Stoney Pass  (Front Range)

Colorado has a Stony Pass and a Stoney Pass - sounds the same, otherwise they don't have much in common, an neither one has a lot of rocks or stones. This  Stoney Pass crosses an area of evergreen hills between the Front Range and the Kenosha Mountains. The road is also used as a mountain bike bypass of the Lost Creek Wilderness, when riding on the Colorado Trail. To me the most interesting aspect of this ride are the views of the extensive burn area on the east  side of the pass. Three of the pictures were taken before this forest fire took place. I think it's easy to see which ones these are.

1.(00.0m,7760ft) jct US285 - Wellington Rd
2.(03.9m,7580ft) START-END WEST: low point on Wellington Rd
3.(07.5m,8450ft) Intermediate summit point near ranch
4.(13.2m,8562ft) TOP: Stoney Pass
5. (17.8m,8270ft) intermediate summit point at jct with Highline Rd
6. (25.3m,6580ft) START-END WEST: low point on Co126 on South Platte River


Approaches

From West.  The most obvious way to approach Stoney Pass is from Bailey. After US285 descends from Crow Hill into Bailey, it makes a 90 degree right turn, just as it enters town, and now follows the North Fork of the South Platte upstream. At that 90 degree turn another paved road follows the same river downstream, roughly speaking. That's the way to Stoney Pass and is signed as going to Estabrook Park. But the road only follows the valley of the river, and not the river. Instead of going downhill, it climbs over a low forested hill called Insmont Hill. That's the section between points 1 and 2 in the profile. By now the road is a wide dirt road with washboard and still quite a bit of traffic. Descending Insmont Hill the road arrives at the North Fork of the South Platte again, and also Estabrook Park.

Now we are at point 2 on the profile and a natural low point to start the approach for the pass. FR543 leaves the river and climbs through evergreen forest in a south westerly direction. It soon meets the first of several dirt roads from an easterly direction. All of these climb up from the South Fork of the South Platte, and can be used to construct moderately long loop rides over the pass. Continuing towards the pass the road descends towards a private school of some sort. From here the pot holes become denser, the biking gets better and the school buses fewer. Climbing to Wellington Lake Reservoir, the road passes a craggy Dakota Sandstone rock knob called "the Castle". From this vantage point along the road it looks quite high. But from a different perspective you realize that the rounded, forested Platte River mountains behind it are really much higher. Finally leaving the shore of the lake and the rock outcrops behind the road makes a short steep climb to the top of the pass. The top is forested and there are no views.

From East. (described downwards) The first downhill section leads to a small park (not a man made park, but a mountain meadow) and a ranch. Making nearly a 90 degree turn to the right here, the road climbs again to a second summit point (the possible elevation gain on this side seems to be just under 500ft, so that I will not count it separately). This point is actually scenically quite a bit more interesting than the pass itself. The road enters a burn area from the mid 1980s, and so the views to the Platte River mountains on one side, and then down towards Tarryall reservoir on the other are unobstructed. From this second point you can also make out Pike's Peak to the south. Several side roads lead to trailheads in the Lost Canyon Wilderness in the Platte River/Kenosha mountains.

Near the bottom the profile turns left onto Goose Creek Rd and then right onto paved Co67 and terminates on the South Fork of the South Platte.

Dayrides with this point as highest summit:

Stoney Pass: Bailey area > FR560 west > Wellington Lake > Stoney Pass > down FR211 <> possible short out and back to Deckers > Co67 (South Deckers Rd north) > unspecified way back to starting point near Bailey :61 miles (mechanical odometer: m1.87.06.07), pics: d8.
Notes: this ride was before the forest fire in this area, and 3 of the pictures are from that ride.

( | Independence Pass > )
Stoney Pass: FR550 > FR560 west > Wellington Lake > Stoney Pass > South Deckers Rd north [pvd] > FR543 east > FR550 east back to starting point: 35.6miles with 4260ft of climbing in 3:51hrs (VDO MC1.0 m5:14.9.2), pics: t14_32.
Notes: at least a decade or two after the fire



Stoney Pass
Highest Point: 8562ft
 
Western Approach:
climb over distance
drop
low point on Wellington Rd (7589ft)
973ft 9+1/2miles
~700ft
Eastern  Approach:

   
low point on Co126 on South Platte River (6580ft)
1982ft 12miles
~400ft

 




 

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