Red Cone

Grant, Colorado (Summit County)

Last Updated: 09/20/2021
4.9 / 5 ( 39 reviews )
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Information
Nearby Trails
Status: Open
Typically Open: 07/01 - 03/31
Difficulty: 5-7
( DIFFICULT - SEVERE )
Length: 6.5 miles
Highest Elevation: 12800 feet
Duration: About 2 hours
Shape of Trail: Straight Through
Best Direction to Travel: North
Nearest Town: Grant
Nearest Town w/ Services: Bailey
Official Road Name: 565
Management Agency: Pike National Forest
District: South Platte Ranger District
Distance:
Showing 0 trails within 2 miles

Highlights

Highlight: Red Cone
Red Cone is one of the most iconic trails in central Colorado. This four-wheel-drive trail provides spectacular views of the divide with several rocky obstacles at the beginning and a once-in-a-lifetime decent near the end. The upper portion of the trail traverses the ridge lines around 12,000 feet with views for miles, but the steep, one-way descent at the end is a unique feature of this trail. Red Cone is also a key connecting trail to other nearby trails such as Webster Pass and the Montezuma trail system. Combining this with those trails creates a full day of offroad fun. A well-equipped vehicle with high clearance and low range is required.

Video

Weather

7 day forecast for Red Cone

Route Information

Advanced Rating System

Recommended Vehicle:
Lightly Modified 4X4 (Small Lift and Larger Tires)
Concerns:
Summary:
The trail has many large rock sections within the first 2 miles that are not suitable for stock vehicles. Steep descents along the final mile of the trail can be extremely dangerous for novice drivers.

Technical Rating

MANDATORY
5
DIFFICULT
OPTIONAL
7
SEVERE
Rocky or undulated road surface. Potential rocks and/or tree stumps less than 24" tall and/or vertical ledges less than 24" tall and/or near vertical ledges or waterfalls less than 54" inches. Tire placement becomes more difficult. Can be steep and off-camber.
Read more about our rating system

Community Consensus

1 votes
3 votes
0 votes
Easier
Spot On
Harder

Description

The south end of the trail climbs steeply as you wind through the forest with sporadic rock obstacles, small creek crossings, and several muddy sections. The climb continues above tree line, across a few ridges untill you reach the very top of Red Cone. At this point the trail becomes one-way and descends down hill till it meets up with Webster Pass. The east side of Webster Pass stays snowed in till late July or August, but Red Cone only opens for the season once the west side of Webster Pass is clear, so there is always an exit from the trail. Heading east down Webster would return you to highway 285, heading west on Webster will drop you into the towns of Montezuma or Keystone.
If you are not comfortable with steep descents, avoid this trail.

Waypoints

1. Trailhead (0 mi)
After about 5 miles on C.R. 60, begin Red Cone at F.S. 565. The intersection is well marked with signage.
2. Rock Obstacle (0.44 mi)
This obstacle is the first rock obstacle you will encounter on the trail. Small tires will make this obstacle difficult as the boulders are relatively large and require careful tire placement to keep your undercarriage from getting snagged.
3. Creek Crossing (0.76 mi)
Cross a small creek and then veer slightly left as the trail follows a brief section of wash.
4. Rock Obstacle (1.1 mi)
Here is one of the most challenging obstacles along this trail. There are 2 line choices as there is a boulder in the middle that you might get hung up on if you have smaller tires. The line to the driver's right will require a bit of clearance to get up and over the slippery roots. The line to the left is super tight and has the potential for body damage.
5. Rock Garden (1.42 mi)
The Rock Garden is a short, wide area with a handful of large boulders to the right where a vehicle can test a few different lines. Each year this area changes. Some years the boulders seem massive; other years, the earth appears to bury the majority of the challenge.
6. End of Tree Line (2.99 mi)
You have now reached the end of the tree line. This would be a good time to stop for the last, covered, potty break of the trip.
7. Red Cone Peak (5.29 mi)
You have finally reached the Red Cone Peak. If you bunch up together, there is room for about 15 vehicles at the top. If you see a large group already ahead of you before reaching this point, it's probably a good idea to wait a bit and let them continue past the top. Likewise, if you see a large group behind you while staying at the top, it's probably a good idea to pack up and get moving. But stop, take some pictures, and enjoy the views of Whale Peak (13,078'), Handcart Peak (12,518'), Landslide Peak (13,298'), and many others before you descend. Red Cone is One Way Downhill Only from this point forward.
8. Descending Red Cone (5.29 mi)
If steep descents bother you, this would be the time to turn around or gather your courage and hold on tight! Do not lock up your brakes on this descent. It will mean disaster for you! Keep the vehicle in its lowest gear and let the engine do the work of braking for you. About 3/4 of the way down the hill, when you think you have conquered it, the trail takes one more quick, even steeper decline before leveling out across the ridge.
9. Second Descent (5.9 mi)
Don't be fooled and assume there was only one descent from the top; you still have one more steep descent to tangle with. The good news, you have already conquered one descent. The bad news, this one is a bit steeper than the previous one. But more good news, it's a lot shorter in length!!
10. Merge with Webster Pass (6.5 mi)
Congratulations! You have completed Red Cone! You are now at the top of Webster Pass and need to decide whether to go downhill towards the left, which will take you down the Southside of Webster Pass and back to highway 285, where you came from. Or you can go right, which will lead you north to the towns of Montezuma and Keystone. It is not uncommon for the south side of Webster Pass to be impassable by snow till late July or early August.

