Stony Pass (12,592′), San Juan Range
Stony Pass Rd crosses the Continental Divide and follows small streams that make up the headwaters of the Rio Grande River. The road was created in 1872 to connect the area’s mining operations in Silverton to the town of Del Norte. The Continental Divide Trail crosses the road at Hunchback Pass (12,493′) on it’s way from Mexico to Canada.
The San Juan Range is home to world class outdoor recreation. The Alpine Loop, American Basin, California & Hurricane Pass, and Mt Sneffels are a few examples of the natural beauty of the area.
- Rating: Silverton to Stony Pass – Easy
- Stony Pass to Kite Lake – Difficult
- Road: County Road 3 (Forest Rd 520)
- Round trip: 34 miles / 54 km to Kite Lake and back
- Elevation: 10,000′ – 12,592′ / 3,048 m – 3,808 m
- County: San Juan
- Agency: U.S. Forest Service
- National Wilderness: Weminuche
GPS Route with Elevation
County Road 3 to Stony Pass (heading east) is a well graded and a easy drive to the top in a stock vehicle (in good weather). Once on the east side of the pass, an off-road vehicle is recommended because the road gets progressively more difficult until Kite Lake.
Pole Creek, a water crossing on the east side of the pass, can be very deep in the spring, making it impossible to cross.