... a little bit of paradise in the Rockies...

The Rocky Mountains in Colorado are actually formed by many different ranges. Some of the more well-known ranges are the Sawatch, the Elks, the Sangre de Cristo, the San Juans and of course the Front Range. Colorado also has more mountains higher than 14,000 feet than any other state.

Driving through the mountains in Colorado is one of the greatest experiences I can think of. The views are spectacular not only because of the geology of the area but you never know when you're going to see a herd of deer or elk or a few elusive mountain goats. And while there are many, many roads that can be travelled by passenger car there are many more that require a 4WD vehicle. These are the roads where the scenery is at its best.

However there are a few things to remember when driving the unpaved back roads in Colorado, particularly if you are going up and over the numerous passes through the mountains.

Here are a few rules to remember:
  • Always carry a high-boy jack
  • Always carry a good shovel
  • Always carry a good steel rod (preferably tapered on one end) about 5 - 6 feet long
  • Always carry a good strong rope or chain
  • If possible, outfit your vehicle with an electric wench
  • For more rules of the road, check out this site.
  • TinCup Pass. 4WD is a must!
  • Hancock Pass. Again, 4WD.
  • Cumberland Pass. 4WD not necessary but ride IS bumpy.
  • Cottowood Pass. The way to TinCup.
  • Independence Pass. The way to Aspen.
  • McClure Pass. Passenger car ok.
  • Kebler Pass. Near Crested Butte.
  • Ohio Pass. Take this road to get to Gunnison.
  • Slumgullion Summit. Good for chanterelles.
  • Spring Creek Pass. On the way to Creed.
  • Schofield Pass. Above Crested Butte. 4WD a must.
  • Cinnamon Pass. On the Alpine Loop. Another 4WD must.
  • Paradise Divide. Not really a pass but a beautiful spot.
  • Kenosha Pass. On the way to Denver from Buena Vista.