Directions to Trailhead

Trailhead Coordinates: 39.484260, -105.802730

Starting Point: Denver

Take highway 285 west from Denver. Go about 3 miles past the town of Grant and turn right onto County Road 60. Continue on this main road for 5 miles and avoid all roads that turn left. The trailhead is marked by F.S. 565 on your right, along with a wooden bulletin board with the trail name.

Camping

Improved
Designated
C.R. 60 has 2 campgrounds before you reach the start of Red Cone; Hall Valley Campground and Handcart Campground, each with less than a dozen first come first serve camp spots. On Red Cone itself, there is hardly any dispersed camping. However, you can find a lot of dispersed camping along nearby roads such as Webster Pass.
Camping: Red Cone

Land Use Issues

Red Cone is a high alpine trail that begins to see snow in October or November. The trail is impassable to 4x4 vehicles during the winter months and should only be traversed by over the snow vehicles. Red Cone is seasonally closed during the Spring run-off season to prevent excess erosion. Exact closing and opening dates can vary from year-to-year depending on conditions, but according to the MVUM it is typically closed April 1st-June 30th.

Trail Reviews (65)

Author:
Status: Open
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On
Offroaded on:
Out of all the trails I’ve done, this one is my favorite. As soon as you get onto the trail the challenge begins. Did it in a lifted Tacoma on 305s twin locked and a lifted 4Runner on 305s and twin locked. Amazing trail
Author:
Status: Open
Difficulty Accuracy: Easier
Offroaded on:
2006 LJ, 3” lift and 33”, no lockers. Never even scraped on anything, in my video it sounds like it but it was just a rock kicked up off a tire bouncing off something. Waypoint 2 was no problem just suggest getting way over to the right. Rock garden has easy or more difficult lines. Only place I could have used a locker was in the switchback section, there was a turn that was dug out pretty bad but all I had to do was get a little run at it and made it up with little drama. The descent seemed overrated, there are spots on nearby Saints John only rated a 4 that I found way more sketchy.
Author:
Status: Open
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On
Offroaded on:
Great trail, not as intimidating as I was expecting. Good line choice in a few spots will easily have you over the obstacles. Stunning once above treeline. Ran in Nissan Frontier, 4in lift, with 33" tires
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
I can't say this enough. Make sure you have proper equipment and recovery gear. Had a full size stuck on a rock and a stock 4runnner having issues. Fun trail as always
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Fun trail, having a little more clearance helps. The first obstacle touched but made it over without much issue and through to the top. Wasn't as steep on the descent as I was expecting but low gear was enough to hold and get down without much trouble. I think one of the coolest things with this trail is going right over the top and over a saddle like most pass roads. Awesome views from the top.
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Ran this in a stock Rubicon with 32" tires. Scraped the bottom a few times at some of the more difficult sections but overall did not have a major issue. The most difficult obstacle was the first rock obstacle (#2). As the description states, avoid touching your brakes on the steep decent. Low gear seemed to be just enough to keep us at the right decent pace.
Author:
Social Media:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Red Cone always offers amazing views! It was a very smoky day so visibility was limited but I think that added a unique view of the trail. Mostly dry and not terribly busy.
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Awesome experience in stock Bronco Badlands 4 Door with Sasquatch. We asked some Jeep guys at the bottom of the trail if we could join up with them and they were amazing. Trail was extremely busy (Saturday morning) with lots of vehicles, buggy and ATV traffic which created pressure to keep a solid pace. Wildfire smoke from out West robbed us of the typically great view but the fun was still there. Descent was really easy and the highlight of the tail for us.
Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Calvary 4-Wheelers took a trip over Red Cone on Saturday, August 7, 2021. It was the first time back on the trail for my Green, lifted XJ after a 9-month break for a complete steering re-build and a cylinder head swap. Also along we're my nephew, Jon in his red XJ and Mike and Jessica in their brand new Rubicon. The trail was fairly busy but traffic was not as bad as expected so we were able to take our time and enjoy the obstacles on the way up. The smoke and haze from all the wildfires made the view from the top a lot different, kind of eerie and other-worldly. Overall a very fun and enjoyable day.
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Red Cone is my all time favorite trail. We run it at least once a year. It has gotten a little more washed out but not terribly bad. The rock obstacle at the bottom is a little bigger than the last few years. The most noticeable change to me this year is on the descent from the summit, there is a washed out spot that is a little bigger than in the past. It’s maybe a foot tall and not difficult but being where it is located, it could intimidate some drivers. This trail never disappoints. I want to live on the top of Red Cone.
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
This trail is b-e-a-utiful. It was not hard at all to us. 2013 GX460 2.5IN lift with 33s. The views are great.
Author: Official Crew
Social Media:
Status: Open
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Red Cone continues to be one of my favorite trails ever. Such a diverse landscape, fun obstacles, great views.
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Trail was in great shape and not busy at all for a Saturday. Chatted with the Trails Off Road RND crew for a bit, what a great group of guys.
Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
This was my first time to experience Red Cone. A great trail with much diversity. It rained heavily the night before so, although the trail was not dusty, the moisture added mud and water as an unexpected twist. The sky was filled with smoke from northern fires and the haze took away some of the distant views once we were above timberline. Because it was a weekend, we encountered quite a few other vehicles including ATVs, motorcycles, and really nice and well built jeeps. One of the rigs in our group was a stock Taco. It's driver, Trent, was well experienced and managed the trail in the Taco with no problems. This is a trail to go back to in the future.
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
I ran red cone with a very experienced group of 5. It was my first time on the trail. 4 jeep big tire and my lifted F-150. The first couple of obstacles went well then unexpectedly I hit a rock and gashed my new 35 mud terrain. It went completely flat in less that a minute. Geoff of Colorado 4x4 YouTube channel and his good buddy Camron the dream team of offroad fixed my tire in like 5 minutes and said your going upward. I said yes sir !! We went higher and a short time later found a lifted Lexus high centered on a rock. I started to not feel so bad. Geoff and Camron and the owner and a few others worked about 1 hour to get the Lexus unstuck. We all then a group of 6 continued to the summit of red cone 12,801 feet. This place is amazing and wow what a trail !! The view from the summit was unbelievable !! Must do trail but bring your A game and be prepared.
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Ran this trail in my Tacoma DCSB only real issue I had was the first obstacle at about 1/2 mile wrong line got me high centered. I should have stuck closer to the passenger side, especially after cresting the rock on the driver front wheel. Once my wheel dropped off I was quickly high centered. The decent off red cone is about 30 degrees no really that bad just gear down and engine brake.
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
This is a must do trail. It’s not very difficult technically, but not everyone will like the exposure once you get above tree line. Webster is open now, but instead of heading down Webster I went up Radical Hill (an even more sheer trail) and out through Montezuma.
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Group ran Red Cone for the first time. 3 JLURs, with lift ranges of 4” to 2.5” with 35s to 37s, 1 stock JLUR and our 2 door JK with a 4” and 37s. 2 door wheel base a definite advantage through the gate keeper as all the 4 doors scraped at least their rock rails. Trail is a little dug out in areas but passable with thoughtful tire placement. After breaking through the tree line…the views are breathtaking….. The peak can introduce some pucker factor if you’re uncomfortable with heights. The descent was uneventful, just let your equipment do it’s job. Connecting trails were still closed due to snow so we exited at Montezuma.
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Red Cone is an iconic Colorado off-road trail! 4th time running this trail and first time in the eco diesel Rubicon on 37 tires and was not disappointed. Ruts heading out of the treeline are a little deeper and have more standing water, but nothing a stockish high-clearance 4x4 can't get through with right angle. Hit 26 degrees of pitch going down from Red Cone which is fun. Webster Pass still closed at the intersection with several feet of snow, though likely melt off in the next week or two.
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Definitely worth the views from the top! Backside descent isn’t bad at all! A few decent “gate keeper” at waypoint 2 will keep stock vehicles out. However with a good spotter they aren’t too bad at all!
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Trail is open. The descent isn’t bad at all.
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
No issues for the FJC, but this trail is amazing, most of the hard work is done before the tree line, the descent isn't any worse than Black Bear or other trails with similar inclines.
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Red Cone is an iconic Colorado trail, and like all of them it has gotten more difficult in recent years. This trail used to be a joyride for a stock Jeep with open differentials, today would be tough for a novice driver in a stock SUV. The descent however, is much easier that it used to be. Don't get me wrong, its still steep, but it appears to have been flattened side to side with a dozer blade or something. As others have reported there is still a cornice across the Webster Pass route back down (see photos), but the Montezuma side is open. Its fine if you've got a plated vehicle.
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
What a trail! Enough challenges to keep it exciting on the way up, and the descent was one of the scariest experiences I’ve had on the trail. Highly recommended if you can handle to heights.
Author: Official Crew
Social Media:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Wet, sloppy, but great day with MHJC. Thanks, Ryan, for spotting me through the rock obstacles. Buster the Taco Supreme did amazing. Made it through with zero drama.
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Officially Opened today ran with a group from MHJC to open this trail today lead by Ryan Boudreau. Great time this trail was a bit harder than i remembered it from the last time i ran it. However the Jeep made it seem easy. I took 168 photos today of our group. Got to see some other jeepers playing around on Webster although the huge snowbank at the top may keep it closed for a bit. We exited via Montezuma an d stopped to have a brew with some New friends David & Kim.
Author:
Status: Seasonal Closure
Offroaded on:
Trail is closed at the gate.
Author:
Status: Not Reported
Offroaded on:
For me it was impassable, in a 2008 H3 on 33s with no lift, but for someone on taller tires or more experience in the snow it might be ok.

