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Backpacking: Colorado > White River National Forest > Sopris Ranger District

Quick Facts

Hagerman Pass Road

Beginning Elevation: 9,040 Feet (2818.0 Meters) end of pavement on Fryingpan River Road
Difficulty: Moderate not a four-wheel drive until two miles west of the pass, than a rough road
Elevation Gain: 1,000 Feet (311.7 Meters)
Ending Elevation: 9,900 Feet (3086.0 Meters) Turquoise Lake
High Point: 11,925 Feet (3717.3 Meters) Continental Divide
Length, One-way: 12 Miles (20.0 Kilometers)
Usage: Moderate to Heavy

Satellite and Topo Map

General Description

The Hagerman Pass area is a relaxing ride packed with lots of beautiful scenery. There are campgrounds at Turquoise lake and Ruedi Reservoir that provide convenient camping and fishing. The pass is close to leadville which has gas, food and lodging.

From the end of the pavement on the Fryingpan River Road is an all weather road until you reach the Lyle Lake Trailhead, three miles before the pass. Along this road there are two short sidetracks to some smaller lakes in the region. Forest road #502, near Coke Oven State Wildlife Area, takes you to Diemer and Sellar Lakes, and forest road #527, the right fork three miles before the pass, takes you to Ivanhoe Lake. All of these lakes are worth exploring. Continuing over the pass will take you to Turquoise Lake and the town of Leadville.

Directions from Carbondale: From Carbondale travel east on Highway 82 to Basalt. Turn left at the stoplight and travel through Basalt following the main street through town. This road is the Fryingpan River Road and travels out of Basalt following the Fryingpan River. From Basalt travel 27 miles until the pavement ends. Turn left at the fork in the road and then left again, staying on road #105. Travel on the all-weather road for 11 miles and take the left fork to Hagerman Pass. Here the road becomes suitable for high clearance vehicles only.

Seasonal Information:
Normally Accessible: May through September (NOTE: Snow and mud may obstruct the road during the Spring, Fall and Winter months.) .

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

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Length of Time: 4 - 5 hours
Difficulty: Moderate
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: We parked at the West Turquoise Lake parking lot and rode our bikes to the Hagerman Pass Road via a short stretch of the Colorado Trail. Hagerman Pass Road is non-technical. There are some rocks and potholes in spots, but you can ride around them easily. The ride itself is not too easy though. It's a constant, be it fairly gradual, climb up onto the pass at 11,900+ feet. Pace yourself and you'll be okay. Tremendous scenery all along the way. If you have time, don't miss the Hagerman Tunnel Trail (also called Midland Trail) about halfway up towards the top (look out parking lot and big wooden sign at trailhead). The Hagerman Tunnel Trail is an out-n-back singletrack that heads up to the east end of the old Hagerman Tunnel. No, you can't go thru the tunnel, but along the way you'll pass a couple of gorgeous alpine lakes, plus great views galore. On the main road up towards Hagerman Pass, you'll pass the 10th Mountain's Skinner Hut, a great place to spend the night (make reservations thru 10th Mtn at www.huts.org). The pass itself is about a mile or two after the hut. It's the hardest portion because of the altitude and increasing rockiness of the road. Have lunch at the pass but beware of lightning from thunderstorms. There are no trees, no cover. Whether you go down westward towards Ivanhoe Lake or eastward back towards Turquoise Lake, the ride's fast and will no doubt leave you grinning ear to ear. I'd suggest spending one night each at the Betty Bear and the Skinner Huts to explore the area adequately. Hagerman Pass Road is bordered by 3 wilderness areas (Holy Cross, Frying Pan, and Mt Massive) so expect wonderful views all around!
Conditions: We got caught in at terrible hail, lightning storm at the top of the pass. Not fun!!!!!!

Difficulty: Easy
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: Beautiful drive. The road was not bad. Used 4-wheel high but 2-wheel with clearance can made it. The views of Ivanhoe Lake are great. If your into geocaching we hid a cache here, see www.geocaching.com

Difficulty: Moderate
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: Nice drive, great views. Especially of Ivanhoe lake. There are a few serious climbs on rocky slopes, 4WD is recommended. Most of the trip high ground clearance is needed(At least 10 inches to be safe).

Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Cross-country Skiing Hagerman Pass Road
ICON Four-Wheel Driving Hagerman Pass Four-Wheel Drive Road
ICON Hiking & Walking Lyle Lake Trail, Colorado Midland Trail, Colorado Trail
ICON Horseback Riding Hagerman Pass Road
ICON Mountain Biking Hagerman Pass Road
ICON ATV Riding Hagerman Pass Road
ICON Motorcycle Riding Hagerman Pass Road
ICON Backcountry Skiing Hagerman Pass Road to Skinner Hut
ICON Snowmobiling Hagerman Pass Road
ICON Snowshoeing Hagerman Pass Road
ICON Viewing Scenery Hagerman Pass Road

Related Activities
Lyle/Mormon Lakes Trail - If you decide to go on this hike, it is one of the most scenic in the Fryingpan River area.

More Information
Frequently Asked Questions
Email the Local Ranger

Visitor Information:

Sopris Ranger District, 620 Main St, P.O. Box 309 , Carbondale, CO, 81623, Phone: 970-963-2266, Fax: 970-963-1012


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