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Hardscrabble Pass

This is a relatively low pass with little traffic in the Wet Moutains. It used to be included in a 100mile ride, organized by a Colorado Springs cycling club, the Hardscrabble Century ride. It's main attraction are far views of the Sangre de Cristo range as you descend into the Wet Mountain Valley.

01.(5020ft,mile07) START-END EAST ALT:  Co69 west of Pueblo, at junction with western access road to Pueblo Reservoir
02.(5450ft,mile) Siloam
03.(6100ft,mile) START-END EAST ALT: Wetmore and jct with Co67 from Florence
04.(6700ft,mile) road to Lewis Creek trail head is on right
05.(8340ft,mile) Mc Kenzie Junction
06.(9000ft,mile) Rosita Road takes off on right
07.(9100ft,mile) TOP: Hardscrabble Pass
08.(8750ft,mile) intermediate low point
09.(9030ft,mile) intermediate high point near site of Querida and turnoff on right going towards Rosita Rd
10.(8470ft,mile) junction with CR260 Brush Hollow Road on right
11.(7990ft,mile) Silvercliff, center
12.(7840ft,mile) START-END WEST: Westcliff, jct with Co69


From East. To maximize the elevation gain the profile starts just west of Pueblo. The description starts at point 3, in Wetmore. Here the profiled option meets another lower approach possibility, Co67, coming from the north and Florence. The latter was the route of the Hardscrabble century ride.

Below Wetmore the climb is barely noticeable. Wetmore has a convenience store (don't know if it's open) a few residential buildings, and of course a baptist church. The road climbs steadily from here, clinging to the valley bottom and making a few turns, none of which change the direction of the road to anything other than westerly. Approaching the top FR347 Rosita Road branches off on the left and goes to a summit point, comparable with Hardscrabble Pass, just a little bit higher and with a little bit better view. But then you have to ride on dirt. The book "Passes of Colorado" lists the elevation at 9300ft. But tracing the route on a topo map, 9100ft seems to be closer to the real value.

From West. (described downhill). There is no sign at the top. But the Sangre de Cristo Range comes into view at the pass. But it may be lost in the haze if the wind comes from the south. The road stays at roughly summit altitude in open meadows for a couple of miles. So the view of the range gradually improves. Dirt road turnoffs on the right offer ways to cross the same ridge and connect to points on the plains further north. Listing them in order west to east, they are: CR271, CR260 Brush Hollow Rd, CR255 Oak Creek Grade Rd.


Sangre de
                                      Cristo Range from Hardscrabble


Hardscrabble Pass, Colorado


Dayride with this point as highest summit:


(|FR400 Gardner Rd s(u)>)
Hardscrabble Pass , CR260 Brush Hollow Rd - CR 271(sh)
: jct Smith Creek - Co96 > Hardscrabble Pass > up CR260  Brush Hollow Rd > CR260 Brush Hollow Rd - CR271(sh) > down CR271 Bear Gulch > down CR143 Oak Creek Grade Rd > CR80 west > CR78 > Rockvale > CR79 west > Florence > Co67 south > Wetmore > Co96 west back to starting point: 72.9miles with 5530ft of climbing in 6:18hrs (VDO MC1.0 m5:12.9.19)


Hardscrabble Pass: Florence > Co67 south > Co96 west > Hardscrabble Pass > Westcliff > Co69 north > Cotopaxi > US50 down Arkansas Canyon > unspecified route through Canyon City back to Florence: 101miles (mech Odo: r2:85.9.15)
Notes: the old Hardscrabble Century route