I did some night wheeling Friday, November 6, and decided to do this one after I did Webster Pass. Most of the early parts of the trail were more difficult than I remember from the last time I went on August 15. That first waypoint in the write up, it appeared someone had moved the rock on the east so I drug the frame a little going up and a lot coming back down. There was quite a bit of snow and ice on the way up. I was able to find lines to get past the icy spots. But on the saddle leading up to the peak, the snow got pretty deep and it became impassable for me about 311 feet from the peak. I saw some tracks keeping to the right on the rocks with one tire in the snow, but I forgot to grab my flashlight, and my phone light wasn't shining far enough ahead for me to see what was going on, and I didn't want to take the chance of that final ascent to the peak being even worse, so I backed down the saddle to a spot wide enough for me to turn around.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Love this trail. Few tough spots during ascend, not too hard, but the views are worth it. Completed end of October, had to move a downed Aspen off the trail. I would consider difficult due to the descend, know your rig well, driver exp is necessary.
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
This review is from 10/16/20 - the trail is no longer passable at time of writing this review (12/28/20). This is my new all time favorite trail when showing friends and out of state guests off-roading. It has it all all, from the best views I have yet encountered, extreme adrenaline rush on the descent, and some fun technical parts to flex on and mess around with on the ascent. We paired with the second half of Webster Pass for an extremely fun river-crossing as well. On the first steep descent a portion had rutted out providing a major challenge for two jeeps we were with - the longer wheelbase 4Runner did not have an issue, but it definitely made for a "leap of faith" type moment sticking the nose into it on an already very steep descent!
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Red Cone is a beautiful trail but it definitely has its challenging sections. I ran it in a 2012 Kawasaki Teryx4 and didn't have any real issues. I hit bottom a few times but could navigate around lots of obstacles. We were on the trail by 8:00 am and we were one of the first. After that, it gets pretty busy. We finished Red Cone and went to Radical Hill. Radical Hill is far worse than Red Cone. Red Cone is just a warm up for Radical Hill. This climbs on Red Cone are fun and the descents are pretty serious. Take your time and be sure to look ahead. The descents will get you if you aren't prepared. This is one of my favorite trails in Colorado. Views from the top are spectacular but, given the weather of the day, if might be a short stop at the top. The wind was in excess of 45 mph and cold!
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Ran this as part of a two day trip with Radical hill, deer creek, saints john, middle fork swan, SOB hill, and georgia pass. What a great 2 days! Epic scenery even with the smoke. WP2 definitely the hardest part. Ran this in 2017 and they have widened the path thru the trees at the right hand 90 near the tree line. Also the descent is much easier and looks like they leveled it a bit. Great trail though
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
beautiful area . Definitely a few tough spots .. I did it in a lifted subaru 5inch lift Long travel suspension. Skids at tires and rear locker. .this trail is Definitely way too difficult for anything less that what I brought. K recommend any subaru owners run webster pass or something else . Mostly because the large hills and no low range. The biggest reason is the rock gardens ..
Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Red Cone with Colorado Land Cruisers on Saturday, 8/15/20. We had a great view of the wildfire smoke plume to the northwest.
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
We ran this trail in my 2011 4Runner w/ 2” lift and 31.6” tires. I feel like the descent is a little over-hyped, I didn’t feel my anxiety level go up at all as we went down. I did scrape pretty good at the gatekeeper and on a few boulders in the rock garden; rock sliders and skid plates are a beautiful thing. One of the last switchbacks was a pretty decent challenge as well, I watched another vehicle struggle through it for a while but I pulled right through, I think I found the right line.
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
This is a fun trail. I did it without issue in my Cherokee on 31’s with a rear locker and 4 inch lift. Great views and lots of fun. Don’t freak out on the descent and try to use your engine braking as much as possible. It’s not that bad.
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
I guess I defied the laws of physics and took my Ram 2500 up this trail on Tuesday. The rock obstacle at WP #2 was my biggest challenge (and my only rock strike of day). The previous review shows this in their first pic. The rest of the trail through the woods was rough but all passable. The climbs above tree line a little easier with some momentum. The descent off Red Cone was firmer than I expected. Came down it without any wheel slippage-not an easy feat in a 7,000lb rig. Handcart Gulch and Webster Pass both open
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Took my Tacoma up. 33" tires, 3" lift, NO LOCKER, and made it just fine. There is one section around a switchback where you need careful tire placement and have to give it a little bump to make it up with no locker, but otherwise and easy trail, super fun. My pictures show the one spot I'm talking about. There were stock tacomas up there (with locker) and they made it without scraping, but said it was close.
