Hancock Pass

Hancock Pass in CO, a beautiful road with lots of historical sights

Hancock Pass is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 3.702m (12,145ft) above the sea level, located on the boundary 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 roads of Colorado.

Is the road to Hancock Pass in CO difficult?

Set high in the Rocky Mountains, the road to the summit is totally unpaved. It's called Forest Road 839 (south) and Forest Road 299 (north). It’s moderate difficulty and is very rocky and slow going. The road 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 road is narrow and climbs above timberline fairly quickly.

Is the road to Hancock Pass in CO open?

This road is usually impassable from late October through late June or early July (depending on snow). It is not generally snow-free until late June or even July in some years. Do not attempt the drive if snow is present. Snow can linger at pass well into July.

Where does the road to Hancock Pass in CO start and end?

The road to the summit was built in the 1880’s related to mining in the area. The 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. 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.
Pic: Ryan Hodo

 

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