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.
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.