Summit County, Colorado
Pike National Forest, White River National Forest
Dillon Ranger District, South Park Ranger District
View this on the Colorado Trailheads Map
Forest Service Roads: 54, 355
Trail Type: Straight Through
Nearby Towns: Breckenridge, Jefferson
Nearby Trails: Webster Pass, Boreas Pass, Swan River, S.O.B. Hill, Michigan Creek, Glacier Ridge, Jefferson Cutoff, Rock Creek Hills, Brewery Hill, Gold Run Gulch, Humbug Hill, Summit Gulch, Galena Gulch
Trail Length: 11.6 miles
Elevation: 9,883 to 11,550
This high pass connects Breckenridge and Jefferson -- it connects I-70 to Highway 285. Situated parallel and between Boreas Pass and Webster Pass, it is also between them in difficulty. It is more challenging than Boreas Pass but not quite as challenging as Webster Pass.
The trail is usually a busy one, especially during the fall when the aspen leaves are changing colors. The trail can be run in either direction, and you should expect traffic.
It's almost like two completely different trails, separated by the pass itself in the middle. The south end from the town of Jefferson to the pass is wide, easy and scenic. When the trail is dry, most passenger cars can easily drive to the pass. You will see the most traffic on this half.
The other half from Breckenridge to the pass gives the trail its higher rating. There are some steep and rocky climbs, and the trail can be narrow in spots. Because uphill traffic usually has the right of way, it is probably best to drive the trail from Breckenridge to Jefferson.
The northern half follows the South Fork of the Swan River. Follow a forest service sign marking both of these things to start the trail. There are many spurs along the way, and almost all of them dead end very suddenly. Stay on the most-used trail and continue uphill to stay on Georgia Pass. You should also note signs for forest service road 355 in order to stay on the main trail.
As you get close to the top at the pass, there has been some trail restoration. Try to stay on the correct section of trail, even if you see other tire tracks in other places. The correct section of trail here does not have berms in it.
The pass itself is largely flat, very wide, well-marked, and has lots of room for parking. The views are fantastic, and there are usually lots of people here. Also note that there are many trails leaving from here and the area is a bit confusing. Forest service road 355 is Georgia Pass, and signs point to the town of Jefferson on the other side where you continue the Georgia Pass trail. Signs also point to the Glacier Ridge trail (now closed) and the Colorado Trail for hiking. A short trail continues toward Mount Guyot, though it doesn't get far. Another spur, 355.1C, offers some challenges before it reconnects with Georgia Pass. Other spurs briefly leave the trail only to reconnect with Georgia Pass.
To continue to the town of Jefferson, follow the brown sign pointing the way. The rest of the trail is very easy and mellow, and you should expect oncoming traffic. Follow the easy trail all the way out to Highway 285.
Information last updated on August 5th, 2016.
- July 30th, 2016: ran by Bryan, Holly, Julie and Monica
- July 26th, 2014: ran by Austin, Gary, Julie, Matt K., Monica, Paula and Walt
- September 25th, 2010: ran by Mark F. and Monica
- August 7th, 2004: ran by Corey, Iavor, Jed, Jeff B., Jon G., Mike C., Monica and Perry
From Denver, take I-70 to Highway 9 (toward Breckenridge). North of Breckenridge take Tiger Road and follow signs to County Road 6 and Georgia Pass.
Meet at the Starbucks next to the gas station at Downieville, exit 234 off of I-70.