Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors
Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors

Tincup Pass, St. Elmo

3 Reviews
Location Buena Vista, CO
Rating Difficult,
Length 13mi
Time 2hrs

Vehicle Types


Departs from St. Elmo Ghost Town over high pass to rustic Tincup.

A beautiful high-elevation route starting and ending at historic, quaint mountain towns. St. Elmo is one of the most popular ghost towns in Colorado. It has a few active businesses, including a general store and ATV rental. Tincup is a small residential community with many century-old buildings. Active businesses include the Tincup Store and Frenchie’s Cafe.

For ATV and SxS rentals contact Colorado Adventure Rentals. St. Elmo no longer rents ATVs.


Trail Ratings Defined

Rocky at the top with one short section of narrow shelf road at 12,000 feet that often remains snow covered into early July. After the snow clears, this trail is suitable for any highclearance, 4-wheel-drive SUV with lowrange gearing. St. Elmo can be reached by car. The optional “Old Tincup” route has one difficult rocky section.






High Point


Best Time To Go


Current Conditions

(719) 539-3591Gunnison and San Isabel N.F.

Check the Weather

No updates yet.

Provide an Update

free GPS downloads

Trail Updates

Submitted by Andy
I rode Tin Cup Pass on September 4. St Elmo was full of people. There literally was nowhere to park on the main street. I rode the pass to Tin Cup. The trail was similar to the times I have done the pass in the past. There are no serious obstacles, but there is a lot of bumps (could read rocks). We ate at Frenchy’s in Tin Cup and loved the food. Unfortunately, September 5 is There last day of the season. The store in Tin Cup may close for the season too. They were nearly out of merchandise.

Submitted by Richard
Open all the way. One section near the summit is narrow because snow is still present. I did it in a stock Jeep Wrangler.

Submitted by FunTreks
Tincup Pass has gotten rockier on the west side of the Continental Divide. We have raised the rating on this trail from moderate to difficult. Otherwise not much has changed.

To our customers using the ATV Guide to Colorado Central Mountains, we combine Tincup Pass Road 267 with Hancock Pass Road 295, and also include Cumberland Pass Road 765. The portion of F.S. 839 that goes west towards the Alpine Tunnel is closed due to a rockslide at the narrow Palisades. For up-to-date information, see our 4th Edition Guide to Colorado Backroads & 4-Wheel-Drive Trails, set to be released in April 2019.


Rate this trail on a scale of 1 to 5.


Mark S. Caronna says

Drove this July 2016. There is a lot of embedded rock that makes it slow going. The top was very scenic, and the descent down towards Tincup was a bit tricky in spots with some drop off ledges. Ground clearance and skid plates would be a good idea. Definitely worth the time to drive.

Rich Brunnworth says

Drove Tincup 8/14/2019, East to West. It took us 5 hours to go from St. Elmo to Tincup, with only a short stop at the top of the pass. It has become extremely rocky from the east side to the top, and down 3/4 of the west side. Mirror Lake has flooded the road in 2 places, so stay close to the bank. The first crossing the water was about 2 feet deep and maybe 200 feet long. The second crossing, nearer the fisherman parking lot, the water was about a foot deep and maybe 100 feet long. Lots of steps to negotiate on the west side, many of the obstacle bypasses are just as bad as the main trail. Overall it was a fun trip. Vehicle: Stock Xterra, factory skids, no sliders or mud flaps.

Theodore r Bennett says

I drove this trail in August 1998 in my '93 Toyota pickup and found the trail to be fairly easy for the most part with a couple of difficult spots. I tries to do this drive a month earlier and the trail was completely covered by several feet of snow-impossible. When I finally made it up the trail, across the divide to Mirror lake, the views were well worth the wait and the drive.
by Webolutions Digitial Marketing Agency



Cancel Agree