Stony Pass

4.9/5 (29 reviews)
Silverton, Colorado (San Juan County)
Last Updated: 08/22/2022

Trail Information


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 to 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.

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Navigation

Trail Reviews

4.9/5 (30)
Rated 5/5
Visited: 09/02/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Harder

Fantastic way to start the Alpine Loop with great dispersed camping! The trail is a solid 3, maybe an easy 4 when you hit the forested area mid way through around waypoint 15. The camping way points identified were all pretty great, we stayed at 16 and it was amazing. The Lake Kite trail is a fun and worth while detour as well.
This trail guide's difficulty was changed on 08/21/2022
Rated 4/5
Visited: 08/10/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Easier

Ran this east to west in a 4th gen 4Runner, with ~3" lift and ~32" tires, in order to access the Hunchback Pass TH up the Kite Lake Road. Great scenery, but also a good amount of traffic (including lots of SxS traffic). The hardest part is by far the Timber Hill segment (wypt 15). A few bigger rocks here made me glad I had a bit extra clearance, but no traction problems at all (we did air down for the whole ride). I was also glad we didn't run into any oncoming traffic in that stretch; not many passing opportunities around the hardest bits, and it's tree-y and windy enough that it's hard to see who/what's ahead. The rest of the trail is considerably easier, and with that came lots of big ol' trucks with out of state plates. I'd say the trail without the Timber Hill segment is a solid 2 or an easy 3 at most. And I think the Timber Hill segment is a bit easier than the 4 rating, I'd say a strong 3 (stock vehicles might want a spotter in one or two places, but not too hard).
Rated 5/5
Visited: 06/20/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Did it in two days spending the night at 30 mile campground and then completing the next day. Highly recommend airing down. I did with towing an off-road camper. Watch for free range cattle and ATV traffic. Totally worth the trip.
Rated 4/5
Visited: 06/18/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Completely open. Went from East to West. Very little traffic once you get past the campgrounds. More scenic and quiet than expected. Tons of dispersed camping

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