Hayden Pass road crosses the Sangre De Cristo Mountains between Villa Grove in the west and Coaldale to the east. The road is most challenging and scenic when started from Villa Grove on the southwest side, with grades up to 20% , which provide great views of the San Luis valley below.
This is one of only two vehicle passes over the Sangre de Cristo range that I know of. The other being Medano Pass, on the southern tip of the range, which goes through the Great Sand Dunes National Park.
4×4 Road: Forest Road 6 Coaldale to the east or Villa Grove on the west
One-Way: 16 miles / 26 km
Elevation: 7,986′ – 10,709′ (+2,723′)/ 2,434m – 3,264m (+830m)
Start by accessing Hayden Pass RD (FR 6) from Coaldale on the east side of the Sangre de Cristo mountains or from Villa Grove on the west side.
The pass is more difficult if started on the west side (Villa Grove) because you are climbing on a very rocky trail.
Hayden Pass summit is a large flat area after a continuous climb. The views from the road here are blocked by thick forest.
The road on the east side of the pass is better maintained and not as rocky.
We were the first full size vehicle to make it over Hayden Pass in 2020.