Kenosha Pass Area

Area Status: Open

Kenosha Pass provides access to the Colorado Trail as it heads southeast towards the Lost Creek Wilderness and west towards the Continetal Divide and Jefferson Lake. The Colorado Trail starts outside of Denver and ends in Durango. It runs adjacent to the Kenosha Pass and Kenosha East Campgrounds.

There is also a wetland interpretative area and the remnants of the Denver, South Park & Pacific Railroad wye (Y). "Helper" engines from either Webster on the east side or Como on the west side of Kenosha Pass, assisted the regular engine in getting the train to the top, and then used the wye to turn around and head back down hill.

The Kenosha Pass area is well-known for its colorful stands of aspen in the fall. During peak leaf season (late September-early October), the trailhead at Kenosha pass can be very busy with leaf-peepers. Please use extra caution along the Highway 285 road corridor during this time. Kenosha Pass also provides scenic views of South Park from a small pullout area on the south side of the pass.

At a Glance

Restroom: Vault Toilet
Operated By: Forest Service

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Mountain Biking

Recreation areas with activity Mountain Biking:

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 desginated sites only on the South Platte Ranger District.   Designated sites are posted with "Parking" and "Tent" symbols.  Dispersed camping is primitive, undevleoped, frontcountry "car camping". Several areas across the District allow dispersed camping, however certain areas are closed to overnight camping and allow for day use activites 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 126, 126.A, 811, and 811.a.


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:


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:

Interpretive Areas

Recreation areas with activity Interpretive Areas:


Recreation areas with activity Picnicking:

Scenic Driving

Recreation areas with activity Scenic Driving:

XC Skiing/Snowshoeing

Recreation areas with activity XC Skiing/Snowshoeing:

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


  • '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’.


  Elevation :