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Camping: Colorado > Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests > Cebolla Ranger District

Quick Facts

Hancock Pass Four-Wheel Drive Road

Beginning Elevation: 11,450 Feet (3569.2 Meters) Tomichi Pass Road
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation Gain: 925 Feet (288.3 Meters)
High Point: 12,125 Feet (3779.6 Meters) Hancock Pass
Length: 2.5 Miles (4.17 Kilometers)
Other Maps: Trails Illustrated 130 Salida, St. Elmo, Shavano Peak
Recommended Season: Late Summer
Road Number: 266/299
Vehicle Accessibility: High-clearance, 4WD Vehicle

Satellite and Topo Map

General Description

Hancock Pass Road, Forest Service Road 266/County Road 299, is the only drivable trail over the Continental Divide south of Cottonwood Pass in the Sawatch Mountains. It leads north/south two miles from Tomichi Pass Road to Williams Pass Road. A high-clearance, four-wheel drive vehicle is necessary for this route, which is rated as moderately difficult. Hancock Pass Road should not be attempted if any snow lies on the trail.

The beginning elevation for Hancock Pass Road, on Tomichi Pass Road, is 11,450 feet. Forest Road 266, Hancock Road south of Hancock Pass, stems from Tomichi Pass Road in Brittle Silver Basin. The road begins climbing north toward the Continental Divide. Within a mile the road reaches the divide and Hancock Pass.

On the northern side of the pass the road number changes to 299. Hancock Pass Road leads northeastward while descending into the upper Chalk Creek Valley. One and a half miles north of the pass County Road 299 ends at Forest Road 298. If you turn right at this junction the road will lead you to the abandoned town site of Hancock.

Directions from Pitkin: Drive north on Forest Road 765 two and a half miles to the Alpine Tunnel Road, Forest Road 839. Turn right on 839 and drive approximately seven and a half miles to Tomichi Pass Road, Forest Road 888. Travel one half mile east on Tomichi Pass Road to Hancock Pass Road, Forest Road 266.

Directions from St. Elmo: Travel south on County Road 295. You'll pass the town site of Romley at two and a half miles. Continue driving south on Hancock Road to the town site of Hancock, three and a half miles. Turn right on Forest Road 298, drive almost one half mile to County Road 299. This is Hancock Pass Road.

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

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Filed By: Tom Crosman (Longmont, CO)
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: Great trail with a few rocks that make it a moderate. Easy in a stock wrangler
Conditions: Dry
Water Availability: Couple of cans of beer.

Number of People Encountered: 11-25 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: First time on a two person ATV (Arctic Cat TVR). My 13 yr old daughter and I had a blast! Have a good map, as one of the turns heading west is easy to miss. Picnic tables at Alpine Tunnel restoration good place for lunch. Biggest reward was the top of the pass, tha Pallisades, and the Alpine Tunnel area.
Conditions: Some snow on the side of the rock pass near the top, some wet spots, but it is all rocky, not muddy. Mostly in sun.
Water Availability: Carried 2 liters of water for two people. Water would be available near the alpine tunnel if you filtered it. There's a store with a single gas pump in Pitkin with snacks and goodies. Tincup Pass was still closed due to snow July 3, otherwise would have made this part of the loop from St Elmo to Hancock to Pitkin, across Cumberland and Tincup.

Filed By: Steve Green (Littleton, CO)
Number of People Encountered: 11-25 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: Hancock is rated moderate by this Cohvco but it is harder than others they rate as moderate. Mostly due to the west side off camber rock narrow climb. On the KLR 650 with DS tires, this is a no stop on the pegs affair. Not real hard but not easy either. (A BMW PD would be tough on this one.) Fun short pass with super history all around (alpine tunnel). The east side is no prob if the snow is gone. Combine with Tincup, Cumberland, and a hotdog at St. Elmo for a nice easy day.

Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Dispersed Camping Hancock Pass Road
ICON Four-Wheel Driving Hancock Pass Four-Wheel Drive Road
ICON Hiking & Walking Tunnel Lake Trail
ICON ATV Riding Hancock Pass Road
ICON Motorcycle Riding Hancock Pass Road
ICON Viewing Scenery Hancock Pass Road

Related Activities
Alpine Tunnel Documentary Site - The Alpine Tunnel is a railroad engineering feat of the nineteenth century. It was the first railroad tunnel over the Continental Divide completed in 1881.

Tomichi Pass Road - Tomichi Road is difficult and not recommended for the beginner. It leads through mining territory and over Tomichi Pass, 11,980 feet.

Tunnel Lake Trail - The Tunnel Lake Trail leads users 5 miles over high alpine terrain. The trail never dips lower than 11,000'. Weather should be an important consideration when deciding to hike or ride this trail.

More Information

Visitor Information:

Taylor River/Cebolla Ranger Districts, 216 North Colorado , Gunnison, CO, 81230, Phone: 970-641-0471


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