Cycling Summits and Passes by Area

This page divides rides with climbs into areas. Each area is centered around a town, that can act as a support base of sorts. All of these pages have descriptions and elevation profiles. (contains updates up to including 20/Dec/19)

1. Front Range Region: listed north to south
Denver Area
Georgetown Area
Bailey Area
Colorado Springs Area
Arkansas Canyon Area

2. Central Mountain Region: Sawatch Range, Gore Range, Sangre de Cristo Range and surrounding areas; listed north to south
Steamboat Springs Area
Kremling Area
Vail Area

Breckenridge Area
Leadville Area
Salida Area
Taylor Park Area
Saguache Area

Westcliff Area
Crested Butte Area
Paonia Area
Fort Garland Area

3. South West, San Juan Mountain Region: and surrounding plateaus; listed east to west
Alamosa/ Antonito Area
Del Norte/ South Fork Area
Pagosa Springs Area
Lake City Area
Montrose Area
Ridgway Area
Silverton Area
Telluride Area

 4. North West: Glenwood Springs, Grand Junction and north western plateaus; listed north to south
Glenwood Springs/ Silt Area
Grand Junction Area
Norwood Area

Vail Area Rides
summits in this area are located in an area bounded by:
NORTH: excluding east west line through State Bridge
EAST: excluding ridge line of the Ten Mile Range and Gore Range north of Vail Pass
SOUTH: including Continental Divide with Tennesee Pass and Fremont Pass
WEST: including ridge line of Sawatch Range, extened into a north south line, north of the range

All of the paved summits in this area are part of the Copper Mountain Triangle ride, a popular day tour.

1. Vail Pass -- the highest point on the Copper Triangle, and also a stage on the first pro racing challenge.
2. Fremont Pass - Fremont never crossed this pass. But see who did on the page.
3. Tennessee Pass - This pass was created for a traffic pattern where all roads lead to Leadville, not Denver. It managed to make the transition.
4. Battle Hill Summit - a major bump in the road, when riding up the south side of Tennessee Pass.

-MTB: trails and unpaved roads-
Popular trail rides:
All of the popular mountain biking summits listed below are inside of the "Copper Mountain Triangle". For longer rides on a variety of surfaces, mix and match. Among the most heavily ridden trail rides in the area is probably the Commando Run trail. I haven't been able to get a elevation profile for that ride yet. Some other popular rides are.

1. Shrine Pass - This dirt road has been mountain biked for many years
2. FR745 Lime Creek Road s(u) - You can do this one in combination with Shrine Pass.
3. Colorado Trail: m139.9 section: Camp Hale - Tennessee Pass rd cr.(sh) - Of course you can just keep going on the Colorado Trail, then you'll end up on a summit point in the Leadville section.

Some additional personal favorites are:

FAV1. FR708 Resolution Mountain s(u) This one requires a short walk, but the views are worth it. This is also a cross country skiing destination, and it is interesting to compare summer and winter pictures.
FAV2: FR700 Red Sandstone Road s(u): A long dirt road loop across from the Gore Range

More mountain bike rides in this area:

MORE1: FR751: Ptarmingan Hill(sh) This is a variation on the FR708 Resolution Mountain s(u) ride, and it also includes a short bushwack hiking section to make it into a loop.

Leadville Area Rides
Summit points in this area are located in an area bounded by:
NORTH: excluding the continental divide
SOUTH: including Co82 over Independence Pass, US24, and Weston Pass Road
WEST: including Sawatch Range ridge line
EAST: including Mosquito Range ridge line

One of the organizers of the Leadville 100 race once said "Leadville can't be replicated. The altitude can't be taken anywhere else. And it's true, at 10280 feet it is blissfully cool, while the Front Range cities are baking in the oven.


Some of the passes listed under the Vail section are actually closer to Leadville. Here are a few more popular paved summits:
1. Mineral Belt bike path s(u) - a very small summit, but maybe bigger than you think
2. CR9 Turquoise Lake s(u) - count trees instead of cars
3. Independence Pass - central pass of central Colorado mountains with an interesting history

-MTB: trails of and unpaved roads-

Popular trail rides:

1. Colorado Trail: m148.8 Camp Hale - Long's Gulch s(u)
2. Sugarloaf Pass - This summit point is on the Leaville 100 mountain bike race. On one day you will see 1800 people go over it, which by definition makes it very popular.
3. Colorado Trail: m171.6 Elbert Creek Th - Twin Lakes s(u)

Some additional personal favorites are:

FAV1: Mosquito Pass - It's really rocky and steep, but you can't get any higher or see any further on a track this wide.
FAV2: Hagerman Pass - Part of it is a railroad grade - no low gears needed - the other part is the construction road for the railroad grade - low gears needed.
FAV3: Weston Pass - During other times this was the quickest way to Leadville, and it still may be - on a mountain bike
FAV4: CR2 California Gulch (s)u - an interesting excursion into the mining wasteland west of Leadville

More mountain bike rides in this area:

MORE1:  Colorado Trail: m175.7: Upper South Elbert Trailhead (sh) - This is a shorter version of No3 of the popular rides
MORE2: FR102C Cooper Loop s(u) - A loop in small ski area


Telluride Area Rides
summits are located in an area bounded by:
NORTH: including San Miguel/Ouray county boundary (ridge line in Mount Sneffels Wilderness area)
SOUTH: including San Miguel/Dolores county boundary (ridge line in Lizard Head Wilderness)
EAST: Specie Creek Rd, north south line after that
WEST: including San Miguel/Ouray county boundary on ridgeline


Only one paved pass crosses the mountains surrounding Telluride, and a nice ride it is

-MTB: trails and unpaved roads-

The earliest high passes crossed with a mountain bike in this area are Imogene Pass, Ophir Pass and Black Bear Pass. These days you encounter more bicycles on the network of trails in and around the ski area. Example is the first one in this list of popular summit rides:

pop1: Alta Lakes s(u): can be combined with the many trails in the ski area
pop2: Last Dollar Pass: dirt road pass acting as short cut for the Dallas Divide
pop3: Co145 Alta Lakes to(sh): This point on the Lizard Head Pass road is the summit for a popular loop ride over the Galloping Goose Trail. But you can also substitute other roads for this trail.

