A truly epic road to Kennebec Pass in CO

Kennebec Pass is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 3.561m (11,683ft) above the sea level located in La Plata County, in the U.S. state of Colorado. 4WD with good clearance is needed for the last section of the road.

Kennebec Pass

Can you drive to Kennebec Pass in CO?

Located Northwest of Durango on the southwestern part of Colorado, the road to the summit is totally unpaved. It’s called County Road 124. This ride is truly epic with a few tight turns. A steep dangerous road near the summit climbs up to Snowstorm Peak.

How long is Kennebec Pass in CO?

Starting at US-160, near the town of Hesperus, the road is 22.69km (14.1 miles) long. The winding road is pretty steep, hitting a 15% of maximum gradient through some of the ramps. Only about the last two miles require 4WD. Near the summit, the road has very steep drop offs, requiring experienced drivers to skillfully navigate the high-elevation route. It’s a hardscrabble road cleaved in the 1800s and originally used by prospectors. There is little traffic on this ride so carry bike tools, a tire repair kit, and pump.

Is Kennebec Pass open?

Set high in the La Plata Range within the San Juan National Forest, the road is usually impassable from late spring through late fall (depending on snow).

Is the road to Kennebec Pass in CO scenic?

The views are amazing and worth the drive. About a mile before the pass, there is an obvious parking area. The drive offers incredible panoramas of the surrounding mountains. Along the way you can see old mining equipment and abandoned structures. The summit offers breathtaking views of the Rocky Mountain scenery.
Pic: jeffraich