Tomichi Pass

Pitkin, Colorado (Gunnison County)

Last Updated: 07/01/2022
5 / 5 ( 1 reviews )
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Highlights

Highlight: Tomichi Pass
Tomichi Pass is a high-mountain trail connecting Brittle Silver Basin to the north with the mining town of Whitepine to the south. This trail is often compared to many of the routes in the San Juan Mountains as the north side of the trail is almost fully visible from the start as it cuts across talus slopes under the red mineral deposits of Brittle Silver Mountain. Don't let the beautiful scenery fool you because this is a difficult hard-core trail not for the faint of heart. The shelf road in Brittle Silver Basin is extremely narrow and off-camber in places and is prone to rockslides, as you will see in Waypoint 3. Driving experience and modified vehicles are highly recommended.

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Route Information

Technical Rating

( DIFFICULT - SEVERE )

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Waypoints

1. Trailhead (0 mi)
The trail begins at this intersection with Hancock Pass. Turn downhill and head east to begin Tomichi Pass. If you end at this point (running the pass in the opposite direction), a right-hand turn will take you up Hancock Pass and a left-hand turn will take you down to the Alpine Tunnel West Trail.

Directions to Trailhead

Starting Point: Hancock Pass

The Tomichi Pass Trail begins at Waypoint 7 of Hancock Pass. To reach this point from Pitkin, you must drive the Alpine Tunnel West and then continue on to Hancock Pass. To reach the start of Tomichi Pass from Buena Vista, you must drive the Alpine Tunnel East Trail and then continue to Hancock Pass. To run the trail in reverse, you will start at the town of Sargents. From Sargents, travel east on Highway 50 for a short distance and turn north on County Road 888. Continue north on 888 through the town of Whitepine and to the start of the trail at the Tomichi Cemetary. Follow the waypoints in reverse.

Camping

Dispersed

Land Use Issues

Tomichi Pass has suffered from intermittent rockslide issues on the Pitkin Side for many years and has been threatened with permanent closure. In 2019 CORE, the trail adopter was able to reopen the pass after a 3-year closure due to a major rockslide. Many volunteer hours are spent each year maintaining the road over the rockslide area to keep the pass open to the public.

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Writer Information

Marcus Trusty

Mapping Crew - Colorado

Marcus is a 4th generation Buena Vista, Colorado native who grew up bouncing around the central Colorado mountains in the back of his dad's CJ5. During his younger years, Marcus grew to appreciate public lands and the recreation opportunities backroads and 4-wheel drive trails offer. Marcus has been wheeling for 20 years now and has wheeled in Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, and California. Until a few years ago Marcus had just been a participant in the wheeling community, but he has become much more active in preserving trails and working to make sure the wheeling community has their access maintained for future generations. In 2017 Marcus helped to found Colorado Off Road Enterprise - CORE, based out of Buena Vista. CORE has worked with the Forest Service and BLM and has volunteer agreements in place with both organizations. CORE also has a Forest Service trail adoption agreement in place for Grizzly Lake, Pomeroy Lake, Hancock Lake, Hancock Pass, and Tincup Pass, Tomichi Pass, Williams Pass, Ptarmigan Lake, Mineral Basin, Clohesy Lake, Lost Canyon, Champion Mill, Iron Mike Mine, and Slide Lake. If Marcus is not working you can generally find him somewhere out on the trails around Buena Vista.
For individual use only, not to be shared.