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Trail is super fun and in great shape. We did the loop back down Handcart. Made it without issue (traction and clearance wise) in a GX470 with 2-in lift and 31s. There is one tricky switchback where locking diff or good traction control is needed. Lots of sharp rocks along the way so good tires are required. Did get a good scuff on the paint, probably from an off-camber section but I did not notice until after. Also lost a mud flap but that will go back on with a plastic rivet. So, be careful if you are worried about such things.
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Amazing trail! Highly recommended. I completed the loop and came back down Handcart Gulch. The snow drift at Webster Pass was dug out enough to get by.
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Ran this trail with no doors and of course it would rain and turn chilly but I wouldn't expect anything less wheeling in the high country in Colorado. This trail was one we had been wanting to do for a while but just never had a chance to do so but finally did and it was great, despite the weather. We actually will be leading a group up there at the end of August so fingers crossed it won't be raining. There wasn't too many obstacles that caused us issues.
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Definitely a great trail to do! Some of the best scenic views Colorado trails have to offer. I would recommend to have at least a locker in your vehicle to get up the first half of the trail. We had my 92 XJ on 35s with front and rear locked, a Suzuki Samurai with a 3" lift and 29s with rear locker, and a 2019 Ford Ranger FX4 on 4" lift with the rear locker package with 33". Once you get past the first few way points its pretty smooth sailing. At WP9 the trail ends and the Tail end of Webster pass is still closed due to snow. You will have to exit taking the first half of Webster where you leave into Montezuma. If you take a side-by-side or atvs, due to this being a one way trail at the top you'll be having a long day. Over-all this trail is quite spectacular and definitely should do if you've never done it.
Author: Official Crew
Social Media:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Red Cone is one of those trails you have to do at least once if you have a capable rig. I was in a bone stock JLU Rubicon, my buddy was in a 2020 Tacoma TRD Tacoma with 33s. Both of us used our lockers to get up WP 2. After that, a few hairy spots but nothing too bad. At very minimum, I would recommend at least 33's and a vehicle with a decent amount of flex to get through - ideally a locker. This trail definitely deserves all the 5-star ratings. Truly epic area of Colorado!
Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
After a very long and extensive day of trail repair, Red Cone is now open for the season. Be aware that you have to exit via Webster Pass to Montezuma and there is still an avalanche field you have to traverse that is still pretty deep. With the tracks we put on it and the shoveling, it will likely be melted in a week.
Author:
Status: Not Reported
Offroaded on:
Rating:
I recommend starting in Montezuma, and making the big figure 8 by doing Webster Pass, Red Cone, Radical Hill, and Deer Creek. Of those Radical Hill is the toughest. I think the first rock garden, and the switch backs through the woods were the toughest part for my long bed taco. Otherwise this trail is mostly about scenery, and possibly fear of heights. Just be warned, the views are very distracting.
Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
I drove Red Cone with a group of eight Land Cruisers and Tacoma's visiting from back east (Keystone Cruisers, Capital City Land Cruiser Club). We're all experienced wheelers and had no issues. The rocks at Waypoint 2 require good line selection, and the switchbacks above Waypoint 5 (the last segment of road before leaving the treeline) was off-camber and deeply rutted. This was my second trip on Red Cone, having first driven it in 2015. Take the author's precautions about braking on the descent--the road surface is loose rock and some segments are steep!
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Always a great trail. I heard from a friend that going down Webster Pass towards 285 after Red Cone is very scary this year. I ran Red Cone then descended towards Radical Hill. His story was confirmed at the Webster Pass summit by a guy who had just come up with his 2 toddlers. He said he about had a heart attack coming up. Felt like this info should be out there for anyone else attempting. edit** another buddy ran it down Webster yesterday (8/21) and said "it's the same as any year."
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Incredible trail, the views are amazing. I ran it in the rain and some obstacles definitely were difficult because of the weather but still managed to pull through.
Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
The Red Cone gate has officially been opened. Trail is dry and clear all the way to Montezuma.
Author:
Status: Seasonal Closure
Offroaded on:
Rating:
My plan was to go up Red Cone, through Radical Hill, and then follow whichever way I felt after going through them, but unfortunately Red Cone is still closed. I decided to take Webster Pass, which is still a good trail, until the shelf road.
Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
I ran Red Cone yesterday with another rig and the ground was dry. There is lots of snow in the forecast this week and I believe we may have been one of the last groups through for the year.
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Spectacular trail! One of our all time favorites now. Just the right amount of technical. Amazing views. Took Red Cone to West side of Webster Pass and out to Keystone. Highly recommend it.
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Ran this trail with a group of stock and very modified vehicles. The most stock vehicle we had was an 89 YJ with 30" tires and 1" lift, fully open diffs. Waypoint 2 is much narrower than it seems in the pictures. Our YJ had to be aired down to 8 psi in the rear in order to get traction to get up and over the center rocks. He ended up hitting his rear bumper on the way off but it didn't really show other than a few scratches. If you don't know how to let your engine do the braking on the way down the slopes, don't try this. One of the guys in our group locked his rear brakes up and fish-tailed about 4 feet before letting off, almost got real nasty for him and us. A word of advice don't run the top half of this trail with your sway bar disconnected! We had a few Jeeps (3 - 6" of lift) run without their sway bars and they were puckering as they were coming down.
