Hermit Pass

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4.5/5 (12 reviews)
Westcliffe, Colorado (Saguache County)
Last Updated: 12/01/2023
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Trail Information

Highlights

Hermit Pass is one of the few trails allowing you to drive a vehicle above 13,000' in elevation.  Originally built as a mining exploration route and a connection between the Westcliffe Valley and the San Louis Valley, the road now primarily serves the recreation community.  The route takes you through lower-elevation forests and aspen groves, past high-alpine lakes, and culminates with panoramic views both east and west framing the vast valleys below.  The road does not offer much in the form of a technical challenge, but the scenery is well worth the trip!  Hermit Pass should be part of your trail plans if you are in the Westcliffe area.


Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Navigation

Check out our Medano Pass (21.79 mi away) trail guide for an All-Access Preview!

Trail Reviews

4.5/5 (12)
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Official Crew
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41100
Impassable
Visited: 12/01/2023

This trails is closed for winter.
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10200
Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 09/02/2023
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

The weather in the past has put the beating down on the trail. This trail will dislodge your internal organs if you do not air down. Relentlessly rocky roughly half way up until you reach the pass. Panoramic views of the San Luis and Wet Mountain valley, as well as the surrounding Sangre de Cristo range are well viewed at the summit. Excellent trail to access the high alpine environment.
Trail Review: Hermit Pass - Ray
Trail Review: Hermit Pass - Ray
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100
Open
Rated 4/5
Visited: 08/27/2023
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Second time on this one. The first time we got shut down by snow near the top (early June). This time, it was completely clear and dry. I'll echo the other reviews: it'll rattle your brain loose. There aren't any real difficult spots except for the second to last switchback at the top that has a ledge you gotta crawl up and over in the middle of the switchback that's pretty steep. The rest of the trail is just full of tons of small-to-medium sized rocks that will give you a headache after a while. Highly recommend airing down. The views from the top are absolutely insane, though. I thought it was worth the effort, my girlfriend says others. Tons of beautiful lakes, campsites, and views. I flew the drone from the top and got views of the entire Sangre range. For reference, I was in my 3rd Gen Tacoma with a 2.5" lift and 33s. No problems as far as clearance or anything.
Trail Review: Hermit Pass - Nate
Trail Review: Hermit Pass - Nate
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Official Crew
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15950
Open
Rated 3/5
Visited: 08/13/2023
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

First time on this trail today and it took 2 hours one way. Super bumpy and really beats you up. I really liked the views up top but it’s so much work to get up there I probably won’t do this again for a while. Traffic was moderate but not a problem at all. Even saw a Nissan Rogue half way up the trail much to my surprise (do not recommend that). Looking back at the trail guide pictures, I’d say this road has suffered some erosion since those were taken. Id say there’s less than 100 yards of any smooth driving on this almost 18 miles round trip trail. The top is also much rougher than the bottom, and weather changes quickly up there and it certainly chased me off the mountain today.
Trail Review: Hermit Pass - Josh Spring
Trail Review: Hermit Pass - Josh Spring
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1200
Open
Visited: 08/12/2023
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Clear all the way, mostly just super bumpy. Incredible views at the top.

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