Tincup Pass

Travel guide to the top of Tincup Pass

Tincup Pass is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 3.710m (12,171ft) above the sea level, located in Gunnison County, Colorado, in United States. The road is open to OHV's, motorcycles and 4-wheel drive vehicles. It's one of the highest mountain roads of Colorado.

Located in the Gunnison & San Isabel National Forests, the trail to the top is 12.4 miles long, climbing up from 10,014 to 12,160 feet above the sea level. The lower parts of the road go through an aspen forest. As you reach the western end of the valley, the road starts to go up steeply. Tincup Pass is a very popular route for four-wheel enthusiasts during the summer months. Note the wildlife that may be in the vicinity, including marmots that live among the rocks. Have a picnic if the weather is nice, and definitely do not forget your camera! The trail features a few steep sections and a few narrow areas where two cars can barely pass each other.

The road over the pass links the tiny towns of Tincup and St. Elmo, one of the most popular ghost towns in Colorado. The trail was originally used to move supplies between both towns. Because of the high elevation, 12,154 feet, snow is present on the pass until early July. Near the pass the trail got narrow enough to require careful driving, with high cliffs. Rocky at the top with one short section of narrow shelf road at 12,000 feet that often remains snow covered into early July. After the snow clears, this trail is suitable for any high-clearance, 4-wheel-drive SUV with low-range gearing.
Pic: Dan Vielhaber


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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.