Napoleon Pass is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 3.668m (12,034ft) above the sea level located in the Gunnison County, in Colorado, USA. Multiple creek crossings. It’s one of the highest mountain roads in Colorado.
Located in the Sawatch Range of the Rocky Mountains within the Gunnison National Forest, the road to the summit is totally unpaved. It’s called FR 953 (Napoleon Pass road). 4x4 vehicles only. The road over the summit was used to haul ore down to Pitkin where the railroad ran up and through the Alpine Tunnel and down to St. Elmo then on out to Buena Vista.
Accessibility is largely limited to the summer season. This route may close unexpectedly for weather. The trail crosses some deep rivers as it follows along Middle Willow Creek, so expect to get muddy. It’s a fun, challenging ride along the west face of the Continental Divide (does not cross the divide). The trail is 6.3 miles long, from the towns of Tincup to the north and Pitkin to the south.
Pic&video: David Viers