McClellan Mountain

4.7/5 (57 reviews)
Georgetown, Colorado (ClearCreek County)
Last Updated: 12/01/2022

Trail Information


McClellan Mountain and Argentine Pass were part of the now Ghost Town called Waldorf, Colorado that sprouted up after silver was found here in 1864. This area and surrounding areas became known as the Argentine Mining District and benefited from the silver boom in the late 1800’s. The Argentine Central Railroad was started in 1905 and completed nearly a year later and opened to a reported summit of 13,587 feet. The train was put into operation by Edward Wilcox who at the time owned 65+ mines in the area and wanted a way to move freight and people around the area more efficiently. The line was intended to carry both passengers and freight at different times. Because of the silver bust, the focus on the railroad shifted to passenger traffic, but eventually fell victim to lack of interest and use, it was auctioned off and the railroad ripped up in 1919. Those tracks are now what makes up the network of trails to these two mountain tops. To this day, the trail is a testament engineering with six switchbacks so the train could zig-zag up the mountain, it remains the highest a train of it’s type has gone. The routes with the switchbacks needed more engines than normal and was designed so that the train could get up the mountain through pure friction with the tracks, no cog type systems were used. From mine claims, to the selling of a railroad for pennies on the dollar, the history of this area is rich and if you're a sucker for details, You can start digging here for information on all the activities that went on in this area.

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Navigation

Trail Reviews

4.7/5 (57)
Official Crew
Visited: 12/01/2022

This trail travels above the timberline and is considered impassable due to snow until spring. See you next season!
Official Crew
Seasonal Closure
Visited: 11/24/2022

Closed for the season! See you next year!
Rated 4/5
Visited: 08/28/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

I only ran this from WP 15 down to 9 as part of our Argentine Pass day after checking out Santiago Mine. I agree with others here. That section was very tight and added pinstripes to my 4Runner. Coming down to WP 9 there is a huge rock right in the middle. We managed to barely make it down but a a large vehicle may not like this section section. This is one of the few times I really appreciated and needed my rock sliders.
Official Crew
Visited: 08/13/2022

I ran a group on the lower roads of McClellen along with going to Santiago Mine. This trail never disappoints and has my favorite close-to-home water crossings in Colorado. No changes to report at this time.
Rated 5/5
Visited: 08/06/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

This trail is VERY tight in spots. But worth it! Loved driving the creek bed. Skipped the mine and went right for the summit. We ended up taking argentine pass back as it is a much better graded road with less rocks and faster. The views are phenomenal on clear days!

From the Community

Start a free trial and get this level of detail on every trail guide
Start Free Trial