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Stony Pass: Nearest Towns:  Ouray, Silverton, & Lake City Difficulty:  Moderate End Points: Start:  County Road 2 37.8363, -107.5942 Finish:  Co 149 North 37.8000, -107.1427 Estimated Open Season:  May to October Estimated Miles:  62 miles one-way Estimated Drive Time: 7 hours one-way Stony Pass The aptly named Stony Pass road is one of the longest 4x4 roads in the area and is a great way to access hiking trails, lakes, and historical mining sites. This 4x4 trail can be a great destination out and back or an adventure that can take you all the way to Creede or Lake City. A popular starting point for Stony Pass is at the bottom of Cunningham Gulch near the ghost town of Howardsville. Our interactive map can provide detailed directions by simply clicking on the "trailhead" icon, selecting "directions" and following the instructions given. Basically you just need to follow the signs north out of Silverton Colorado on CR-2 for about four miles and look for the sign for "Cunningham Gulch", "Old 100 Mine Tour", and "Stony Pass" all on the right. Take road 4 (right) and then follow the sign markers for Stony Pass. The trail is rated as a mid to lower moderate difficulty with a few switchbacks and stream crossings. It is mainly just rough and a stock 4x4 vehicle should have little difficulty completing it but use caution at the stream crossings during the spring or heavy rains as they can become impassable.   Ore Cart on Stony Pass    Old 100 Mine Old 100 Mill Stony Pass used to be a major supply route into Silverton from the east until 1882 when the Durango to Silverton Narrow Gauge Train made it obsolete and it became just a road utilized for mining. The old mines are still visible to this day and of particular interest is the Old 100 which has many of its buildings perched high on a mountain ledge. There is even a mining tour of the lower mine that you can take and is well worth the price of admission. Electric ore cars take you deep into the mountain where you can see the pick marks made by the miners in the 1800's! Very Cool! As you are driving up road 4 you will pass under the cable tram with ore carts of the Buffalo Boy Mine and see the massive towers on the steep hillsides. These areas are popular for geologists and rock hounds seeking samples of minerals like quartz and pyrite which is fairly common here. Wildflowers are a big attraction in the summer and the highlands are usually a carpet of color so be sure to bring the camera. Just past the Summit of Stony Pass is the ghost town of Beartown, the Colorado trail and the Continental Divide trail which makes it a great spot to start backpacking trips into the back country. It is also good off road trail to take to high mountain lakes like Kite Lake or Rio Grande reservoir and the latter of which is supposed to be good for fishing. There are plenty of primitive camping sites all along the trail and it is a very popular destination point for that. It is recommended to check the forest service website for information about fire bans and closures before planning your trip. A very fun loop to do if you have the time is to take Stony Pass all the way to highway 149 (approx. 65 miles) and head to Lake City where you can stay the night or camp nearby. The next day you can go over either Cinnamon Pass or Engineer Pass back into Silverton which will make for an awesome back country adventure! VERY big loop and if you become trail weary you can always take the highway back home instead. It is also recommended that you do a thorough check of your vehicle to make sure it is fully functional and reliable. You also might want to bring extra tools, rain gear and an emergency off road kit since you will be traveling quite far from services. When to visit the Stony Pass area? This depends on snow levels during the winter and how much runoff is flowing through the stream crossings but generally you can access late May through October. Whether doing the entire trek or just going part way and coming back, Stony Pass has a lot to offer the off road enthusiast. Great camping, mining history and beautiful lakes make this trail a great place to visit so put it in your trip planner and check it out!  

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l Buffalo Boy Tram Tower l Ghost town:  Beartown