Breakneck Pass

Fairplay, Colorado (Park County)

Last Updated: 08/16/2020
4.4 / 5 ( 9 reviews )
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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.

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Route Information

Technical Rating

( MODERATE )

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Waypoints

1. Trailhead (0 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

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 (13)

Questions & Answers (1)

Q: We'll be there in two weeks...is Breakneck and Round Hill open? How are the conditions? Thanks!
–Shawna (06/30/2019)
–Todd (07/01/2019)

Writer Information

Tracy Barker

Mapping Crew - Colorado

Tracy is an outdoor enthusiast originally from north Alabama. His family moved to central Utah when Tracy was a child, and subsequently to southern Utah, where he fell in love with the Rocky Mountains. His favorite activities are family trail rides and camping with small groups. He started many years ago in his dad's F-150 pickup truck, and subsequently his own 4x4 acquisition, a 1975 Ford Bronco (in 1991).
For individual use only, not to be shared.