Grand County, Colorado
Arapaho National Forest
Sulphur Ranger District
View this on the Colorado Trailheads Map
Forest Service Roads: 123, 835.1
County Road: 4
Trail Type: Straight Through
Nearby Towns: Grand Lake, Granby
Nearby Trails: North Supply Creek, Kawuneeche Road, Camway Trail, Gravel Mountain
Season: June 16th through November 14th
Trail Length: 19.7 miles
Elevation: 8,768 to 10,631 feet
Though this trail goes up and over a pass, the pass itself isn't marked and isn't very dramatic. It's a gentle climb to the pass and a gentle descent back down. The trail isn't difficult but it is scenic and enjoyable as it connects Highway 34 to Highway 125 many miles north of their intersection at Granby.
If you start from the east end you will do a brief section of Kawuneeche Road as you come from Grand Lake. This section of Kawuneeche Road is a very easy dirt road. The trailhead is easy to find, marked with a brown forest service sign.
Just past the trailhead for Stillwater Pass is a parking area with an informative kiosk and pit toilet. The trail continues almost directly west for awhile past this area.
The trail gently turns north and you will be traveling through the trees more often, though there are still wide open spaces. There is almost always room to pass oncoming vehicles. Be sure to watch for ATVs and dirtbikes, especially around blind curves.
About 5 1/2 miles from the start of Stillwater Pass is the Camway Trail system to the west of the trail. It is a fun network of trails though it is definitely rougher than Stillwater Pass in most spots.
The trail weaves its way through Pony Park and the elevation doesn't change much. Be sure to watch for a brown forest service sign about 7.8 miles from the Stillwater Pass trailhead. The sign will point to the Gravel Mountain trail directly ahead while Stillwater Pass continues as a right turn around a switchback. Gravel Mountain is more difficult than Stillwater Pass, though it connects back to Stillwater Pass just a short distance ahead.
Continue along Stillwater Pass across a shelf road. It is narrow but not particularly long, so you can see oncoming vehicles before you cross it. Do not pass on this shelf road.
Continue along the trail and note where Gravel Mountain joins the trail once again a little over nine miles from the Stillwater Pass trailhead at a switchback. Immediately past this switchback is Stillwater Pass itself, though it is not marked. You will notice that you are now going downhill instead of uphill, though.
The descent is filled with more weaving and switchbacks, though nothing is particularly difficult or dangerous. It is very scenic. There is a turnoff at 14 miles for Lost Lake. You can drive a short distance to a parking area with a good kiosk where you can leave a vehicle, but you must hike to the lake. The hike is 1.2 miles from the parking area.
The trail eventually turns west again as it gets smoother, easier, wider and has less elevation change. There are many people camping off to the side of the trail here. It follows Willow Creek out to the highway.
Information last updated on July 26th, 2010.
From Denver, take I-70 west to US 40 north (to Empire). Take this past Winter Park and Granby. On the far side of Granby the right lane splits off to US 34. Turn left on County Road 4 just across from the Dilly Dock Marina on the north end of Lake Granby at the Kawuneeche Road trailhead. Travel along Kawuneeche Road three miles to the trailhead for Stillwater Pass.
Meet at the Starbucks next to the gas station at Downieville, exit 234 off of I-70.