California Pass

Silverton, Colorado (SanJuan County)

Last Updated: 10/12/2021
4.7 / 5 ( 15 reviews )
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Typically Open: 07/01 - 11/01
Length: 4.39 miles
Highest Elevation: 12963 feet
Duration: About 1 hour, 1 minute
Shape of Trail: Straight Through
Best Direction to Travel: East
Nearest Town: Silverton
Nearest Town w/ Services: Silverton
Official Road Name: San Juan County Road 9 and Country Road 19
Management Agency: San Juan National Forest
District: Antonito Ranger District


Highlight: California Pass
California Pass is a gorgeous route offering scenic vistas of the San Juan Mountains and traverses an area rich with mining history. From the top of California Pass at 12,963 feet, an amazing view looking down on the stunning Lake Como can be seen to the northwest. The eastern side of California Pass offers some of the richest mining areas Colorado had to offer in the late 1800s, with the well-preserved ghost town of Animas Forks on the trail's east end.


Route Information

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1. West Trailhead (0 mi)
This route guide begins on the west end of The California Pass trail. The trailhead is located near Lake Como at the intersection of Hurricane Pass to the west, Poughkeepsie Gulch to the north, and California Pass to the east. There are signs in the area marking the trails.

Directions to Trailhead

Starting Point: Silverton, CO

You can take many different trails to get to either end of California Pass, including Engineer Pass, Corkscrew Pass, Poughkeepsie Gulch, Hurricane Pass, Picayne Gulch, and Cinnamon Pass. **West Trailhead From Silverton:** Beginning at the corner of W. 12th Street and Greene Street in Silverton. Follow Greene Street northeast for 0.6 miles. Turn left on Colorado Highway #110 and continue north for 6.5 miles. Turn slightly left on to San Juan County Road 10 and continue north for an additional 1.5 miles. Continue over Hurricane Pass trail for 2.2 miles the trailhead is at the intersection of Hurricane Pass, Poughkeepsie Gulch, and California Pass. **East Trailhead From Silverton** From Silverton travel east on County Road 2 for 12.0 miles to Animas Forks. From the old town of Animas Forks, travel north on County Road 9 which turns into California Pass.


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Writer Information

Greg Stokes

Mapping Crew - Colorado

Greg Stokes Is a Colorado native, born and raised in Colorado Springs. He has been off-roading since childhood, his parents say his first trip was a Jeep run over Medano Pass when he was only 14 Months old. Greg has been at the wheel of everything from dirtbikes, ATV's, early Jeep CJ5's that he has restored, Wranglers, and presently explores in a 1997 80 Series Toyota Land Cruiser and a 2016 Kawasaki KLR650 motorcycle. Greg is a proud Husband and Father of 3. His passion in the off road world is the vehicle-reliant world of Overlanding. He hopes to one day make it to Canada to Explore the Yukon and Northwest territories.
For individual use only, not to be shared.