Weston Pass is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 3.633m (11,921ft) above the sea level, located 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 mountain roads of Colorado.
The road over the pass is gravel. It’s 26.5 miles long, climbing up from 9,379 to 11,955 feet above the sea level. There are 2 options to reach the summit. On the east side on Park County there are some rough spots, but it’s drivable by a 2WD passenger vehicle. The other side of the pass in Lake County is known to be extreme that requires 4WD and higher clearance. 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.
The road over the pass, also known as "Road To Riches” was built in 1860. It 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 Weston Peak.
The drive is definitely worth it. There are many excellent photo opportunities here. Don’t forget your camera! 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.
The weather on this zone is harsh and highly unpredictable and it does not take much time for the bright sun shine to change over to moderate to heavy snow fall. The trail is accessible from June until October. It’s a light trail that is great for beginners and light SUV's. The road itself has quite a few washboards near the bottom which make it an annoying little drive. Near the top of the pass, there are a few roads that lead off the trail (FR 162 & 161) that may offer some obstacles.
Pic&Video: Rich Thompson