|Highest Elevation:||11427 feet|
|Duration:||About 2 hours|
|Shape of Trail:||Straight Through|
|Best Direction to Travel:||N/A|
|Nearest Town w/ Services:||Fairplay|
|Official Road Name:||175|
|Management Agency:||Pike National Forest/South Park Ranger District|
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. The Motor Vehicle User Map (MVUM) shows the road open year-round, however due to elevation, it likely becomes impassible during winter.
Rutted and/or rocky road. No shelves but rocks to 9". Water crossings usually less than hub deep. Passable mud. Grades moderate, up to 15 degrees. Side hill moderate up to 15 degrees. 4WD under most conditions. No width problems, vehicle passing spots frequently available if less than two vehicles wide.Read more about our rating system
The trailhead is clearly marked with Forest Service signs. There is adequate space here to air-down tires and double-check equipment.
Continue straight across the cattle guard and beyond the fence marking the National Forest boundary.
After a peaceful stroll through the woods, the road climbs sharply with rutted culverts and loose rocks.
Continue straight on Breakneck Pass as the terrain levels-out; there is an old unmarked trail to the left which is not on the Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM), so consider it an unauthorized road.
Proceed straight through the intersection with FS Road 426.
This point is where the foliage gets thin and enables a view across the valley below to the ridgeline beyond.
Continue past the intersection with FS Road 173. Alternatively, if time permits, take this out-and-back road to view Twelvemile Creek, or hike the trail by the same name.
Proceed beyond the intersection with FS Road 426.
This point provides another fantastic panorama including Sheep Mountain, Sheep Ridge, and a view to the broadening valley toward the south.
Take a left (north-northwest) at the Y in the road. A right turn (east) climbs over Brown's Pass.
Conditions change rapidly from dirt to rock. Shift down, slow-down, and continue climbing!
The turn-around point is 3/4 the way up an enormous bowl facing directly west. From this vantage point, the ridge and mountains seem close enough as though you could reach out and touch them. This point would be ideal for a small overlanding campsite (leave no trace), especially for a night to view a notable astronomical event .
Trailhead Coordinates: 39.139819, -106.024316