Weston Pass

Leadville, Colorado (Lake County)

Last Updated: 08/26/2019
4.5 /5 ( 2 reviews )
Information
Nearby Trails
Status: Open
Typically Open: Year Round
Difficulty: 2-2
(EASY )
Length: 20.64 miles
Highest Elevation: 11921 feet
Duration: About 2 hours 15 minutes
Shape of Trail: Straight Through
Best Direction to Travel: N/A
Nearest Town: Leadville
Nearest Town w/ Services: Leadville
Official Road Name: 7, 22
Management Agency: Pike-San Isabel National Forest
District: West Side - Leadville Ranger District, East Side - South Park Ranger District
Distance:
Showing 0 trails within 2 miles

Highlights

Highlight: Weston Pass

Once known as the "Road To Riches", Weston Pass was once an extremely busy wagon road traveled by thousands of gold fevered miners, connecting the towns of Fairplay and Leadville. These days it is an easy dirt road that travels through the Pike-San Isabel National Forest connecting Lake County and Park County and traveled by outdoor enthusiasts looking for high alpine views, wilderness hikes, great camping, and spectacular fall colors.

Video

Weather

7 day forecast for Weston Pass

Route Information

Advanced Rating System

Recommended Vehicle:
2WD Vehicle with High Clearance
Concerns:
Summary:
The is mostly flat with only small rocks, ruts, and washboards.

Technical Rating: 2-2
(EASY )

Dirt and/or rocky road. Potential rocks and/or tree stumps less than 8" tall and/or vertical ledges less than 9" tall and/or near vertical ledges or waterfalls less than 12" inches. Good tire placement likely. Can be steep but with good traction.

Read more about our rating system

Description

Weston Pass starts as a paved road through a neighborhood and quickly changes to dirt and enters the National Forest. The entire western route is a wide, mostly graded dirt road with a handful of rough rocky sections and some mud puddles. The eastern side of the pass is suitable for 2wd vehicles as it is much more maintained on that end due to several hiking trailheads. There are plenty of dispersed campsites on both ends of the pass. There is even an improved USFS campground on the eastern side.

Waypoints

1. Weston Pass Western Trailhead (0.00 mi)

Weston Pass begins as a paved road just off of Highway 24. There are several markers to note the turn including a directional sign about a 1/4 mile before the turn on the highway, the Lake County Road 7 sign, a long row of mailboxes, and also the Mt. Massive Lakes directional sign. Continue down the paved road for the next 2 miles past many driveways and neighborhood entrances. Depending on the size of your group, this is the ideal location to air down if you are going to do so.

2. Pavement Ends (2.40 mi)

The road turns to dirt at just before 2.5 miles. The road is not very wide, nor does it have good visibility, so attempting to air down here is not a good idea.

3. Road Split - Stay Right (2.60 mi)

As you come to the first Y intersection along the road, continue to the right. The left is a private drive.

4. Camp Spot (4.97 mi)

This is the first of many camp spots along the road. It is very grassy but could also be soggy with a lot of rain.

5. Camp Spot (5.08 mi)

This is a large camp spot suitable for several vehicles and tent.

6. Camp Spot (5.81 mi)

This camp spot is a nice pull-through spot for someone with a trailer. It is right next to the creek providing a relaxing ambiance.

7. Camp Spot (6.38 mi)

Another pull-through type camp spot with plenty of wide-open flat ground.

8. Large Camp Spot (6.68 mi)

This large established camp spot would be ideal for large groups as there is a ton of open, flat space, and a large fire pit.

9. Camp Spot (7.08 mi)

This spot is a little more secluded as it is off the road and down by the creek.

10. Waterfall on Left (7.53 mi)

This small pullout on the left as the road begins to curve, marks the location of a nice waterfall.

11. FSR 150 - Stay Right / Southeast (7.98 mi)

Stay to the right as the road splits with FSR 150.

12. Unknown Road - Stay Right / Southeast (8.97 mi)

Stay to the right at this unknown road split.

13. Weston Pass Hut Entrance- Continue Straight (11.59 mi)

Continue straight along the main road. This is the entrance for the Weston Pass Hut which is a private hut available for rent.

14. Weston Pass Hut (11.34 mi)

This is the Weston Pass Hut which is a private rental unit that provides amazing views for its renters. Check out the website for more details: www.westonpasshut.com.

15. Weston Pass Summit (11.71 mi)

You have now reached the 11,921' Weston Pass summit and have entered into the Pike National Forest. The road changes over to County Road 22 at this point. Continue your descent down the pass towards Fairplay.

