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Stillwater Pass

This pass is a prime viewpoint on the Front Range - from the back. It crosses forested hills that reach south from the Rabbit Ears Range. An expansive forest fire has transformed the character of this area since my first ride over the pass, now giving many open views on the east side.

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1.(7840ft,mile00) START-END WEST: junction US40 - Co125, west of Granby
2.(8250ft,mile05) low point on Co125
3.(8800ft,mile17) profile turns right onto unpaved Stillwater Pass Rd, following Willlow Creek
4.(8870ft,mile19) stay left at fork
5.(9030ft,mile21) stay right at fork
6.(9210ft,mile22) stay right at fork, right after another double track trail joined from hard left.
7.(10620ft,mile28) TOP: Stillwater Pass
8.(9720ft,mile31) profile follows low route following Trail Creek at next two intersections. Staying left here also leads to Lake Granby.
9.(8320ft,mile40) START-END EAST: junction forest road and Co34, at Ranger Station Fish Bay on Lake Granby

recorded profile:

1.START-END WEST: junction US40 - Co125, west of Granby
2.low point on Co125
3.profile turns right onto unpaved Stillwater Pass Rd, following Willlow Creek
4.jct with Kaufman Creek Rd on right
5.profile stays right at this jct
6.Stillwater Pass, 10620ft
7.route turns south at jct with FR455
8.START-END EAST: jct CR4 - US40


From West. The profile includes the paved approach up the road to Willow Creek Pass. This is very pleasant paved ride with very little traffic -in contrast to the next drainaged= to the east and the Grand Lake area.

The turnoff oto Stillwater Pass Rd is signed. This is a fairly wide road with hard compressed dirt that is perfect for what is being called gravel biking, even if this compressed dirt is much better than loose "gravel". Ironically Stillwater Pass Road now follows Willow Creek, while Co125 Willow Creek Pass Rd has now lost its meandering companion and is streamless. The road heads east towards supersized rounded mole hills, that crack the 12000ft scale in the Never Summer Mountains: Ruby Mountain and Cascade Mountain. As the course of the road winds around to the south, evidence of water across the road becomes more frequent.

At point 5new/6, at the junction with another supr road, the character of the climb changes. For one thing, the road is closed to motorized traffic from here on (Aug/23). The surface is a lot less compacted and consequently progress becomes sporadically very slow, especially if it rained last night. Also the road remains in thick forest now, even if it is thick matchstick forest in these decades after the last big forest fire. The top is also in surrounded by reemerging growth. A spur to the north does not get to any immediate view points

From East. (described downwards). Immediatel after the top there is an intersection, that can be confusing if one is in a hurry and reluctant to look around. The fork in the road points to the right option with the label "Stillwater Pass Rd, Gravel Mtn AWD road". However - Stillwater Pass Rd continues to the left of the fork. The Stillwater Pass option on the right is meant to signify that you have an option to rejoin it if you go for the Gravel Mountain option. A sign facing the other direction makes that clear.

The best part of the ride comes a short distance after that. The surface improves somewhat. But the best part is the nearly unobstructed view, lasting for several miles to the backside of the Front Range. The Indian Peaks and the mountains in Rocky Mountain National Park present a steep crowning wall of cliffs in the distance, set on top of high rolling hills that ring them like a belt. In between here and there is the enormous expanse of sticks left by the huge forest fire.

The roll down has a very unconsolidated surface in many places, and approaches Grand Lake through a variety of vantage points. During my last ride the road was closed to all motorized traffic from a designated "staging area for ATVs". From here, all that is left is a few rollers on pavement through Grand Lake vacation housing. This forest road joins US34 at the north end of the lake.

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Dayrides with this point as highest summit:


( < Kaufman Creek Rd s(u) | Green Mountain Road s(u) > )

Stillwater Pass: jct  FR108.1 Buffalo Creek Rd - Co123 > Co125 north >  FR123 Stillwater Pass Rd east > Stilwater Pass <> short out and back on Gravel Mtn Rd with turnaround point where it becomes very narrow >>  US34 south > western outskirts of Granby > US40 west > Co123 north back to starting point: 52.4miles with 2870ft of climbing in 5:54hrs (garmin etrex32 m5:32.08.27).
Notes: very slow progress on upper north side of Stillwater Pass, because of copious rain the night before, which made for a very soft surface.

-----------------no elevation measured------------------------

Stillwater Pass, Willow Creek Pass x2: near jct FR50 - Co125 > Co125 south > Willow Creek Pass > Co123 > FR123 Stillwater Pass Rd east > US34 south > Grand Lake area > Granby area > US40 west > Co123 north > Willow Creek Pass > back to the starting point at  near jct FR50 - Co125: 71 miles (m1:93.07.23) (pics: dt_35_1101-1103, dt_36_01).
Notes: the exact route including the part over Willow Creek Pass is reconstructed from the mileage.

Stillwater Pass Rd meets Willow Creek Pass Rd