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
I drove the trail yesterday with my daughter and labrador retriever and had a fabulous time. The reason for writing the review is just to add a word of caution to others that may be driving a somewhat stock older vehicle. I found it to be very difficult. I drive a 1989 FJ62 Toyota Land Cruiser, with a very mild lift (2”) and 31” tires on stock wheels. Fortunately I have a rear diff locker which helped tremendously. I was also loaded pretty heavy with camping gear and a roof-top tent. The first half of the road is very rocky and I just didn’t have enough clearance to progress at a reasonable pace. We had to stop frequently to realign and to move and stack rocks and bolders. The trail description indicated a few hours, but it took us about 5-1/2 hours to reach the top. Of course, to make things interesting, we encountered a hail storm and lighting before reaching the top, so we had to sit in the vehicle for a while and wait for the storm to pass. Fortunately, it did pass pretty quickly. I was a little worried about the downhill parts, given the dire warnings to avoid using the brakes and the fact that my tires are barely larger than stock and don’t have a lot of width. It actually wasn’t bad at all, but I think having the rear locker helped tremendously to keep the tires from skidding. I went very slow, not nearly as fast as shown in on-line videos and I did stand on the brakes pretty heavily. But because I kept the speed so low, I never was actually decelerating, the brakes were used to keep from speeding up. I would have been uncomfortable at a speed where the engine was doing the braking, and yes, I was in 4WD low, with the locker engaged and I have a Vortec V8 instead of the tired old Toyota six. It’s not that scary if you’re careful. What would have been scary for me would be to turn around and go through the rock crawling back the way we came! We continued northward over Webster pass. I also thought that it was interesting that there was NOBODY on the road save for a young couple in a OHV quad. Anyway, tons of fun but just wanted to give a bit of additional perspective if you’re not driving a built-out trail rig.
Author:
Status: Open
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Great day for a trip up Red Cone. It was my 1st run over this pass but we managed it okay. I think the hardest part of this trail is WP2 but I got over it. The decent down was not as bad as I was thinking it was going to be. Not much done to my Jeep other than 33's and a 2.5" lift. I would say traffic was moderate.
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
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Got to do this trail on July 1st. Everything was wide open on the trail. Traffic was heavy with Jeeps, Toyota's and atv's (I was driving the only full size K5 seen up there). Trail is tight in the trees for a full size but it is do-able with careful driving. Some corners required a 2 or 3 point turn, but again no damage taken by the trees. Up top was windy, but clear. The climb to the peak had to wait for traffic to clear, but I can't imagine a better place to be stuck waiting for traffic to clear. Once on top the 360 degree view was breathtaking. You could even see the smoke rising from the Weston pass fire to the south. The decent down was fun and spooky at the same time. Gear down, point it straight ahead and pay attention, the Webster summit took no time to get to even creeping down to it. Webster still had the snow cornice at the summit to the south side and it was marked closed at the trailhead below. We returned heading up the valley to the north and hooking up with dear trail and going back up to the top and intersecting with the middle fork of the swan river. We came back to the road at hwy 9 in Breckenridge. 9 took us down back to Fairplay and on to home from there. Great trail to run, if you are afraid of heights it may not be the trail for you.
Author: Official Crew
Social Media:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Our friends at Colorado Off Road Enterprise report that Red Cone is open all the way through to Montezuma thanks to Mile-High Jeep Club's efforts.
Author: Official Crew
Status: Partially Open
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Snow condition update: Multiple reports from this weekend confirm the trail is no longer passable beyond waypoint 5. The seasonal gate does not close till spring, but travel along the trail is not recommended.
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Decided to do Red Cone with my friend Brian in my 1986 Toyota 4Runner. The trail was wet, and there was a good bit of snow as we got higher. Then it started to snow pretty hard. We hit a really muddy patch on a right hand switchback with big rocks in it. I tried to power through that section and took out my left front turn signal and damaged my fender and bumper pretty good on a tree, coming to an abrupt halt. When I tried to back up, the right rear tire got in a deep pit and the 4Runner started to tip right and backward. The left front tire was several feet in the air. Brian jumped out to take weight off the right side, then jumped on the hood and scrambled to the left front corner. That teetered the truck part of the way to level and got me enough purchase to move a bit and alleviate the impending rollover. A Jeep pulled up (thanks Alex and Ryan). We cobbled together my come along, my chain, their chain, and their tree strap. After some trying we got moving again. However, the right rear tire now had a damaged valve stem and was losing air quickly. Using the original equipment bottle jack was difficult, but