It was a beautiful day in August. Friends and family accompanied me, as we headed up Hancock from Pitkin. The road leading up to Hancock is pretty, and very tame. I only used 4wd because the roads were fairly wash boarded. There are many interesting signs, and even a porta -potty near the trailhead. As you start the trail, it is fairly steep and narrow. My FJ swiped plenty of tree branches, although not so bad that it pinstriped my paint. The road is fairly level and rocky, and we took it slow. As with other trails in Colorado, tire placement is key to keeping from puncturing a tire. DO TAKE NOTE that Tomichi pass spurs off from Hancock. The sign is a bit confusing, if you are not paying attention. Stay to the left to continue up Hancock.
After 30 minutes or so, from the trailhead, the forest opened up to the side of the mountain. There are several switchbacks from this point forward. Among them is one fairly early in the sequence. I had to 5 point that turn in my FJ, on a switchback that ascends to the right. To the left is a series of ascending rock. In the middle is a pretty substantial rut. On the right is a smooth ridge. Even with tire placement on the rock and ridge, we were fairly off camber. In the included video, the footage starts right before the switchback. You can nervously hear my wife telling me that there was plenty of room to the right (ridge side). Past that was maybe one or two more switchbacks, that weren't terribly difficult. The last stretch to the top is nice and easy.
We continued down a very rocky road, which is nice and wide. All four of us bottomed out pretty hard along one part of the drive. Wildflowers on this side of the pass were stunning. After a bit, on your right, you will notice a fairly steep side road. This stops at a marvelous established (primitive) campsite. However, the old farts wanted to camp near water, so we continued down the pass. At the bottom of a rocky section, you can either take a left in to Hancock, or take a right and head up to Hancock Lake.
The road to Hancock lake was fairly narrow, and continued with some nice rocky spots. Other than some elevation gain, it was a fairly flat road. It is a pretty lake, above timberline, with majestic peaks surrounding you to the left, front, and right. The peak to the left is the most interesting, as it is very steep and rocky. There is a short hike to the lake, but I would advise taking it. The land around the lake is muddy and mushy. You can't technically camp around the lake, but I hear people have done so. We stayed at the lake a while, took pictures, and then headed back down to find a place to camp.