass

Hancock Pass, a beautiful road with lots of historical sights

Hancock Pass is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 3.721m (12,208ft) above the sea level, located on the border between Chaffee and Gunnison counties, in western Colorado, USA. This driving route is not only incredibly scenic but chock-full of mining history. It's one of the highest mountain roads of Colorado.

Located within the Rocky Mountains, the road to the summit is called Forest Road 839. 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. Regular use of Hancock Pass began around 1888 related to mining in the area. It became officially named in 1962.

Remember this is is a mountainous area, climbing up a high mountain, with a notorius absence of oxygen. Four-wheel drive vehicles are required. 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. Snow can linger at pass well into July. High alpine environment; carry adequate supplies and warm clothing even on a hot day. The Hancock Pass 4WD road runs from the ghost town of Hancock to Brittle Silver Basin. The road is narrow and climbs above timberline fairly quickly.
Pic: Ryan Hodo

 

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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.