ElevationAscent: 1,283' 391 m
Descent: -1,283' -391 m
High: 11,156' 3,400 m
Low: 9,895' 3,016 m
GradeAvg Grade: 5% (3°)
Max Grade: 29% (16°)
Current trail conditions
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“A lung-busting climb to a stellar descent.”— Joe Ventura
The ride begins next to Turquoise Lake, which can be crowded on the weekends and on holidays. Bring money to pay for parking ($6). You can also opt to park along Turquoise Lake Road instead. From May Queen, head northwest to the Turquoise Lake Road. Turn left and begin the first climb, about two miles. Arrive at an intersection with Hagerman Pass Road and take a sharp right.
Begin another slow climb, taking caution that this gravel road is used frequently by motorized dirt bikes and four wheelers. You'll pass the Colorado Trail bisecting Hagerman Pass Road. Keep climbing. Take a shape left on County Road 105A and keep climbing—the downhill is your pay-off!
After another two miles with the electric lines buzzing overhead and the hummingbirds inspecting your sweaty body, you'll arrive at the Colorado Trail trailhead on your left. Take a breather. Grab a snack and make sure your legs are loose and your brakes are in tip-top order.
This whiteknuckle descent comes at you fast. There are sections with loose gravel and baby-head boulders. The most thrilling parts include half-pipe like tunnels that really test your mettle. You'll cross the section of Hagerman Pass Road that you just climbed.
You'll eventually be dumped back out on Turqouise Lake Road again. If you arrive at a wooden bridge crossing running water, you've gone too far. Head right before the bridge, down a red-diamond-marked fire road. This intersects with Turqouise Lake Road. Head left back to May Queen or right if you parked along the road to avoid the parking fee.
Local Club: Cloud City Wheelers
Land Manager: USFS - Pike & San Isabel National Forests Office