Saxon Mountain Road

4.6/5 (38 reviews)
Georgetown, Colorado (Clear Creek County)
Last Updated: 07/15/2022
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Trail Information

Highlights

Colorado has many famous trails known for their heights and breathtaking views like Black Bear Pass or Red Cone. Saxon Mountain deserves to be on that list thanks to theme park-level thrills, a sprinkling of history, and your fill of Colorado mountain scenery. In the 1960s, Walter V Berry bought a significant amount of land in the area, including this mining claim. After failing to extract any valuable amounts of silver, he gifted the land to the town in 1986. Hopes that the road would be used for a tram and cultural center at the summit never materialized. It is so undeveloped that remnants of the original mining operations are still along the trail including housing and equipment. Today, the old mining road is a non-stop 4x4 climb up 20 steep switchbacks, quickly climbing 4500 feet before hitting the summit at 11,500 feet. In between these tight turns, much of the route runs along rocky and exposed shelf roads. These shelves are only wide enough for one vehicle in spots, and driving along these thousands-of-feet drop-offs can be intimidating to even the most seasoned wheeler. Those who can stomach the climb get an adrenaline rush and panoramic views into Georgetown, the I-70 corridor, and the surrounding mountains.

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Navigation

This trail is a straight-through route that runs for 6.6 miles from Georgetown, CO, to the top of Saxon Mountain overlooking the town. The rocky trail climbs over 3000 feet and has 20 switchbacks to navigate along the way. The trail has three sections that are considered obstacles, including "Hold Your Breath Hill" at Waypoint XX. The trail consists of a lot of shelf roads that are tight in a few places. The steep road is prone to rock slides during severe weather. Over the years, these rock slides have caused the trail to increase in difficulty. As of 2021, this trail is now under active management by local volunteer groups working with Clear Creek County. Volunteers worked on the trail in the summer of 2021 to remove some of the boulders causing severe danger, and work will continue by volunteer groups to mitigate various issues that have cropped up over the years and future maintenance.
Full exposure on shelf roads for the majority of the trail.

Trail Reviews

4.6/5 (39 reviews)
Scott
2100
Status: Open
Rated 4/5
Visited: 09/04/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

We ran this trail with a Built Landcruiser 100 and a mostly stock Wrangler. Whit the exception of a couple spots, this wasn't an exceptionally technical trail by any means. There are certainly a couple clenchers with a tire position required right at the edge of an off-camber shelf road and a few tricky boulders crowding the trail. The only trouble we ran into was a tire eating rock . . . which of course got us right where the trail became too narrow for anyone to pass. There are occasional glimpses where you can see the staggering altitude gain above Georgetown and I-70. But until you get to the top, the views are intermittent. With the tire's death, the day became a little longer and hotter than we'd hoped for, but it's still a nice run with truly remarkable views and plenty of parking at the top.
Trail Review: Saxon Mountain Road - Scott
Trail Review: Saxon Mountain Road - Scott
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Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 07/27/2022

Ran the trail from the junction with Lamartine Road down to Georgetown in a stock 2 door Wrangler. Not my planned route, but missed a turn outlined in Wells Backroad Guide 1999 addition that was supposed to be "easy" to get to Gtown. Found it extremely tiring with constant vigil and a couple of off camber areas with the 2000 foot drop offs toward I-70. The narrowness of some of the side trails on the Lamartine Road leading up to the junction make turning around quite a challenge when one gets off track. Definitely a learning experience with misadventure aspects when I was looking for a easy/moderate run.
Joel
1000
Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 07/17/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

We ran this trail uphill and went down Cascade Creek on the other side. This trail is a solid 4 with the exception of waypoint 11. There is a puddle just before the 'can opener' where you are off camber on a very high up shelf road. This is also in a location that would be difficult to back out of. I agree with the 5 rating because there is definitely a risk of vehicle damage here and caution people from taking this trail if you are not experienced and/or by yourself.
JD Marshall
Official Crew
101150
Status: Open
Visited: 07/15/2022

I love this trail, but I HATE the off camber parts that give this trail its rating. The trail is open and no major damage from recent rains though its rougher rocks for more of the road now.
Trail Review: Saxon Mountain Road - JD Marshall
Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 06/23/2022

We ran Saxon today point to point and had a blast. One of the best trails I've ever ran. We had a F-150 on 35s with 2.5 inch lift and had no issues on the trail. I was glad I had a spotter in a few places and we took it slow as it was a new trail. The views from the top of Saxon mountain are the best around and really loved cascade crest out to highway 103. Top notch trail system !!
Trail Review: Saxon Mountain Road - Iceman 99
Trail Review: Saxon Mountain Road - Iceman 99
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