Hagerman Pass

An excellent hub for hiking, fishing, and visiting historical sites.

Total Miles
11.7

Elevation

3651.37 ft

Duration

4 Hours

Technical Rating

3

Moderate

Best Time

Summer/Fall

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Trail Overview

Turquoise Reservoir is an excellent hub for your outdoor adventures, especially fishing and hiking, including the Colorado Trail, and exploring two historical railroad tunnels. Want to make it a really long day? At Basalt, head past Ruedi Reservoir to Highway 82 and return to Leadville by way of Independence Pass.

Difficulty

Moderate. This road has gotten rougher since our last edition was published in 2010. We encountered larger embedded rock and deeper ruts. Unless the road is improved by future maintenance, you'll need high ground clearance and 4-wheel drive. A passenger car won't be adequate.

History

The Hagerman Tunnel was completed in 1886 and connected Colorado Springs to Aspen. The railroad was the first standard gauge railroad to cross the Continental Divide. Due to high maintenance costs, the Busk-Ivanhoe Tunnel was built at a lower altitude seven years later. It too proved to be impractical and was later bought by mining magnate Albert Carlton. He renamed the tunnel after himself and converted it to automobile use. It served as such between 1924 and 1937. A third tunnel, the Charles H. Boustead Tunnel, was built in the 1960s by the Corps of Engineers to divert water from the Fryingpan Wilderness to the Turquoise Reservoir.

Technical Rating

3

Access Description

Take 6th St. west from Leadville and bear right on paved C.R. 4. Continue another 3.5 miles until the road forks south of Turquoise Reservoir. Bear left over the dam and continue around the south side of the lake. After another 3.5 miles, stay left on C.R. 4 where paved C.R. 9 continues around reservoir.