A few additional favorites that I have been able to explore are:

FAV1: Wasatch Connector Trail s(u): The top is very scenic and very ridable. But to get there requires a bit of walking.
FAV2: FR618 s(u): a dirt road ride east of Telluride, approaching the Lone Cone area.
FAV3: Wilson Mesa - Hughes Rd(sh): this is not a ride through the wilderness, but an interesting road tour of Telluride lifestyles

More unpaved ride:

MORE1: Hastings Mesa s(u): This point is traversed during the popular Last Dollar Pass loop ride. It can also be the summit on other loops.


Alamosa/Antonito Area:
La Manga Pass
FR260 Silver Lakes s(u)
Stunner Pass

Arkansas Canyon Area:
CR1A Cotopaxi(sh)

Copper Gulch Divide

CR12 Firebox Rd(sh)
CR37 - CR1A West Mc Coy Gulch
CR168 Waugh Mountain s(u)

Bailey Area:
Kenosha Pass

Stoney Pass

Breckenridge Area:
Hoosier Pass

Boreas Pass

Colorado Springs Area:
Phantom Canyon- Shelf Rd(sh)

Crested Butte Area:

Washington Gulch(sh)
Gunsight Pass
Kebler Pass

Del Norte/ South Fork Area:
Wolf Creek Pass
Blowout Pass
FR330 Greyback Mtn s(u)
FR360 Prospect Mtn s(u)
TR898 Shady Creek(sh)
FR359 East San Juan Mtns s(u)
FR611 Alder Creek(sh)

Denver Area:
Juniper Pass (including Mout Evans Road)
Red Rocks Trading Post Rd(sh)
Genesee Park s(u)

Fort Garland Area:
Kerp Road s(u)

Fruita Area:
Baxter Pass: How about a memorial day tour over Baxter Pass ? I can't think of an area in Colorado, that is more isolated than this pass. Traffic should not be a problem.

Georgetown Area:
Argentine Pass

Glenwood Springs/ Silt Area
BLM7058_Corcoran_Peak s(u)
Alkali Creek - Road Gulch s(u)
Buzard Divide

Grand Junction Area
Douglas Pass
Unaweep Divide

Kremling Area:
Gore Pass
McCord Pass
FR212 Radium - Tonopas s(u)
FR250 Rock Creek s(u)
FR103 Chimney Rock Rd(sh)
FR700 Chimney Rock Rd s(u)

La Veta Area:
Cucharas Pass
Cordova Pass
Old La Veta Pass

Lake City Area:
Slumgullion Pass
Engineer Pass
Slumgullion Pass alternate summit
FR867 Alpine Plateau Road s(u)

Montrose Area:
Blue Mesa Summit
FR402 South Divide Road s(u)
Divide Road s(u)

Norwood Area:
Gypsum Pass

Pagosa Springs Area:
Wolf Creek Pass

Paonia Area:
Interocean Pass

Ridgway Area:
Dallas Divide
Owl Creek Pass

Taylor Park Area (closest real towns: Gunnison or Buena Vista)
FR766 Fairview Mine s(u)
Cumberland Pass

Westcliff Area
Hardscrabble Pass
CR260 Brush Hollow Rd(sh)
FR400 Gardner Rd s(u)
FR401 Deer Peak s(u)

Saguache Area
Hayden Pass

FR890 Round Mountain(sh)
Ute Pass
Medano Pass

Salida Area
Monarch Pass
Poncha Pass

FR869 Toll Road Gulch s(u) - this old toll road of Otto Mears has everything that a named pass has, except maybe a well known name.
Marshall Pass
Colorado Trail m271.1 (sh)

Silverton Area
Red Mountain Pass
Hurrincane Pass
Sunnyside Saddle
Rolling Mountain Pass

Steamboat Springs Area

Rabbit Ears Pass
Muddy Pass - Middle and South Park meet at the gentlest of Colorado passes;

-at least partially UNPAVED or TRAIL:
Co134 east of Tonopas
- this route also goes over unpaved the Lynx Pass; But this point on a paved road is slightly higher
Old Rabbit Ears Pass -not just a jumping off point for trails above, but mostly.
Wyoming Trail s(u) - bicycles and every other sort of motor contraption are allowed on this part of the Continental Divide Trail
FR42 Mill Creek Rd s(u) - a high point on the Great Divide bike touring route; nice view into Hahn's Creek Basin from just barely above treeline
FR500 Red Dirt Park - Hog Park Res s(u) - crossed the continental divide trail in utter pine beetle devastation
CR62 Steamboat Lake(sh)
Columbine Pass - possibly the best paved out and back ride from Steamboat Springs. The other side is not so paved.
FR411 Hahn's Peak s(u) - this is one of the lower points on the slopes of Hahn's Peak, the most obvious landmark of North Central Colorado
FR150 Hayden - California Park s(u) - ranchland road through attractive and isolated plateau scenery - the second Colorado
FR150 California Park - Savery s(u) - northern Colorado plateaus at their best; partially also part of Great Divide bike touring route.
CR52 Wolf Creek s(u) - nice to know it's there, in order to complete a loop over other summits.