Jones Pass

MODERATE 117 reviews
#32 of 166 trails in

Jones Pass is a 7.1 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Idaho Springs, Colorado that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 7.1 miles Elevation Gain: 2,017 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dog friendly

cross country skiing

hiking

mountain biking

snowshoeing

ohv / off road driving

running

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

snow

Beautiful drive, but not easy for 4WD vehicles. Caution advised if you are using a family AWD vehicle.

hiking
icy
muddy
snow
2 months ago

Great hike with scenic views. A little crowded and there was a snowmobiling crew that was a tad obnoxious going up and down. Definitely do not attempt to go past the trailhead without 4X4/AWD and chains (some moron in a Forester with snow tires thought he was invincible and ended up having to get pushed out) - and even then the road itself is closed to motor vehicles not too much father up. Would repeat as a quick day hike / get away.

snowshoeing
snow
2 months ago

Love this trail and have hiked numerous times. I snowshoed this on Saturday, 11.9.19. And what was beautiful ended horribly as I was bitten by a dog that was off leash and whose owner had no control over. This has got to stop. Irresponsible dog owners need to stay off the trails with their dogs. If your dog won't respond to your voice commands in public then keep them at home. From now on, any dog that invades my personal space while hiking or snowshoeing will get a face full of bear spray. Dog's name was Suka, and should be put down, and her owner, clearly a meathead.

ohv/off road driving
3 months ago

As of Oct 21, 2019 one would need chains on all four wheels to get up! Could only go one mile without in our 2005 Toyota Tacoma with King Suspension. Snow is about a foot deep!

hiking
4 months ago

We drove up the road from the Henderson Mine to the pass. Road was bumpy but not bad conditions. We were in trucks, but also saw a couple small SUV's handle it very well. Once at the pass we hiked the Continental Divide Trail just past where it starts to go down towards Herman Lake. Was extremely windy, but gorgeous. Temperature was in the 40's but probably 30's with wind chill, so layer up! Most of the trail is smooth and easy, but there are some steep ascents and some rocky areas with exposure. Total mileage for the hiking out-and-back was about 7.5, with a total of 1,995' elevation gain. Spectacular views and overall a great day.

hiking
5 months ago

Pass is now opened. Yesterday 3 Denver Water trucks went down the west side and 4 other trucks from the Forest Service and other agencies also made the crossing.

ohv/off road driving
snow
5 months ago

Drove Jones Pass on Saturday morning, 8/17, to check out access to the west side of the pass and do some hiking. The pass is still blocked about 1/8 mile from the top with a 15-20 foot vertical wall x 30 wide cornice. Might not be passable this year at all, but others had mentioned significant melting in the last two weeks. There are couple spots to climb the cornice above the road to access trails, with varying degrees of difficulty. A handline and/or an ice axe wouldn't be a bad idea if you aren't comfortable on steep snow to ascend and descend. The rest of the area around Jones Pass was largely clear of snow. Dispersed camping, trailhead lots and road traffic was totally full to borderline bonkers from the time I arrived at 9am to the time I left around 1pm on Saturday, but everyone was orderly and polite.

camping
5 months ago

Great dispersed camp sites! A little colder than I expected, pack for all weather conditions!

ohv/off road driving
muddy
5 months ago

Pretty easy trail, great views with minimal effort. Trail was muddy when we went. Will definitely be going back!

ohv/off road driving
5 months ago

Drove towards the pass after hiking Butler Gulch (Highly Recommended Trail). Drive was easy in our VW Touareg. Nothing challenging at all. AWD definitely was a plus on the switchbacks though. Snowcover still made making it to the pass impossible though. A Ford Raptor and us both turned around about 1/8 mile from the pass. Gorgeous drive though.

hiking
6 months ago

Just wanted to get outside. Pelle and I made up up most of the way until we hit some snow. We got lucky and found a trail that let us to the top of the pass without much snow crossing. Headed to the tallest peak for some views and hang out for a little bit. It was a beautiful day.

