Stony Pass

Silverton, Colorado (SanJuan County)

Last Updated: 07/30/2021
4.9 / 5 ( 18 reviews )
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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.


Route Information

Technical Rating


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1. Trailhead (0 mi)
Take the fork uphill. You should air down here, as many parts of the road are very rocky.

Directions to Trailhead

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.



Trail Reviews (26)

Questions & Answers (13)

Q: Howdy, Im planning a trip with some family up Colorado way and we'd be in the area round 05/23, is there a chance the pass will be open by then?
–Chase Riner (05/11/2022)
–Tracy Barker (05/15/2022)
–Ryan Boudreau (05/12/2022)
Q: I was thinking of trying this trail East to West on 10/12 on my way to the Rim Rocker Trail. I know that you cant predict weather but is this trail historically passable the beginning of October? And any recommendations or resources for local weather that will help with this? Thanks.
–jeff mettee (09/22/2021)
–Todd (09/23/2021)
Q: I see many ride this trail west to east. Do you see any issues or concerns driving it east to west? Is there a reason why it’s recommended west to east? Thanks for your time.
–Allen Shpigel (02/23/2021)
–John (02/24/2021)
Q: Would a Ford Transit van or a F250 with a big overhead camper make it from Silverton to Pole Creek?
–Eric Breden (09/01/2020)
–Ryan Boudreau (09/01/2020)
Q: Was considering going East to West and have a overland trailer in tow. Is the road ok puling a trailer? It seems to be pretty easy and not alot of switchbacks where having a small trailer would be a challenge. Also, you show a good camp spot at 16 next to the river, but are there other river spots to pull a trailer into and not in any campground?
–Craig (07/27/2020)
–Ryan Boudreau (07/27/2020)
Q: I’m heading out to the San Juan’s a week from tomorrow. I’ll Be coming up from Texas and Wanted to camp on the eastern side of Stony pass before heading into silverton Tuesday Would it be too big a pain for everyone to run stony pass East to west?
–Tom (07/12/2020)
–Tom (07/12/2020)
–Todd (07/12/2020)
Q: I have a 2014 FJ Cruiser and the only off roading I've done is on dirt roads in Pennsylvania - which are quite tame. My question is, some of the pictures of this road seem quite narrow - how can two cars get by? Is the road one-way? I would not be comfortable backing up on a road with the severe drop offs.
–Warren Taylor (06/08/2020)
–Todd (06/08/2020)
Q: How long would it take to round trip it from Silverton and back?
–Steve Anderson (03/17/2020)
–Todd (03/17/2020)
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 (01/29/2019)
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

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.