Guanella Pass Scenic Byway

Area Status: Closed
This area is Closed

Explore Colorado's flora and fauna at its best. Start your tour at the historic silver mining town of Georgetown. Here, Guanella Pass zigzags up the mountainside. Observe mule deer grazing in small meadows and big horn sheep butting heads to show their dominance.The paved road takes you south to the town of Grant as you pass through spruce, lodgepole pine and aspen forests. A sparkling creek snakes its way along the road with trout playing in the water. As the road climbs its way up the 11,700-foot pass, the forest is full of willows and miniature alpine wildflowers. Several adventurous hiking trails branch out from this byway, offering both summer and winter recreational opportunities. The Mount Evans Wilderness borders the whole east side of the road. Only foot traffic is allowed in the wilderness and all dogs must be on a leash. Descending down the south side of this winding road, Guanella Pass brings you back to civilization at the town of Grant. Here the byway and Highway 285 intersect. Camping and parking along this road is only allowed in Forest Service campground and designated campsites that are signed with "Parking" and "Tent" symbols.  Forest Service roads 118E and 119 are the only locations you can disperse camp within the Guanella Pass corridor.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: In normal years, Clear Creek County closes the Guanella Pass Road at the Naylor Lake intersection from, the Monday after Thanksgiving through the Friday before Memorial Day.  Given the drought conditions, fire danger, and the COVID-19 pandemic, Clear Creek County gated the Guanella Pass Road earlier than normal at its winter closure location (Naylor Lake Road intersection).  As dry weather conditions and the pandemic have continued in their prevalence, the County will retain the summit closure until May of 2021.  To provide winter maintenance on the Guanella Pass Road is very costly for Clear Creek County and requires unavailable resources.  We will maintain Guanella Pass Road on a first-day-service to Cabin Creek Hydroelectric Plant and then on a second/third-day-basis to the Naylor Lake intersection after a snowfall. It is Clear Creek County's hope the Guanella Pass Road will reopen on or about Friday, May 28, 2021.  Should you have questions or concerns, please contact Clear Creek County office:  303-679-2312, or check the Guanella Pass Road Information Line at 303-679-2422 x.2 for updates.  Thank you.
Usage: Heavy
Restrictions: New Parking, Camping and Campfire regulations in effect to help protect the watershed. Park in designated (signed) pullouts or in the designated trailhead parking areas. Camp in Forest Service developed campgrounds. Dispersed camping is only allowed in designated campsites along Forest Service road 118E and 119.  Designated camping sites are signed with "Parking" and "Tent" symbols.  Forest Service roads 118E and 119 are the only locations you can disperse camp within the Guanella Pass corridor. Campfires allowed in Forest Service developed campgrounds or designated campsites along Forest Service Road 118E and 119. Please check the Clear Creek and Park County websites for current fire ban information.  
Water: None
Restroom: Vault toliet at trailheads

General Information

Directions: From I-70: Take the Georgetown exit. Following the signs for Guanella Pass through the town. From Hwy 285: Drive through Grant and head north through Guanella Pass.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Scenic Driving

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Know Before You Go

Areas & Activities

Related Links

Campgrounds At-A-Glance


  Area/Length : 
24 miles

  Latitude : 

  Longitude : 

  Elevation : 
8,512' Georgetown - 11,700'