- This Page is of mostly about unpaved High Mountain Passes in the Arkansas, South Platte and Northern Rio Grande Watersheds Negotiable by an Adventure motorcycle or a Plated Dirt Bike.
- This is Not a comprehensive list of every Mountain Pass in Colorado.
- This Page contains a List of Passes in the Heart of the Rockies.
Why is this area called the Heart of the Rockies ?
- The Denver & Rio Grande Railroad called Salida and the Arkansas River Valley the Heart of the Rockies from the 1920’s to the 1990’s.
- 4 Major American Rivers Headwaters are in the “Heart of the Rockies”
Scroll down for a List of 18 Specific Passes in the Heart of the Rocky Mountains.
Marshall Pass Denver & Rio Grande Railroad Map late 1800’s
(Click to view)
- All of the passes in the Heart of the Rockies could be negotiated by any competent rider on a properly set up ADV Motorcycle.
- The Passes in the Heart of the Rocky Mountains are in the headwaters and watersheds of 4 Major American Rivers:
- The Arkansas
- Rio Grande
- South Platte
- The quickest route from one town to the other in the Rocky Mountains is often up and over a mountain
- Which explains why Colorado has so many high mountain passes.
- It’s passes like these that offer incredible rewards for those daring enough to traverse them.
- Chaffee County has more ‘Fourteener’s than any other County in the United States.
- Mountain Passes—trade routes during the mining era—offer long rides with stunning scenery.
- History buffs can travel along the old Railroad lines and imagine them as they were in the early mining and Railroad days.
- The plentiful Passes of the region, open spaces and majestic views offer endless opportunities for exploring.
- With all the widespread OHV closures, knowing where to go and how to get the best out of your riding day is now more valuable than ever before.
- We have scouted out the best routes, and eliminated the U-turns and dead-ends on all of our routes.
The Crossroads of the Rockies are in Chaffee County. Hwy’s 285 and Hwy 50.
- The Sawatch, Sangre de Cristo, Mosquito and Northern San Juan Mountain Ranges make up the Heart of the Rockies.
- Their watersheds and passes are listed below:
Sawatch Range Passes / Continental Divide.
(Arkansas & Colorado River)
- Black Sage.
- Old Monarch.
Sangre de Cristo Range Passes.
(Arkansas & Rio Grande River Divide)
Mosquito Range Passes.
(Arkansas & South Platte River Divide)
- Mosquito Pass.
- Trout Creek.
Northern San Juan Range Passes.
(Rio Grande River Headwaters)
- Ute Pass.
- Otto Mears Tollroad.
Numbered Passes of the Heart of the Rocky Mountains
OPEN A LINK for INFO on SPECIFIC PASSES
READ MORE ABOUT RAILROAD HISTORY