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Hermit Pass

2 Reviews
Location Westcliff, CO
Rating Easy,
Length 9mi
Time 2hrs

Vehicle Types


Bumpy road climbs to mountaintop.

Long climb with many switchbacks to extremely high pass. Lower portion is mainly in the trees, but once above timberline views are outstanding. Great hiking trails and high fishing lakes. Accesses the 100-milelong Rainbow Multi-Use Trail System, which is very popular with ATVs and dirt bikes. Take short hike from Middle Taylor Creek Campground to photogenic waterfall. Visit rustic downtown Westcliffe west of Highway 69.


Trail Ratings Defined

Rocky and rough but no major obstacles. Road is wide all the way. Stock SUVs with low-range gearing and moderate ground clearance should have no problem.






High Point


Best Time To Go


Current Conditions

(719) 269-8500San Isabel N.F., San Carlos R.D.

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Trail Updates

Submitted by Keith
Drove Hermit Pass today in a stock Jeep Wrangler. The trail is extremely rocky and we bottomed the Jeep twice on the way down. Traversing the trail requires careful tire placement. The rocks are extremely sharp with several larger rocks that require circumnavigation. Lots of banking on the curves and other damage from ATVs. Average speed was 3-5 mph the entire way. With all that, the views were spectacular, 61°F and a light wind with unlimited visibility. I recommend changing the rating of this trail to Moderate at least.

Submitted by Andy
I rode from Coaldale to Villa Grove on Hayden Pass. I was in my 2004 Jeep Rubicon. Hayden Pass was fun! It was also hard work. I ran in 4-low range for nearly 10 miles. I did not encounter any obstacles that required a spotter, though there is a lot of loose rock and soil. It was dry and dusty. There are several spots where the view was very scenic. It was an easy but long ride (2.5 hours) for me. I have many years riding on motorcycles and this road would have been much less fun on 2 wheels. It is steep in spots, and again, there are a lot of loose rocks and soil.

The trail is blocked by snow near the summit of the pass.


Rate this trail on a scale of 1 to 5.


mike and lisa steeves says

ermit Peak 08.04.2018 Hermit Peak is a 13'er, just to the west of Westcliffe. It's easily accessible via County Road 160 out of Westcliffe. Googlemaps shows the route very clearly. Once you enter the forest at the base of the mountains (the Sangre de Cristos), the road begins to climb fairly rapidly, and becomes very rocky. It's a rough road, and a high clearance 4WD is necessary. That said, it is not particularly difficult, and any stock high clearance 4WD should be able to navigate the road without problems. Most of the traffic on the road - what there was of traffic; it was not at all heavily traveled - was smaller ATV's. We saw a couple of pickups, a half dozen Wranglers, and one of newer small Cherokees. There are camping spots along the road. We lunched on a rock overlook above Horseshoe Lake, watching a couple of fly fisherpersons working the water below us. We encountered no snow. Some travelers have reported snow as late as July/August, but not this year. There were lots of wildflowers still in bloom, too.

Brian says

Went in June 2020. This trail is in much worse shape than it used to be, likely torn up by all the RZR and other such vehicles. We were on the road for 2 hours and didn't even make it to the lake. Miles of bowling ball sized rocks make this a more difficult road these days. It used to be bumpy, now it's just miles of suck. I even scraped once with careful tire placement, something that never happens on an "Easy" route and usually not on a moderate. I suggest this be upgraded to a moderate due to this. This is getting to be more similar to the approach up Lake Como now.
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