Stony Pass (12,492′), San Juan Range

In 1872 Stony Pass Road was created to connect the area’s mining operations in Silverton to the town of Del Norte. County Road 3 follows small streams on the east side of Stony Pass (near the Continental Divide) which form the headwaters of the Rio Grande River.

StatsRoute DescriptionDirectionsNotes

Rating: Silverton to Stony Pass – Easy To Kite Lake – Difficult
Road: County Road 3
Round trip: 34 miles / 54 km to Kite Lake and back
Elevation: 10,000′ – 12,492′ / 3,048 m – 3,808 m

County Road 3 to Stony Pass (heading east) is well graded and an easy drive in a stock SUV. Once on the east side of the pass you will need to cross Pole Creek which can be deep in the spring. After the creek crossing the road gets progressively more difficult until Kite Lake, crossing the Rio Grande near the lake.
The road on the east side of the pass is much more difficult.

Near Kite Lake the road crosses the headwaters of the Rio Grande.

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