How To Travel The County Road 36 in CO

County Road 36 is a high mountain road located in Hinsdale County, in the U.S. state of Colorado. It’s one of the highest roads of Colorado, topping out at 3.772m (12,375ft) above the sea level.

County Road 36

Be sure to have experience in back roads if you attempt this trail. The road, also known as Wager Gulch Road, is totally unpaved. It’s 7.88km (4.9 miles long), running north-south from County Road 30 to the Upper Carson ghost town, situated almost directly on the Continental Divide at nearly 12,000 feet and ends at the battered remains of the Old Carson mine site. Sitting on top of the Continental Divide, the road is very narrow, steep, and with several tight switchbacks. Keep in mind this is a serious 4WD road. It’s narrow, has a minimum of 4 blind-hairpin turns, water crossings, and some serious rocks/trees/etc. to navigate.

The surface of the rough road is gravel and bumpy with embedded rocks. The treacherous road is well worth the drive; however, it is steep in places and has a limited number of places to pass other vehicles. The road is very steep, hitting a 22% of maximum gradient through some of the ramps. Very little traffic on the trail. You’ll need a high-clearance, four-wheel drive vehicle if you plan on visiting the several remaining empty buildings and relics. This road is also open to OHVs and motorcycles, hikers, and bicyclists. The trail has steep drop offs that are scary for a novice. There are several ruined mines along the drive. The road is totally impassable from October to June.
Pic: kenny parish