Weston Pass

Weston Pass in CO: The Road to Riches

Weston Pass is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 3.639m (11,938ft) above the sea level, located on the boundary between Park and Lake counties in the U.S. state of Colorado. in Park County, Colorado, in the USA. This trail is not difficult though there are a few rocks in the trail that you may want to avoid if you do not have much clearance. Four-wheel drive is not necessary. It's one of the highest roads of Colorado.

How long is the road to Weston Pass?

Set high in a beautiful area of Rocky Mountain high country, the road to the summit is totally unpaved. It’s called Country Road 22 (Co Rte 7). The road is 42.80km (26.6 miles) long, running west-east from US-24 to US-285. The drive is very steep, hitting a 12% of maximum gradient through some of the ramps.

Is the road to Weston Pass difficult?

From the east (via Highway 285), the road is not difficult with just some rough spots. It’s suitable for passenger cars. From the west (via Highway 24), a high clearance vehicle is recommended. The eastern route is considerably easier than the western slope. The road itself has quite a few washboards near the bottom which make it an annoying little drive. However, if you are hoping to traverse the entire route, a 4WD vehicle and high clearance is strongly recommended. On the west side there is a 4x4 trail that goes up to an old gold mine, this is a bit more challenging trail that requires a little more expertise and high clearance.

When was the road to Weston Pass built?

Located within Pike National Forest, the road traversing the pass was built in 1860 and heavily used in the 1860s and 1870s, as a busy toll road. The road was commonly known as “The Road to Riches,” with prospectors busy transporting the area’s silver and gold. The pass was used by the native Ute Indians, and was later used by prospectors with gold and silver dreams. Originally served as a wagon road between Fairplay and Leadville and carried mining supplies and travelers over the pass.

Is the road to Weston Pass 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. When you get to the pass there is a sign marking the altitude. You are surrounded by beautiful mountains, and the scenery is amazing. You also see some old cabin remains here and there along the trip. There are numerous beaver damns and some great mountain views. Near the summit is a mountain hut. At 11,950 feet, the hut boasts the highest elevation of any Colorado backcountry lodging of its kind.
Pic&Video: Rich Thompson

 

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