Rollins Pass East

Rollinsville, Colorado (Gilpin County)

Last Updated: 12/22/2019
3.7 / 5 ( 19 reviews )
Information
Nearby Trails
Status: Open
Typically Open: Year Round
Length: 12.1 miles
Highest Elevation: 11331 feet
Duration: About 2 hours
Shape of Trail: Out & Back
Best Direction to Travel: N/A
Nearest Town: Rollinsville
Nearest Town w/ Services: Nederland
Official Road Name: 149
Management Agency: Arapaho Nationa Forest
District: Boulder Ranger District
Showing 0 trails within 2 miles

Highlights

Highlight: Rollins Pass East
Rollins Pass East is a beautiful drive through the Roosevelt National Forest that takes you up a 4% grade, above timberline, where you get endless views of the Colorado Front Range, access to beautiful fishing spots, a more challenging four-wheel drive road, and good hiking opportunities. There is also some history to Rollins Pass East that can really make you appreciate the past.

Weather

7 day forecast for Rollins Pass East

Route Information

Technical Rating:
(EASY - MODERATE)

Read more about our rating system

Waypoints

1. Start Rollins Pass East (0 mi)
Beginning of Rollins Pass East with a large parking lot for trailers and groups to air down.

Directions to Trailhead

Trailhead Coordinates: 39.905173, -105.630873

Starting Point: Rollinsville, CO

Take Highway 119 to Rollinsville. Turn West onto CR 16 (Moffat Tunnel Road) and continue for 7.3 miles and you will find the trailhead on the right with a parking area and sign.

Camping

Dispersed

Trail Reviews (27)

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
This is a terribly rough road. One of the bumpiest I've been on. Lowered to 20 PSI was not low enough. And I couldn't believe some of the other vehicles I saw on this road with very little clearance and barely equipped to be on any road, let alone a 4x4 road. Not much trail etiquette here. The views are amazing though and the hike at the end up to the tunnel is great.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Whatever is the lowest PSI you can air your tires down to, DO IT. Honestly, Jenny Creek looked smoother and i probably should have taken advantage of running that trail instead of sticking to the road. There's a ton of small rocks making this trail one of the longest bumpiest stretches I've taken my jeep down. Lowered my PSI to 20 at the start of the trail, had to stop about a mile in and drop it to about 15 to smooth the ride out. Make sure you got everything strapped down in back as well as the potholes are all over on the first half. Other than that it was a pretty cool trail with amazing views. Vehicle Info: Jeep XJ 5.5" Lift 33"x12.5" tires @ 20/15 PSI

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Road was very rough and slow going but we still had a blast. Not much traffic and the views and wildflowers were great! Easy trail other than the rough ride.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Don't get me wrong, the views from the top around Yankee Doodle Lake are stunning, but the road is in absolutely terrible shape. I was expecting a drive similar to Switzerland Trail but this trail was like just beat up. Rocky sections are like some of the worst washboard you've ever seen along with large semi-dry puddles that just beat the heck out of myself and my passengers. I'll be returning to this trail for snow wheeling as it will hide some of the issues I had with the road.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Nice views, bumpy. Open all the way to the top. Walked a bit further to go see the tunnel.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Did a night run up this trail all the way to Jenny Lake. Very rocky & bumpy. Nice views of the sky with no light pollution. Not a technical trail by any means.

Author:
Status: Partially Open
Offroaded on:
Open to waypoint 8 at Yankee Doodle Lake. Snow drifts covering the road above and below the lake. Will be at least 2 weeks before it's passable. Very busy and lots of potholes but otherwise its an easy long trail.

Author:
Status: Partially Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Ran the pass and Jenny creek today. OMG the potholes! Made it to waypoint 7 and it had some deep snow. There were some tracks but we decided to turn around considering it was only getting worse ahead. Jenny creek was blocked after the creek and had to back out! Fun day!

Author:
Status: Temporary Closure
Offroaded on:
Road blocked right in Rollinsville. Closed with ranger at the barrier. Local residents only.

