Stony Pass

Silverton, Colorado (SanJuan County)

Last Updated: 08/18/2019
4.9 /5 ( 7 reviews )
Information
Nearby Trails
Status: Impassable
Typically Open: Year Round
Length: 40.6 miles
Highest Elevation: 13082 feet
Duration: About 3 hours 30 minutes
Shape of Trail: Straight Through
Best Direction to Travel: East
Nearest Town: Silverton
Nearest Town w/ Services: Silverton
Official Road Name: 737 and 520
Management Agency: San Juan National Forest and Rio Grande National Forest
District: Divide Ranger District
Showing 0 trails within 2 miles

Highlights

Highlight: Stony Pass
Situated in the San Juan Mountains near Silverton, Colorado, Stony Pass crosses the Continental Divide and is one of the longest uninterrupted off-road climbs in the entire state. It used to be a major supply route into Silverton from the east until 1882 when the Durango to Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad made it obsolete. It became just a road utilized for mining before it was abandoned. The road was reopened as a four-wheel drive route by the US Forest Service in the 1950s. Optional side trips are available that allow you travel up to the historic Buffalo Boy Tram Station and beyond up to 13,000' in elevation. Wildflowers, alpine views, and mining history make this a trip worth taking.

Video

Weather

7 day forecast for Stony Pass

Route Information

Technical Rating:
(MODERATE )

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Waypoints

1. Trailhead (0.00 mi)
Take the fork uphill. You should air down here, as many parts of the road are very rocky.

Directions to Trailhead

Trailhead Coordinates: 37.815307, -107.578303

Starting Point: Silverton, Colorado

Follow the signs north out of Silverton, Colorado on CR-2 for about four miles and look for the sign "Cunningham Gulch", "Old 100 Mine Tour", and "Stony Pass" all on the right. Take road 4 (right) and then follow the sign markers to Stony Pass.

Camping

Dispersed
Improved

Trail Reviews (10)

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Wow, what a beautiful route through some amazing landscapes. The trail wasn't that hard but did have a couple rocky spots that will require 4x4. We really liked all the great camping once you get near the river. There are some spots where I could just sit for a couple days. The trail was totally clear and there weren't any really narrow spots. Not much traffic compared to all the other trails we visited in the area. We chose not to visit the optional mine sites.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Stony pass is now open all the way through. Pole creek crossing is listed at “cross at your own risk” by Forest Service, water is high and fast moving but passable in a capable truck with experienced driver. Overall this wasn’t a challenging route, just a nice long scenic drive with lots to stop and see along the way.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Temporary Closure
Offroaded on:
Important: Due to dangerous water flow at Pole Creek, Stony Pass is temporarily closed

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
It was reported that someone lost their life while attempting to cross the water. Use caution on the trail and do not go alone or attempt if the water is too high or fast.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Stony Pass is open all the way through as of yesterday. San Juan County finished plowing their end. Expect muddy conditions and Pole Creek crossing at waypoint 13 is extremely high and fast. Be careful attempting to cross.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
I drove the full length of Stony Pass from Silverton to Hwy 149 in my 1988 Isuzu Trooper. The road is open and in good condition. There are a few wet spots but overall dry. From Silverton to Kite Lake intersection (Waypoint 14) I was with a group from Isuzu Wheelers (Facebook group). Together, we drove the spur road up to Buffalo Boy Mine, then back down and over the pass, and up-and-back to Kite Lake. After completing Kite Lake, I proceeded east to Creede and the others went back to Silverton. This is a fantastic connector road with lots of history/mining artifacts and wonderful mountain scenery.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
We've done Black Bear Pass, Engineer, Imogene, Cinnamon and many others in the area. This one often gets overshadowed by those others, but should not be overlooked. This is one of our favorite trails and is much less crowded than the more well known trails in the area.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Open and completely dry and clear, road in good condition.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Per Ouray County, Stony Pass is now open.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
I love Stony Pass for the journey. At 40 some miles, this is just a great adventure. We left Silverton late and camped along the way. The camping next to the Rio Grande to me is one of those iconic moments you just have to experience.

Questions & Answers (5)

Q: Is stony pass clear currently?
–josh meadows (06/25/2019)
–Todd (07/01/2019)
–Todd (06/27/2019)
–Todd (06/25/2019)
Q: Sorry. Follow up to previous question. Meant western trail head. Thanks
–Greg Robbins (01/28/2019)
–Ryan Boudreau (01/30/2019)
–Todd (01/28/2019)
Q: Hi Todd--we're gearing up for trip this week. Any beta on the timber hill section? We'll be in a stock 4wd 2015 Grand Cherokee. I'm novice/light intermediate w jeeping . . . Grew up in Ouray so I've definitely done some. Any advice appreciated.
–Chris Wood (09/04/2017)
–L wetherill (02/10/2018)
–Todd (09/05/2017)
Q: Looking to take my family over from Silverton side to Creede in early September. 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4X4. Any extra advice? Best spot to camp for a couple nights and explore from?
–Chris Wood (08/20/2017)
–Todd (08/20/2017)
Q: Do you think that a 4wd Ford F250 can make the trail without problems? Looking to go from 149 all the way to Silverton
–Christopher (06/10/2017)
–Todd (06/10/2017)

Writer Information

Todd

Founder

Todd is an avid wheeler who loves to explore new trails whenever and wherever he can. They say necessity is the mother of all invention and that holds true for Todd. His want and desire to find passable trails and new nooks and crannies of the Great American West to explore were his reasons behind starting Trailsoffroad.com. On any given weekend you can find Todd on some obscure 4x4 trail or using his legs to hike to an alpine lake.
For individual use only, not to be shared.