running
6 months ago

One of my favorite places in Colorado! Love the terrain, scenery and the views. The avalanche slide at the first switchback on the ascent has been cleared. Road is in good shape!

hiking
scramble
snow
6 months ago

We camped towards the top of Jones Pass this past weekend. I was surprised with how many dispersed camping sites were still available as we got there about 1030 on Saturday morning and people were still rolling in towards the evening around six to set up camp. The trail is still covered with snow and you cannot pass over. We are wondering if you’ll even be able to at all this season. Before we left, we climbed to the top and saw some incredible views, we’ll definitely be back!

ohv/off road driving
rocky
8 months ago

Only really open to cross over around August-Early October. Have been end of July and still had 20'+ of snow at the top blocking the road. Slow and easy for stock 4x4 type vehicles and even crossover SUVs. Friend managed it very carefully in a 90s Corolla but expect some potential dragging and traction issues in a sedan, assuming it makes the entire drive.

recorded Jones Pass

hiking
snow
10 months ago

Snow everywhere. And a lot of it. Quiet trail except for the occasional snowmobile. Well worth the effort.

snowshoeing
snow
10 months ago

Heavy snow, turned back due to avy worries. Still a decent day.

snowshoeing
snow
11 months ago

snowshoeing
off trail
snow
11 months ago

snowshoeing
snow
11 months ago

snowshoeing
Sun Dec 30 2018

Great, wide trail for snowshoeing with gorgeous views! Just be prepared to share the trail with cross-country skiers and snowmobiles.

snowshoeing
Tue Dec 11 2018

Great beginner snowshoe trail! Wide, packed trail easy to snowshoe on. 4 stars because once we got to the clearing, we were confused on which way to go and accidentally went the wrong way, lol. Still gorgeous nonetheless! Steady incline uphill on the way out. Drive to Henderson Mine, veer right down the dirt road (need AWD, 4x4) and the parking lot will be soon after on the left. There’s a Jones Pass Trailhead sign so you know you’re in the right place. Bring layers (gets windy!), water, and whatever you need for altitude (you’re up at 12,000 feet!). 12.11.18.

snowshoeing
Mon Nov 26 2018

My fav snow shoe spot close to denver. Always guaranteed to be a winter wonderland. Take the fork to the left for skiing and snow showing. To the right there is snowmobilers. My dog loves this trail!

ohv/off road driving
Wed Oct 10 2018

Super easy trail. A Subaru Outback could run it. Great views of the continental divide. Dispersed camping is a plus. As of November 2018 it's probably covered in a few feet of snow. #XJCREW

hiking
Sat Sep 15 2018

wasn't sure where Jones Pass started so we walked up where the cars were coming. I had my dogs off leash so we ended up taking Butch trail because we didn't know where Jones started and there were too many cars going up and down the road. it's nice and quiet. Please pick up your dog's poop before you ruin it for everyone.

hiking
Sun Aug 19 2018

This is a 4wd road that climbs from Henderson Mine to Jones Pass. So that makes it a great beginner hike. No challenges for route finding or footing or terrain. Vehicle traffic is light enough to be a non-issue. And dogs can be off-leash, which was a nice change. About half of the ascent is above tree line, so you do need to be equipped with appropriate clothes at ANY time of year. Fantastic views and doable by anyone with enough baseline fitness to walk a steady uphill for 3.5 miles. I’m a fan; I’ll be back.

hiking
Wed Aug 15 2018

Great day not a cloud in sight. Smoke from the California wild fires was very prevalent. First time this hiking season that I wore a short sleeve t-shirt over 12,000’ even the slight breeze felt refreshing because it was a hot day. Ran into 40 people who were doing memorial hike for Peter McInerney The road was in good shape and it’s a very good workout. Views were mostly blocked by the smoke.

ohv/off road driving
Sun Aug 12 2018

Very easy trail. Some narrow spots and switchbacks but very basic - great for beginners. We also camped to watch the meteor shower. Camping spots were plentiful. Really nice, open spaces. It was a great weekend trip!

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