|Typically Open:||Year Round|
|Highest Elevation:||11921 feet|
|Duration:||About 2 hours 15 minutes|
|Shape of Trail:||Straight Through|
|Best Direction to Travel:||N/A|
|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|
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.
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
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.
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.
As you come to the first Y intersection along the road, continue to the right. The left is a private drive.
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.
This is a large camp spot suitable for several vehicles and tent.
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.
Another pull-through type camp spot with plenty of wide-open flat ground.
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.
This spot is a little more secluded as it is off the road and down by the creek.
This small pullout on the left as the road begins to curve, marks the location of a nice waterfall.
Stay to the right as the road splits with FSR 150.
Stay to the right at this unknown road split.
Continue straight along the main road. This is the entrance for the Weston Pass Hut which is a private hut available for rent.
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.
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.
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.
Continue down the road. FSR 162 reconnects at this juncture.
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.
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."
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.
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.
Starting Point: Leadville
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.