|Typically Open:||06/04/2018 - 11/01/2018|
|Highest Elevation:||12800 feet|
|Duration:||About 2 hours|
|Shape of Trail:||Straight Through|
|Best Direction to Travel:||North|
|Nearest Town w/ Services:||Bailey|
|Official Road Name:||565|
|Management Agency:||Pike National Forest|
|District:||South Platte Ranger District|
Red Cone is a four-wheel drive trail providing spectacular views of the divide with a few rocky obstacles along the way. The upper portion traverses the ridge lines around 12,000 feet with views for miles, but it is the extremely steep, one-way descent at the end that will remain in your memory long after the trip is over. Use your lowest gear possible, turn on the AC if you have it to help slow that motor, and use the brakes as little as possible. Do not lock up your brakes. If you feel your back end sliding side-ways, you may have to give the vehicle a little throttle to straighten yourself back out.
Rocks frequent and large, 12" and may exceed hub height. Holes frequent or deep (12"). Shelves to 9". Mud 8" deep and may be present on uphill sections. Grades to 25 degrees and sidehill to 30 degrees. Water crossings to 18" and may have strong currents. 1-1/2 vehicles wide. 4WD required. Driver experience helpful.Read more about our rating system
|Spring:||Trail is seasonall closed|
|Summer:||Trail is usually dry|
|Fall:||Trail could be snowpacked by late fall|
|Winter:||Trail is impassable due to snow|
After about 5 miles on C.R. 60, begin Red Cone at F.S. 565. This intersection is very well marked with signage.
This obstacle is the first rock obstacle you will encounter on the trail. Small tires will make this obstacle difficult as the boulders are fairly large and require careful tire placement to keep your undercarriage from getting snagged.
Cross a small creek and then veer slightly left as the trail follows a brief section of wash.
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.
You have now reached the end of tree line. This would be a good time to stop for the last, covered, potty break of the trip.
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 on past the top. Likewise, if you see a large group behind you while waiting at the top, it's probably a good idea to pack up and get moving. But definitely 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.
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 it's 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.
Don't be fooled and assume there was only one descent from the top, you still have one more steep descent to tangle with. Good news, you have already conquered one descent. Bad news, this one is a bit steeper than the previous one. But more good news, it's a lot shorter in length!!
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 South side 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.
Trailhead Coordinates: 39.484260, -105.802730
Starting Point: Denver