we eventually got the spare tire on. We were pretty far up at that point, and it was getting late in the afternoon. I thought it best to turn around because of the sloppy conditions on the trail and the possible (probable) slippery nature of the descent down Red Cone. The Jeep guys advised me that in point of time continuing on over Red Cone and back down Webster Pass was probably the same without having to go through the really rutted out boulders that we bottomed out and high centered on a few times coming up. We got to tree line. Their plan was to have us follow them to the top, where they would walk a bit down the descent to see how it was. We watched them slip and slide and get high centered going up the sloppy climb above tree line to the ridge on top and realized we would not make it to the top. They dislodged their Jeep and disappeared over the top. We gave the Jeep about ten minutes and turned around to head back down the way we came up, assuming they decided to continue. It was very windy and cold with snow. Now after sunset and getting dark quickly, we struggled taking the 4Runner back down through rocks that were much more exposed than normal from trail wear during the rain and snow this past week. Eventually the Jeep guys caught up with us coming back downhill. Their story--not ours--was that at the very top there was 6 inches of snow, it was 32°F, and blowing 80 mph. Not sure how they know that last figure, but the passenger said he was unable to open his door against the wind when they got near the edge of the descent. They did show us a video on their phone of the last time they could exit the vehicle nearing the top. It was clear from the snow depth and blizzard conditions in that video that going down the Red Cone descent had a low probability of successful outcome. On the way back down to 285 my left rear bumper got caught in the mud on a tight canted left hairpin turn. That corner of the bumper slowly twisted itself apart as it acted like a keel or drag anchor guiding me through the turn. It damaged the vehicle, but it did help keep us in the turn. Lessons learned include knowing that the weather is to be respected, stay off sloppy trails, snow and Red Cone do not mix, just because someone else suggests you continue does not make it true, and ego can get your vehicle damaged and endanger your life. That seems like enough lessons for one day. Damage report includes left front bumper, left rear bumper, left front fender, left front turn signal, one tire off the bead, a new squeal/whistle possibly from the differential, and unknown damage to the bottom of the vehicle from rock impacts. In all, a pretty fun day that turned out a lot better than it could have.
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Wonderful trip over Red Cone! It had been over 15 years since I last drove this trail. It seems like there has been quite a bit of errosion that was not evident the last time I was here... Our trail run was done with fellow members of the Colorado FJ Cruiser club. There were about 16 rigs on our run. We always like doing runs with this group as everyone is patient and helpful on some of the difficult portions of this trail. The views up top of Red Cone are amazing to say the least. This is one of my favorite trails in Colorado. I strongly recommend!
Author: Official Crew
Social Media:
Status: Open
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The plan was to hit Red Cone for sunrise and then continue on to Webster Pass to Radical Hill. From Radical Hill we would take Deer Creek to Saint John then finishing on North Fork Swan River leading us back down to Breckenridge. Starting at 4:30 am we were able to be on Red Cone for sunrise and beat all the crowds for the remainder of the trails.
Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Thanks to the hardworking folks from Mile-Hi Jeep Club, Red Cone will officially open for the season today. This past weekend was a work weekend spent installing new signage, removing tree debris, picking up trash, and clearing snow. Please note that you have to exit via Webster Pass into Montezuma. Webster is not yet clear to return back to 285.
Author: Official Crew
Status: Permanently Closed
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The seasonal gate on Red Cone is closed for the season. The trail is adopted by the Mile-Hi Jeep Club and anticipates the opening to be the weekend before 4th of July.
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Great trail, heading up through the trees and then above the tree line, to s steep climb and steeper decent on the other side of the Red Cone. A fall day with lots of colors in the trees and likely the one of the last weekends the trail will be open this year. Continue on to Radical Hill for a little more challenge with off camber short section of shelf road and a narrow area with just enough room for a Jeep to pass.
Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Decided to celebrate July 4th with a quick run over Red Cone Pass. We left town around 7:30 AM to hit the trailhead just about 8:45. Brought the dogs and the ladies to enjoy the views. Hall Valley Campground was packed, and Webster Pass was still closed. As we got to the summit it was evident why. The cornice at the top of Webster (very last switchback) was still about 30' deep. Red Cone Pass was dry and had some recent trimming done, making for a very easy accent to the top. We didn't encounter any other people on Red Cone until reaching the junction of Webster and Red Cone, where we found a lone mountain biker. We ate lunch on the summit of red cone where we had the pleasure of seeing 3 mountain goats that were curious what we were doing but not so interested in my dogs. I was amazed at how mellow the decent from the top was. We went down the Montezuma side where the river crossing was around 30" at the deepest point. A young group of campers approached at the crossing and asked if we had and jumper cables. We landed a quick hand to get this groups up and running again. It was around 2:00 when we made it to Montezuma to air up.

