Hermit Pass

Hermit Pass, a rocky and rough road

Hermit Pass is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 3.962m (13,047ft) above the sea level, located in Custer County, Colorado, in USA. It's one of the highest mountain roads of Colorado. It is recommended that beginner riders avoid this road. The route demands 100% concentration. 

The pass is located in the Sangre di Cristo mountains. The road to reach the pass is gravel and stones. It’s called Hermit Road 160 and it climbs from 8,674 to 13,047 feet in 9,6 miles. Rocky and rough but no major obstacles. Road is fairly wide all the way. Suitable for any high-clearance, 4-wheel-drive SUV.
The road is 9,6 miles long, unmaintained and very rocky resulting in a really bumpy ride. Steep and winding in places. Rocky and may have a stream crossing of approximately 6 inches. The last part of the road is closed.
Due its unique location and the climb in elevation over thousands of feet, and passing through remote areas, it is important when driving in these conditions to be prepared. It starts as a wide, easy climb on a dirt road with a few small rocks here and there. As you climb some wide switchbacks there are a few spurs -- always turn right at the spurs to keep going to the top. The trail becomes very narrow and there is almost always snow in places along the trail.

Check weather forecasts before leaving home, and remember that it becomes cooler and often more prone to storms at higher elevations. This is a popular road that gets heavy use up to Hermit Lake during the summer months. Avoid weekends and holidays to escape most of the crowds. If you dare to take the risk and travel along this dusty and bumpy route, then make sure to be driven by someone who has experience of the road. Careful tire placement is necessary in a few spots where the rocks are bigger than usual. It is more than a simple rocky dirt road as you climb.
Pic: Nicholas Brandt


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