16. FSR 162 - Stay Straight, Downhill (11.92 mi)

Stay to the right going downhill. FSR 162 is the hard left turn you see here which is a more difficult route that parallels Weston Pass road. If you are in a long-wheelbase vehicle, or one with low ground clearance, avoid this spur.

17. FSR 162 - Stay Straight, Downhill (13.52 mi)

Continue down the road. FSR 162 reconnects at this juncture.

18. Camp Spot (15.65 mi)

The eastern side of the pass is just as riddled with camp spots as the western side. This particular spot is a nice pull-through spot with a great view across the beaver pond. Although we did not see any wildlife at the time, it's highly likely you would see wildlife in this area.

19. Weston Pass Campground (16.53 mi)

Weston Pass Campground is an improved, first come first served campground that charges around $15 per night. The campground only operates in the summer months. According to the Forest Service, "Weston Pass Campground is located adjacent to Buffalo Peaks Wilderness on the east side. It has 14 campsites with a maximum trailer length of 25 feet; elevation is 10,200 feet; camping season begins in May and continues to early October with reduced service. Facilities include toilets, tables, and fire rings. There is no water or trash service at this campground. You must pack everything out."

20. Rich Creek Trailhead (17.70 mi)

This is the trailhead for Rich Creek, which provides access into the Buffalo Peaks Wilderness. Combining this with Tumble Creek Trail (aka Rough and Tumbling Trail) you can form a loop of about ten miles. There is room for roughly a dozen vehicles here.

21. Weston Pass Eastern Trailhead (20.63 mi)

Weston Pass ends at the intersection of County Road 5. This is the ideal location to air back up as there is a lot of space and great visibility for other drivers. From this point, you are 7 miles from Highway 285 either direction you head. Take a left to head towards Fairplay, or take a right to head towards Antero Junction, Colorado Springs, and Buena Vista.

Directions to Trailhead

Trailhead Coordinates: 39.176560, -106.322068

Starting Point: Leadville

From Leadville,Take highway 24 south for 13 miles. Between mile markers 183 and 184, turn left on County Road 7. There are numerous mailboxes lining the road at the turn. From Fairplay, take highway 285 south for 4.7 miles and turn right on County Road 5. Bear right at 7 miles when you reach County Road 22.

Camping

Dispersed
Improved

Dispersed camping is available along most of the route, and the USFS Weston Pass Campground is located adjacent to the Buffalo Peaks Wilderness on the east side. It has 14 campsites with a maximum trailer length of 25 feet; elevation is 10,200 feet; camping season begins in May and continues to early October with reduced service. Facilities include toilets, tables, and fire rings. There is no water or trash service at this campground, you must pack everything in / out.

Camping: Weston Pass

Trail Reviews (3)

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Ran the trail from FairPlay side to twin lakes , pretty easy did it with my stock 2016 Nissan Frontier with no issues. lots of dispersed camp sites all along the trail

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
We drove this trail from Leadville to Fairplay after completing Mosquito Pass. This is a fairly easy trail, but there are some bumpy spots and decent potholes and ruts that pop up (mainly on the Leadville side). I'm sure a 2wd crossover would be fine on the trail (saw a Ford Escape and Toyota Venza), but I wouldn't recommend a car with low clearance. Please drive slowly approaching blind corners. Had a mild scare on the Leadville side because a vehicle was cruising the opposite direction toward a blind corner I was approaching. Overall the trail is wide with plenty of room for passing, but there are a few, narrower sections.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
I really enjoyed this trail. It is very wide making passing oncoming traffic easy. It has very good open views. It may be easy which deters some people, but I enjoyed it. Not to mention the plethora of good camp spots.

Questions & Answers (0)

Writer Information

Ryan Boudreau

Mapping Crew - Colorado

Hi, I'm Ryan! I am a Colorado native and I've been wheeling since I was 16 years old. I grew up with a relentless passion for all things Jeep and off road related, and that passion has never died out. I am a member of the Mile-Hi Jeep Club, Patrol 16 Sasquatch Jeepers and currently own an '06 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited (LJ) nicknamed "Minion". I am a huge supporter of Stay the Trail and Tread Lightly, and have participated and even been in charge of many trail restoration projects. I have been a trail leader several times for events such as All-4-Fun, ColoradoFest, Set Them Free, 14er Fest, and other. I am also the creator of the Unlimited LJ Adventure. My rig is built for extreme offroading, but I love to get my tires dirty on any kind of trail whether it's rock crawling or just scenic high Alpine drives. I've wheeled all over the country including Colorado, Utah, Kansas, the Carolinas, AZ, and California. I love a great adventure, and love even more to share those adventures with others. If you see the "minion" out on the trail, make sure to stop and say hello.
For individual use only, not to be shared.