Guanella Pass Scenic Byway


Area Status: Open

The Guanella Pass Scenic Byway can be accessed from either Grant or Georgetown.

The south side of the Byway is located on the Pike National Forest/South Platte Ranger District and provides access to several hiking trails: Geneva Creek Trail (#697), Whiteside Trail (#697.A), Threemile Trail (#635), Burning Bear Trail (#601), Abyss Lake Trail (#602), South Park Trail (#600), Rosalie Trail (#603) and Bierstadt Trail (#711).

There is also a short interpretive trail with a good viewpoint at the Guanella Pass summit. This is accessed from the west end of the upper/west parking area.

Developed campgrounds include Burning Bear and Geneva Park.

The north side of the byway is located on the Arapaho National Forest/Clear Creek Ranger District and provides access to hiking trails including Silver Dale Townsite Historic District, and Silver Dollar Lake Trail (#79).

Developed campgrounds include Clear Lake and Guanella Pass.

At a Glance

Operational Hours:
  • The Guanella Pass summit normally opens by Memorial Day and closes by Thanksgiving Day annually (weather/conditions dependent). The Guanella Pass Road information line at 303-679-2422, ext. 2, is available for updates.
  • The southern winter closure point is located 7 miles north of Grant, Colorado, at the junction of NFSR 119/Geneva Creek Road. The northern winter closure point, is located 8.5 miles south of Georgetown, Colorado, at the junction of NFSR 243.3D/Naylor Lake Road.
Busiest Season: Summer
Restrictions: Parking and camping in designated sites only.
Closest Towns: Grant, Georgetown
Water: No
Restroom: Yes
Operated By: Forest Service
Information Center: Appears on the following maps:
  • USGS Quad Mt. Evans
  • Pike National Forest
  • Arapaho National Forest
  • National Geographic Trails Illustrated #104 (Idaho Springs / Georgetown/ Loveland Pass)
Contact the South Platte Ranger District at 303.275.5610 for more information.

General Information

Directions:

1) Drive west from Denver on US Hwy 285 for approximately 40 miles to Grant. Turn right on to Park County Route 62. Drive north 13.5 miles to Guanella Pass.

2) Drive west from Denver on Interstate 70. Exit at Georgetown.  Follow Clear Creek County Route 381 south 11 miles to Guanella Pass.


Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information

Activities

Mountain Biking

Recreation areas with activity Mountain Biking:

Road Cycling

Recreation areas with activity Road Cycling:

Campground Camping

Recreation areas with activity Campground Camping:

RV Camping

Recreation areas with activity RV Camping:

Dispersed Camping

Recreation areas with activity Dispersed Camping:

Dispersed camping and parking is allowed in designated sites only on the South Platte Ranger District. Designated sites are posted with "Parking" and "Tent" symbols. Dispersed camping is primitive, undeveloped, frontcountry "car camping." Several areas across the district allow dispersed camping; however, certain areas are closed to overnight camping and allow for day use activities only.

Remember: when dispersed camping, no toilets, trash service or potable water are available. Store all food and trash securely, and pack out what you pack in. Please practice Leave No Trace.

Designated dispersed camping is located along NFSR 118.E and 119. However, no camping is permitted within the first mile of NFSR 119. Camping at day use sites, at trailheads or along the Scenic Byway is prohibited.

Please observe these requirements when dispersed camping:

  • Plan your trip; phone ahead for restrictions and special regulations.
  • Dispersed camping and parking is allowed in designated sites only. Do not create resource damage by driving off-road, beyond designated parking locations, or behind barriers. Parking should be within 30' of site markers.
  • Developed sites, including trailheads and picnic areas, are closed to overnight camping and allow for day use activities only.
  • Tread lightly, and avoid trampling sensitive vegetation. Locate your camp at least 100' from any water source.
  • Use catholes to properly dispose of human and pet waste; bury waste in a cathole at least 6-8" deep and 200’ from any water source. Packing out human and pet waste using self-contained waste disposal systems is encouraged.
  • Campfires are allowed at overnight sites as long as fire restrictions aren't in place. You may gather small amounts of down, dead wood for a campfire. Use existing fire rings; keep your campfire small and always make sure it is completely extinguished before leaving. No campfires outside of designated overnight sites.
  • BEARS and other wildlife; When you go to the mountains and forest, you are in bear county. Do not leave ANY food, trash or other animal attractant unattended. Store all food and trash securely and pack out what you pack in. Failing to do so can result in a fine.
  • Also be aware that, where not otherwise restricted, camping or leaving camping equipment at any location more than 14 days within a continuous 30-day period, and/or occupying any campsite within three miles of any prior camping or equipment location for a combined total of more than 28 days within any continuous 60-day period, is prohibited. Also, leaving camping equipment unattended for more than 24 hours is not allowed.
  • In addition; discharging a firearm is prohibited within 150 yards of a residence, building, campsite, developed recreation site, or occupied area; or across or on a National Forest System road or a body of water, or in any manner or place whereby any person or property is exposed to injury or damage as a result of such discharge.

Day Hiking

Recreation areas with activity Day Hiking:

Backpacking

Recreation areas with activity Backpacking:

Horse Riding

Recreation areas with activity Horse Riding:

Viewing Wildlife

Recreation areas with activity Viewing Wildlife:

Viewing Scenery

Recreation areas with activity Viewing Scenery:

Picnicking

Recreation areas with activity Picnicking:

Scenic Driving

Recreation areas with activity Scenic Driving:

XC Skiing/Snowshoeing

Recreation areas with activity XC Skiing/Snowshoeing:

Related Information

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities

Highlights

  • 'Queen of the 14ers' Link opens in a new window

    She is the agency’s Colorado Fourteeners Program manager; others simply refer to her as ‘Queen of the 14ers’.

Location

 
  Latitude : 
39.59495567

  Longitude : 
-105.7109803

  Elevation : 
8,605' - 11,669'