Taylor Pass

Aspen, Colorado (Gunnison County)

Last Updated: 01/02/2019
3.9 /5 ( 8 reviews )
Information
Nearby Trails
Status: Seasonal Closure
Typically Open: 05/21 - 11/02
Length: 13.1 miles
Highest Elevation: 11882 feet
Duration: About 2 hours
Shape of Trail: Straight Through
Best Direction to Travel: North
Nearest Town: Aspen
Nearest Town w/ Services: Aspen
Official Road Name: 761
Management Agency: Gunnison National Forest & White River National Forest
District: Gunnison Ranger District
Showing 0 trails within 2 miles

Highlights

Highlight: Taylor Pass
Trekking through two national forests, high in the rugged mountains of Gunnison County, Taylor Pass is an extremely fun and scenic route between Taylor Park and Aspen. Known for it's spectacular fall colors, this 4x4 off-road trail provides amazing high alpine views and will entertain everyone from the first timer, to the extreme off road enthusiast. One unique feature of this trail, which is seldom seen in any other Colorado trail, is the half mile trek in the creek on the south side of the pass. Taylor Pass was once the main supply route from Buena Vista into the mining camps around Ashcroft, originally known as Castle Forks. Once Independence Pass was created, populations in Ashcroft plunged from 2,500 in 1883, to just 2 by 1900.

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Weather

7 day forecast for Taylor Pass

Route Information

Technical Rating:
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Waypoints

1. Dorchester Campground (0.00 mi)
Follow FSR 761 northwest from the old ghost town of Dorchester. Dorchester was once a town of a thousand miners and prospectors in 1900 when gold was discovered in the Italian Mountains. Many of the miners and prospectors came from Tin Cup and Aspen. An eastern mining expert, after a short visit, even went as far as to call Dorchester the "coming mining camp of the new century." Snow covered the area much of the year making it difficult to transport the ore to a smelter. Snow-slides were also frequent and added to the problem of transporting the ore. However, mining continued through the early years and during the First World War. After the war, the mines closed and the town was deserted. Now the site is a picnic and camping area. Source: ghosttowns.com.

Directions to Trailhead

Trailhead Coordinates: 38.967770, -106.658310
From Taylor Park Reservoir - Head northwest on Taylor River Rd, FSR 742. Stay right at the fork for FSR 759, Italian Creek, and continue on FSR 742 till you reach Dorchester Campground. From Aspen - From the roundabout on highway 82 just west of Aspen, follow Castle Creek Road, CR 15, south for about 11 miles. Turn left on Express Creek just before the ghost town of Ashcroft.

Camping

Dispersed

Trail Reviews (9)

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Very fun trail. Drove from Aspen to Taylor Park and took about 4.5 hours. Hit the skid plates and rocker panels a few times and needed a spotter entering the creek. Take it slow and pick your lines and you'll have a great time.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Ran the trail from Taylor Park to Ashcroft. Lots of water in the creek. Avalanche debris on Ashcroft side is cleared and wide but watch for utility vehicles on the trail still cutting wood and clearing trees. We were stopped for 10 minutes by a crew blocking the trail loading wood. Creek exit is a nice challenge for stock vehicles. We had a group ranging from my 1950 Willys Jeepster to a brand new JL 4door and the the only jeep that had trouble was a bone stock TJ with full highway pressure in street tires and swaybar connected. Made it though. Awesome trail.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Confirming the previous comment, the pass via Richmond Ridge doable, and the ridge is accessible from the Aspen Mtn ski slope climb road.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Taylor pass is open. Express creek in ashcroft is still impassible due to avalanche debris. However drive up aspen mtn, midnight mine, or little annies to richmond ridge. Traverse over taylor pass from that direction. Just drove a stock toyota 4runner from Aspen to Crested butte.

Author:
Status: Impassable
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Looks like a few of the downed trees shown in the previous post have been cut, but the avalanche debris is massive.

Author:
Status: Impassable
Offroaded on:
avalanche destruction blocking trail on aspen side.

Author:
Status: Impassable
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Trail impassable due to large avalanche on aspen side around 1mile up the trail, May be passable later in summer months as it warms up

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
I did this on a leveled 2016 Colorado with 265/70r17's. The North Side was a breeze. Once we got over the peak and started our descent, we quickly got into the gritty stuff. Constantly getting out to pick our best lines, spotting and double checking before we put our trucks thru the gauntlet. From start to finish, it took us about 4 hours, and I escaped with damage to my "GM Off-road Nerf Bars" (they're hardly offroad worthy, idk why GM advertises them that way), and a bent aluminum skid plate. The nerf bars were toast anyways from a trip earlier this year, so I'm not worried, but rock sliders would have done the job.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Our second trail of the day on day 2 of the Unlimited LJ Adventure was Taylor Pass. We ran into a lot of traffic due to the RZR Rally in Taylor Park which caused some issues with our group of 12 as there is not a lot of room to pass oncoming traffic on the lower portion of the trail down in the trees. We did our best to maneuver around the RZRs and work our way up to the summit. The creek that you follow starting at waypoint 3 was very shallow and the rocks on the exit were not much of an issue for our group since all of them were on 35'' tires or taller. The views from the summit are spectacular as you look back down into the valley of Taylor Park, or down the other valley towards Ashcroft.

Questions & Answers (6)

Q: Hello I have a stock 2018 rubicon. I have little off road experience. Though I want to run Taylor pass should ?
–Dominic bertani (09/03/2019)
–Ryan Boudreau (09/03/2019)
Q: Hi! We are trying to get to Taylor Pass/Taylor Lake next Friday 7/26/19. I saw from the reviews that express creek rd is closed from the avalanche. Could we make it from Aspen Mountain (15G/15E) or Richmond Hill rd? Just trying to see our options to get to the lake. Hopefully there not too much snow and we can actually camp. Thanks!!
–Vanessa (07/18/2019)
–Ryan Boudreau (07/19/2019)
Q: Will this passable (snow) June 19?
–Ethan (05/29/2019)
–Ryan Boudreau (05/30/2019)
Q: What are the current (October 13, 2018) conditions on Taylor Pass? Thanks.
–Bill Lewis (10/13/2018)
–Todd (10/16/2018)
Q: Do you think i can do this trail in a full stock dodge ram from Dorchester to Aspen? The Boulder Hill is impassable in a stock truck? Thanks
–Lorenzo (07/02/2018)
–Ryan Boudreau (07/02/2018)
Q: Is this trail currently open (6.28.18)? I'm interested in driving Taylor Pass from Aspen to Taylor Reservoir and then Cottonwood Pass from there to Buena Vista. Any idea how deep the water is on the trail?
–Dan Wise (06/28/2018)
–John Cox (07/03/2018)
–Ryan Boudreau (06/28/2018)

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.