Hagerman Pass Trip Report
When we lived in Breckenridge, the locals would start prophesying around April that “everyone comes for the winter but stays for the summer” and after a full 12-months in this state you know why. The Rockies are gorgeous during the warm months. We took the 2019 trailer out with the invention of running it ragged, but we had to make more than a few stops to admire the flora and fauna amid the stunning landscape.
We left Golden for Fairplay and got onto Weston Pass quickly. The road turned to dirt after a short ways but was very manageable all the way up and down the pass at 11,921 ft. We did get caught by a fellow Boreas owner and were glad to snap a couple pics with our heavy duty caravan!
We headed to Leadville next and on to Turquoise Lake (named for the mineral that was mined there previously), and up towards Hagerman Pass. This was definitely more of a challenge. Between some big ruts, slow going, and careful navigation over some larger rocks we pushed my 2004 Nissan Titan more than it has been in a long time (the trailer was fine ha!). We had one exciting development involving a Jeep, a narrow rocky part of the road and a steep drop off, but a few loud heartbeats and we were on the other side.
Hagerman, like many passes in Colorado, is the road left after previous train tracks were taken out. And at a 1.5% grade up the hill, you can see the long horseshoe turns the locomotives had to make. Our guidebook said that although the trains were built to service the needs of the mining industry, locals would take the train up the pass to pick wildflowers, and we could see why.
With the truck overheating and the sun going down we finally snagged the most magnificent camping site we’d even seen. With an open clearing and a view to the mountain ridge across the valley, we couldn’t have dreamed of a better spot. The sun went down and after a burger and a beer, we did too.
Morning came with our incredible view. Eggs and bacon never paired so well.
We got a few good shots and kept going. It had taken us an hour and a half to do 3 miles in the gnarly bit from the day before, but now we made much better time, getting to the summit 3 miles and about a half hour later.
Down was much easier and navigable on the western side, and turned to paved dirt after the seasonal closure gate. We stopped by the Ruedi Reservoir that was off the path a bit, then kept heading down.
We decided to take FR 400 to Eagle to shave some highway miles of our return trip, and we were so thankful we did. The views and flowers seemed to be showing off even more here! Every corner was another view reminding us how beautiful our home is.