Trout Creek Pass sits atop the southern end of the Mosquito Range, between South Park and the headwaters of the South Platte River to the east and the headwaters of the Arkansas River to the west at an elevation of 9,346 feet above sea level.
Mt Antero and the Continental Divide from Trout Creek Pass
Trout Creek Pass is a paved mountain pass located in the Rocky Mountains of south-central Colorado. Which both Highway’s 24 & 285 traverse down to Johnson Village and the Arkansas River.
“Trout Creek is a paved pass that connects the Arkansas river and the Platte river valleys. For X-Roads of the Rockies we access Trout Creek from dirt roads and only cross over Trout Creek, from Aspen Ridge and at the Summit”
- Trout Creek is traversed jointly by U.S. Highway 24 and US 285.
- It is passable by all vehicles and is closed only during severe winter storms.
- The approach from the east is mild, while the west side has a moderate 5% grade.
The old Colorado Midland RR line is in red.
Geologically, the pass is located on a fault that runs along the Mosquito Range.
- Pennsylvanian black shale and thin gray limestone layers that were laid down prior to the creation of the Ancestral Rockies are visible in some road cuts.
- These Paleozoic layers were not uplifted during the creation of the Ancestral Rockies approximately 300 million years ago and thus were not eroded to the same degree as other areas to the east and west.
Hop Gulch Trestle above Buena Vista
The pass was traversed by the Denver, South Park and Pacific Railroad in 1879, providing the first rail link between Denver and Leadville in the early days of the Colorado Silver Boom.
The Colorado Midland also built a line west from Colorado Springs to Leadville over Trout Creek Pass in the 1890s. Both lines fell into disuse in the 1920s.
Denver & South Park & Pacific Engine in Fairplay
The 4 Mile OHV area is split by Trout Creek Pass.
- There are a multitude of fun trails we take advantage of both sides of Trout Creek Pass at X-Roads.
- Both Rail lines on Trout Creek Pass are still visible today and sections of the old railroad lines can be ridden on X-Roads.
- X-Roads does not go up Trout Creek Pass but cross’s over the Pass at the Summit.
- Or crosses the Hwy just off Aspen Ridge about halfway up the Pass on several different loops.
Buena Vista, CO From Midland Hill, site of the old Midland Depot