Author:
Status: Impassable
Offroaded on:
Car stuck in snow blocking the trail about 5 seconds into the trail

Author: Official Crew
Status: Impassable
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Made it 2.5 miles in, just past the first switchback. Snow is deep and soft. Past a group of stockish toyotas that were struggling a lot and only made it half the distance we did, even in our tracks.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Passable to the top. Some snow on the road in the shady spots but nothing deep. Still pot holed, rocky, and bumpy.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Amazing views but pretty bumpy. Can’t get any speed

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Road was rough, nothing a stock 4x4 couldn't tackle but a lot of washout and ruts. Airing down the tires made a big difference. Wasn't too crowed for a Saturday. We found a great primitive camp spot right off the road towards the top of the pass. Would do the trail again if the entire pass would finally open through the tunnel but I see no reason to come back to the trail.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Very bumpy and crowded. The road is mostly dry with lots of side by sides, 4 wheelers, Jeeps, Trucks, and dirt bikes. I don't think I'll be doing this road again until fall or spring when it isn't so crowded.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
This road is in much worse shape than I remember it last year. I dont say it often but this is one road I have no interest in driving again honestly. The road is long and it’s extremely bumpy the entire length. Very rutted out, and overall just rocky and rough. It’s also a very busy road with any type of vehicle on it. Today there were tons of mountain bikes, ATVs, UTVs, dirt bikes, Jeeps, trucks, and stock crossovers. Most people do a good job with off road etiquette but you will run into the occasional person who has no idea what is going on around them as they grind their stock crossover up the road. As far as conditions go, you can go all the way to about a half mile from waypoint 10/ the end. It looks like someone plowed the snow that typically sticks forever just past Jenny Lake, but you will run into a large drift after the Forest Lakes trailhead parking. I saw one person get stuck in the drift today so I wouldnt even both trying to get through it.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Beautifully scenic drive. Very easy, but very bumpy. Saw a Subaru club up there with about 20 cars in their group. Didn't make it to the end, but past Jenny lake. Great way to spend an afternoon.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Made it up just past the lake yesterday. There is a snow drift blocking access to the road just after the lake. Can probably accomplish with a lift vehicle and some solid recovery kit.

Author:
Status: Partially Open
Offroaded on:
Three of us Crosstreks did it today. Lots of traffic on the trail, open up to the lake but snowed in past it.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
We went up to the Jenny Creek entrance today. we elected to go up Jenny Creek instead of the full distance of Rollins Pass East. There was very little snow up to and past that point. Pretty nice conditions. Lots of campers out today. I don’t know if you can get all the way through, but you can get A LOT further than you could a month ago. Have fun and be safe.

Author:
Status: Partially Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
As was said in the prior review, this trail is partially passable. We made it about 5.2 miles up before calling it (almost to the Jenny Creek turnoff). We seemed to be the first group of full-size vehicles to run the trail since the last snow. The trend was "snow, dry trail, snow, dry trail, SNOW." The puddles were fun.

Author:
Status: Partially Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Had a great time heading up Rollins Pass Road today! About 4 miles in, there are some deeply rutted snow drifts. Made it through ok in a stock suspension Rubicon with 33s. The problem with the snow now is that it's deep and soft. Should be a lot more passable in a few weeks.

