Corona Pass aka Rollins Pass West

Winter Park, Colorado (Grand County)

Last Updated: 08/05/2022
4.3 / 5 ( 16 reviews )
Zoom in to see trails...

Highlights

Highlight: Corona Pass aka Rollins Pass West
Corona Pass once held the title of the country's highest elevation rail stop. The trail is located just outside Winter Park, along the Continental Divide at 11,660 feet above sea level. Although this pass has been used for thousands of years by humans and animals, not until the mining and railroad booms of the 1900s did machinery begin summiting the treacherous pass. Today, the pass is no longer linked on both ends, thus creating two dead-end routes. Making your approach from the west to the top of Rollins Pass, you will be greeted with breathtaking panoramic views, endless wildflowers, and incredible campsites that are sure to make your Instagram followers jealous.

Video

Route Information

Technical Rating

( EASY )

Read more about our rating system

Waypoints

1. Trailhead (0 mi)
Turn north onto Corona Pass Road/County Road 80/FS149 from US 40. As you turn onto the road, there is a sign about The Moffat Road "Hill Route." There is no space here to congregate and air down, which is highly recommended due to the roughness of the road. Continue farther along the road until you find a suitable pull-off area. The next 1.25 miles pass through National Forest before transitioning to private land for a short distance.

Directions to Trailhead

Starting Point: Empire

From the south, travel north on US 40 over Berthoud Pass. From the top of Berthoud Pass, go 11.6 miles, after you pass through the Winter Park ski area, you are getting close. You will follow the brown road sign that reads "National Forest Access Corona Pass", you will turn right/north onto Corona Pass Rd/County Rd 80/NFSR 149. From the north, starting near the Winter Park and Fraser Chamber of Commerce, travel south on US 40 for 1.8 miles. You will follow the brown road sign that reads "National Forest Access Corona Pass", you will turn left/north onto Corona Pass Rd/County Rd 80/FS149. There is not much room at the trailhead to assemble a group. The entrance is directly off US 40 and immediately becomes a tight double-width road.

Camping

Dispersed

Land Use Issues

Rollins Pass is a historic landmark that is now a divided trail to the east and west with no way to legally connect the two trails. Any attempts to restore the connection between Rollins Pass East and West by Grand and Gilpin Counties are met with resistance from Boulder County and the Boulder County Ranger District. "The Boulder Wagon Road was a four-wheel-drive road that was open prior to 2008 and in good condition. Unfortunately, this road remains to this day a subject of much controversy. In 2002 the James Peak Wilderness and Protection Area Bill (a.k.a. Public Law 107-216) was passed by Congress and signed into law by President George W. Bush. The Bill specifically created a narrow road corridor between the Indian Peaks and James Peaks Wilderness areas and states that if any of the affected counties (Grand, Gilpin or Boulder) request, the Secretary of the USDA will cooperate and assist with the repair of the Rollins Pass Road and until that time the attendant road (the BWR) will remain open to motorized use. Boulder County officials and the USFS-Boulder Ranger District have resisted the wording of the law and have closed the BWR. Both Grand and Gilpin Counties have made numerous written requests to the Secretary for the repair of Rollins Pass Road but to date there has been no repair of the road or the barricaded Needle's Eye Tunnel. The reopening of the BWR, and/or repair of the Rollins Pass Road, and even the facts surrounding the 1990 accident in the tunnel, have become contentious and ongoing issues." Source, [Wikipedia](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rollins_Pass)

Trail Reviews (16)

Questions & Answers (5)

Q: Should I forget about trying the Boulder Wagon Road from Rollins West trying to get to Rollins East? I read what is here and it's not clear if you can travel it. Can a stock jeep handle it? Thanks
–steve michael stefany (08/04/2020)
–Ryan Boudreau (08/04/2020)
Q: Is there a good location to stage a sxs?
–Ed friend (08/22/2018)
–Brandon Marlow (09/30/2018)
Q: Wondering if there are good dispersed spots where we'd be able to pull a car in on level ground?
–Grace Elizabeth (06/17/2018)
–Brandon Marlow (06/18/2018)
Q: Anyone know if it's clear of snow to the top and would be doable by a stock F150 at this time?
–Prosper Wang (06/06/2018)
–Brandon Marlow (06/18/2018)
Q: This guy says it's under seasonal closure. Has it already been boarded up for the season? Thanks!
–JD Marshall (09/22/2017)
–Patrick Wilson (09/30/2017)

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.