Questions & Answers (9)

Q: In the Notes it says no Full size. I have a Hummer H2 on 35's. (I do have a fatter ass than most LOL) I am used to getting alot of pin strips but when I hear no full size it makes me think of sharp turns etc.
–Shane Mattox (08/04/2021)
A: That is a pretty wide vehicle. Yes there are a few sharp switchback turns and one turn specifically that you maneuver between a couple trees. I personally wouldn't recommend taking that rig, but I can't speak for your abilities, so the choice is yours.
–Ryan Boudreau (08/05/2021)
Q: Is the trail open?
–ADAM WEBSTER (05/28/2021)
A: The trail is seasonally closed every year until the beginning of July. Wet/snowy conditions can keep the trail closed longer.
–Ryan Boudreau (05/31/2021)
A: Not until about July when the snow clears.
–Todd (05/29/2021)
Q: Sorry, I wish I could re edit what I hastily wrote below in other question below:) So here's where we are- I have watched about 7 Red Cone YouTube videos. I figure no video does the final descent justice. I am now tending to go for the full day 2018 Honda Rancher ATV rental for Webster South to Red Cone North and then re join Webster and go back up to the starting trail head. Figure 6 hours. More than a half day rental (7-12) but shorter than a full day. That way we are not rushed and can take pixs and take our time. What I meant by "Easier than a jeep" (below) is riding an atv down the steep final descent might feel a little bit more comfortable than a jeep since you are lower to the ground. Thanks J Ranello for the response.
–steve michael stefany (06/10/2020)
A: As mentioned already, I have no personal experience coming down Red Cone on an ATV, but see many people do it. I think your time frame works fine for the ATVs, it might be a bit of a hasty ride on the Jeep though depending on how well built your suspension is. But yes, doable. When is your rental? Red Cone and Webster are still currently closed and will be through at least this Saturday.
–Ryan Boudreau (06/23/2020)
A: Rentals are pricey, but there's so much scenery/side routes coming out of Montezuma you will be happy to have time. They will definitely prefer the ATV on Webster, 'the narrows' is in fact just that. In dry weather the RC decent isnt bad as long as your comfortable with heights and familiar with engine braking - im honestly not sure how that works with ATV's so can't comment on one being easier than the other (full disclosure I'm assuming you and/or rental company checked the MVUM for these routes). Red Cone is somewhat technical all the way through, ATV's will have an easier time getting around obstacles. I took my Tacoma through stock but would not recommend that.
–J Ranello (06/10/2020)
Q: In reference to question below- if we rented ATVs for a full day would it work them with doing all of Webster and coming back (1/2 way) on Red Cone. What about ATVs going down the last part of Red Cone? Easier than a jeep? Thanks.
–steve michael stefany (06/10/2020)
Q: So I've booked some atvs out of Dillon. We have a jeep but I want two 19 year olds to have some fun driving their own atv. Question. We pick up the atvs at 7am and have to have them back by noon. We drive them in a trailer to the Webster north trail head. I like opinion on this "trip." So we start down Webster from the north and go to the bottom end, return Red Cone and join Webster where Red Cone connects with Webster half way up Webster, and return Webster. Can that be done in a rough 4 hour time frame (7:30am to 11:30am)? I thinking it is too much for 4 hours (1 hr r.t. transport time). So...the second question is...why can't we start out at the north Webster trail head, come down Webster half way and go up Red Cone for about :45 mins. - maybe to waypoint #5 or wherever :45 mins. takes us on Red Cone and then turn around and come back. My rough estimate for that shorten trip is about 3 1/2 hours. That would work. Thoughts? Thanks.
–steve michael stefany (06/09/2020)
A: The Webster/Red Cone route is one of my favorites, short answer - can you swing renting the ATV's for a full day? You could probably do it on your timeline, but that would leave 0 time for stopping and or any trouble. With time to take in the scenery I usually plan on 5-6 hours roundtrip, and that doesnt count getting to the trailhead and loading/unloading which always seems to take longer than I budgeted. Unfortunately the 2nd idea you had is not possible, Red Cone is one-way downhill at the intersection of Webster. Even if that weren't the case I would highly caution against trying to go up it unless the 19yr olds were extremely experienced (IMO barely possible at that age)
–J Ranello (06/10/2020)
Q: Is the trail open yet? 3JUN20?
–Peyton Lange (06/03/2020)
A: No, still closed. Work day is scheduled for June 27th, so possibly open June 28th, definitely by July 4th.
–Ryan Boudreau (06/04/2020)
Q: So I understand there is camping off of Webster Pass... We plan on truck camping, very little footprint and setup, do I need to call ahead somewhere and check in or get a pass like other spots? Thanks in advance!!!
–Seth (07/16/2018)
A: There are two developed Forest Service Campgrounds along the way, Hall Valley Campground & Handcart Campground. Those are both first come first serve and charge nightly fees on site. Not very many sites at those. For more info on those, just google them. Otherwise, there are numerous free, dispersed spots along Webster and actually a couple within the first mile on Red Cone. Just be aware the Forest Service has designated some areas as parking only and no camping. They are well marked. If caught camping in those parking only spots, you will be fined.
–Ryan Boudreau (07/16/2018)
Q: Will my wrangler with 32" tires make it okay?
–David Ramirez (06/27/2018)
A: With careful tire placement at wp2, you should have no issue. Make sure to use your lowest gear possible on the Red Cone decent, and don't use the brakes. Have fun!
–Ryan Boudreau (06/27/2018)
Q: Is red cone and webster pass accessible with RZR. If so when can one park a trailer.
–Radek Gebala (05/12/2018)
A: When both passes are clear, yes they are accessible with a RZR. There is a trailer parking lot at the handcart trailhead off hall valley road just a little ways before handcart campground. Red Cone usually opens July 4th weekend, but it is a one way trail from waypoint 6 until the end. To return to your trailer, you will need to either turn around there or meet up with Webster pass and take that back down after the snow has cleared, however keep in mind that Webster pass usually has a snow cornice at the top blocking that route untill usually a month after red cone opens.
–Ryan Boudreau (05/12/2018)

Writer Information

Ryan Boudreau

Mapping Crew - Colorado

Hi, I'm Ryan! I am a Colorado native and I've been wheeling since I was 16 years old. I grew up with a relentless passion for all things Jeep and off road related, and that passion has never died out. I am a member of the Mile-Hi Jeep Club, Patrol 16 Sasquatch Jeepers and currently own an '06 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited (LJ) nicknamed "Minion". I am a huge supporter of Stay the Trail and Tread Lightly, and have participated and even been in charge of many trail restoration projects. I have been a trail leader several times for events such as All-4-Fun, ColoradoFest, Set Them Free, 14er Fest, and other. I am also the creator of the Unlimited LJ Adventure. My rig is built for extreme offroading, but I love to get my tires dirty on any kind of trail whether it's rock crawling or just scenic high Alpine drives. I've wheeled all over the country including Colorado, Utah, Kansas, the Carolinas, AZ, and California. I love a great adventure, and love even more to share those adventures with others. If you see the "minion" out on the trail, make sure to stop and say hello.
For individual use only, not to be shared.