Author:
Status: Partially Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
We went up Rollins Pass East today and it was awesome! There was approximately 4 inches of new snow from the storm a few days ago which added to the excitement. Right after the big mud hole at the first hairpin corner there was a stuck Silverado and a few jeeps winching him out. We were able to go around and broke trail for about another 2 miles. The snow gets extremely deep but we were able to stay on top of most of it. We finally got to a spot on the north side of the mountain that was very deep. Since we were running out of time we decided to go back down. In the next few weeks the drifts will start to shrink and the trail will become easier and easier. Be careful as the drifts soften up as the day warms up so going down may prove a little harder than you might think.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Partially Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Had a group of very well equipped Jeeps on large tires. The snow is deep and sugary through most of the trail. The beginning was very icy under a fresh layer of snow. There were a number of pretty good drifts in the really shaded parts that we really had to work to get through, but we made it almost 6 miles until we met a giant snow drift covering the road. Stock vehicles should not attempt this trail until the snow clears.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
road is open but there is a large snowdrift blocking the road at about 10327', about halfway between the entrance and exit of the Jenny Creek trail. It's not worth it to try and get past that drift, because there's another bigger one right past it.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Partially Open
Offroaded on:
For the time of year, the snow is very minimal right now. There were a couple fresh inches at the beginning, but that was it really. We didn't encounter significant snow untill about waypoint 5. It appears there were some large drifts maybe a week or 2 ago, but those had been busted by previous drivers, leaving only a couple inches from the last storm. We made it almost to the lake, but we're stopped by a large, off camber, wind blown drift at 9.3 miles. No other issues or recovery needed except at the 9.3 mile mark.

Author:
Status: Partially Open
Offroaded on:
Road is open and in good shape until about 1/2 mile before checkpoint 8. There are 3 curves that have deeps drifts. First one doesn't look as bad and then the 2nd and 3rd one are much bigger. Saw a Rubicon on 37s tackle the first set of drifts, but didn't look like he went for the second. Some side by sides came through too with no problem. With the right gear it would be doable, but I was in a stock TRD OR Tacoma.

Questions & Answers (8)

Q: You list the road # for this trail as 117. Are you sure that is correct? Both the MVUM and the Forest Service Interactive Visitors Map seem to list it as 149.
–Bill Andrews (09/28/2019)
–Bradley & Rhea Mikkelson (09/30/2019)
Q: Hi, from the end of Rollins Pass East how long is the hike to trestle? Thanks!
–Lorenzo Redaelli (04/07/2019)
–John (05/03/2019)
Q: Anyone know the current snow status? Was thinking about going up this weekend but I've heard other areas have been getting hit pretty hard
–Chris (11/05/2018)
–Bradley & Rhea Mikkelson (12/26/2018)
Q: Looking at Google Maps, there appears to be a connecting trail starting just east of Yankee Doodle Lake, continuing across the north to Rollins Pass West. Anyone know if it's actually passable and in what condition?
–Sam (08/21/2018)
–Patrick McKay (08/22/2018)
–Bradley & Rhea Mikkelson (08/21/2018)
Q: The stats list the duration as 4 hours and the trail is listed as out & back so I was wondering if the duration includes out & back or is that one way so the total duration would be 8 hours?
–Jared (08/09/2018)
–Bradley & Rhea Mikkelson (08/15/2018)
Q: any status report on the trail?
–Nick (06/26/2018)
–Luke (06/30/2018)
Q: Anyone drive this trail recently? Can you get to the top in a stock F150 or Tacoma?
–Prosper Wang (06/06/2018)
–Colin (06/07/2018)
–Bradley & Rhea Mikkelson (06/06/2018)
Q: What is the etiquette for the single lane shelf road portion when you come across a vehicle going the other direction?
–Josh (07/08/2017)
–Bradley & Rhea Mikkelson (07/08/2017)

Writer Information

Bradley & Rhea Mikkelson

Mapping Crew - Colorado and South Dakota

Bradley and Rhea are currently living in the quaint little town of Fairburn, South Dakota with their two daughters, Riley and Dakota, and their dog Nyx. Bradley was raised in Northern Colorado, while Rhea was raised in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Growing up in these environments, the mountains are where they like to spend their free time. Since meeting in July 2011, they have been fishing, camping, and wheeling together ever since. For the Mikkelson family, owning a Jeep is essential to the mountaineering lifestyle. They currently have three Jeeps, a built 1995 Jeep Cherokee, A mildly built 2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee, and a bone-stock 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee. As a volunteer wildland firefighter, TrailsOffroad mapping crew and avid nature lovers, the Mikkelson's strongly encourage responsible trail usage, respect for our forests, always stay the trail, pack out what you pack in, and enjoy the adventure!
For individual use only, not to be shared.