Sunday, October 17, 2010

16 of 17

By the time I returned from Colorado in August I had climbed 16 of the 17 highest paved passes in the state. Hoosier Pass on CO 9 between Breckenridge and Fairplay, 11,539 feet, has eluded me to this point. If I can get to Colorado again in the near future I'll try to make a point of completing this climb. If I get to ride the CRMBT next summer I would also add Cottonwood Pass, west of Buena Vista, 12,126 feet. Cottonwood is only paved on the east side, but it sounds as if the climb on hard-packed dirt up the west side would make for a great descent into Buena Vista.
There are other mountains to climb, passes to ride, and tours I would like to try, but I wouldn't mind revisiting some of the places I've been. There is a loop from Durango to Ouray to Telluride to Cortez to Durango which would be part old, part new, and all spectacular. If I can find the time and the money, I'm full of ideas.

In order of elevation, these are the passes I've ridden to date:

Trail Ridge Road- 12,180 feet
Independence Pass- 12,095 feet
 Loveland Pass- 11,990 feet
Slumgullion Pass- 11,530 feet
Fremont Pass- 11,318 feet
Berthoud Pass- 11,307 feet
Monarch Pass- 11,312 feet
Juniper Pass- 11,160 feet
Red Mountain Pass- 11,018 feet
Spring Creek Pass- 10,898 feet
Molas Pass- 10,910 feet
Wolf Creek Pass- 10,850 feet
Grand Mesa- 10,839 feet
Coal Bank Summit- 10,640 feet
Vail Pass- 10,554 feet
Tennessee Pass- 10,424 feet


  1. Seeing the Berthoud Pass sign reminds me of the only time I've been through there - winter of 1980-81 we I drove though there on our way to Winter Park where I learned how to downhill ski. It'd be awesome to pass over that on a bike.

  2. I have been over many of the passes you mentioned, but I surely didn't get as much out of them as I passed over them in a vehicle. By bicycle has to be better.