Breakneck Pass

Fairplay, Colorado (Park County)

Last Updated: 07/29/2019
4.4 /5 ( 5 reviews )
Information
Nearby Trails
Status: Open
Typically Open: 06/15 - 12/15
Length: 8.1 miles
Highest Elevation: 11427 feet
Duration: About 2 hours
Shape of Trail: Straight Through
Best Direction to Travel: N/A
Nearest Town: Fairplay
Nearest Town w/ Services: Fairplay
Official Road Name: 175
Management Agency: Pike National Forest
District: South Park Ranger District
Showing 0 trails within 2 miles

Highlights

Highlight: Breakneck Pass

Breakneck Pass and nearby roads are hidden gems among Colorado four-wheel drive roads along the U.S. Highway 285 corridor. Breakneck Pass features easy to moderate climbs and descents, but surprisingly reaches above timberline into a bowl southwest of Sheep Mountain. This stretch provides amazing views in all directions. This area of South Park is remote and far less traveled than other passes, making it a desirable destination for weekend overland exploration. Breakneck Pass closes seasonally in December through June 15th.

Video

Weather

7 day forecast for Breakneck Pass

Route Information

Technical Rating:
(MODERATE )

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Waypoints

1. Trailhead (0.00 mi)

The trailhead is clearly marked with Forest Service signs. There is adequate space here to air-down tires and double-check equipment.

Directions to Trailhead

Trailhead Coordinates: 39.139819, -106.024316

Starting Point: Fairplay

From Denver, take Highway 285 past Fairplay and turn right on Highway 5. Take this easy dirt road for 1.7 miles to signs for Breakneck Pass on the right. From Colorado Springs, take Highway 24 west to Hartsel, then Highway 9 north toward Fairplay. At the intersection with Highway 285 south of Fairplay, turn left for approximately five miles. Turn right on Highway 5 for 1.7 miles to signs for Breakneck Pass on the right.

Camping

Dispersed

Land Use Issues

In accordance with USDA Forest Service Order, Number PSICC-2016-15 dated 1 November 2016 , numerous roads and trails are closed for a specified period. Breakneck Pass / FS Road 175 is closed to motor vehicle use, except as indicated, pursuant to the stated order for the period 1 January to 15 June, annually. This area is part of Pike-San Isabel National Forest, and as such is part of the 2011 Lawsuit where a coalition of conservation and recreation groups are suing the U.S. Forest Service over what they say is the illegal addition of 500 miles of motorized roads and trails. A settlement was reached in late 2015 which requires the U.S. Forest Service to re-evaluate the roads and create a new Travel Management Plan (TMP). Over the next year, some roads may be partially or completely closed while this evaluation proceeds. The TMP process is scheduled over the next 5 years.

Trail Reviews (8)

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
We did Breakneck to Twelvemile Lake trail. As a beginner I thought this was a really fun trail, lots of pull offs for camping and not very busy. A couple of steep climbs (IMO) but managed without any problems in my stock Tacoma in 4-Lo. Water crossing was about a 16" deep on one side, the other side looked about 2ft even after some rain. Couple of sections are narrow lined with Aspens which was pretty cool.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Ran Breakneck Pass to get a new GPS track and update this guide based on the partial closure of the northern end of the road. The closure/new "end" is approximately half a mile north/northwest beyond Waypoint 10.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Did Breakneck Pass and Brown's Pass this trip. Trail clear and open. I drive a stock Colorado Z71 and I ran the majority of the two (except for the two steep climbs) in 2WD. A beautiful area, and not too busy. Lots of pullout camping spots for the rooftop tent crowd. A few beautiful, wide meadows for ground tent camping. Plenty of trees for hammocks too, if you're into that. We camped on Brown's Pass on the way back down. There are two points on the trail that were really fun. Both Breakneck and Brown's Pass have one steep, rocky climb to them. It's nothing a stock high-clearance 4-Lo vehicle can't handle, though. The rest of the trail is mostly undulating, occasionally rocky Forrest service roads. Great views! Doing both trails and stopping a couple of times to look at stuff took us about 1.5-2 hours.

Author:
Status: Partially Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
We ran Breakneck in conjunction with Brown's Pass. It took us about 1 hour to reach the top. We did about 3/4 of the trail in 2wd. The trail is well maintained. There are some sections of trail that are much too narrow for passing other vehicles, so keep and eye out for those places to turn-out, in case you need to back up. The trail is now closed shortly after WP 10 on the map. NOTE: There are multiple other off-shoot roads that branch off of Breakneck. Some of these connect to other trails, while others are just out-and-back types. Check them out as there are several that are quite fun.

Author:
Status: Partially Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
was open until about 6 miles in. about a half-mile past 176 it's closed for revegetation. lots of fun puddles and colors are changing already so lots of yellow Aspens. beautiful drive. at 5.5 miles or so just take 176 up Browns pass. I had to use 4 low but no problem with my stock XJ.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Tons of mud puddles because of all the recent rain, but it made the dirt pitch before Browns pass a little more interesting!!!! Glad I had the option of going out 176, would have been sketchy going down in the mud. The section to 12 was like being on a really cool ride with all the puddles!

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Tons of mud puddles because of all the recent rain, but it made the dirt pitch before Browns pass a little more interesting!!!! Glad I had the option of going out 176, would have been sketchy going down in the mud. The section to 12 was like being on a really cool ride with all the puddles!

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
I took a quick run up the trail to find a camp spot. The trail is clear all the way through and i looped it with Browns Pass which is also clear. There is no snow on either of the trails and both are very dry and dusty.

Questions & Answers (2)

Q: Trying to find a place to camp (tent) - 4 WD Nissan Truck. Any update on status? Any recommended spots for dispersed camping - in trees and close to stream preferred. Fising would be an added bonus. Thanks in advance.
–Loyd Saenger (07/07/2019)
–Tracy Barker (07/23/2019)
Q: We'll be there in two weeks...is Breakneck and Round Hill open? How are the conditions? Thanks!
–Shawna (06/30/2019)
–Todd (06/30/2019)

Writer Information

Tracy Barker

Mapping Crew - Colorado

Tracy is an outdoor enthusiast originally from north Alabama. Tracy's family moved to central Utah when he was a child, and subsequently to southern Utah. These family moves established a precedent, of sorts, as Tracy has lived in numerous states over the past three decades. Tracy is now settling down in Colorado Springs. His favorite activities are family trail rides and camping with small groups. This, too, is a precedent started many years ago in dad's pickup truck, followed by Tracy's first 4x4 acquisition, a 1975 Ford Bronco (in 1991). Tracy aspires to climb some of Colorado's venerable 14'ers while traveling some of the notable and not-so-well-known 4x4 trails in the Centennial State. He's excited about contributing to Trails Offroad because the site is committed to meet a critical 4-wheel drive enthusiast requirement--current and accurate trail data.
For individual use only, not to be shared.