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Tincup Pass OHV Route is a 13 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Almont, Colorado that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for camping and ohv/off road driving and is best used from March until October.

Length13 miElevation gain2089 ftRoute typePoint to Point
Campingohv / off road drivingViewsWildlifeRocky
Description
Waypoints (9)
Contact
Tips

Beautiful 12,154-ft. pass road between historic, quaint mountain towns Overview A beautiful high-elevation route starting and ending at historic, quaint mountain towns. St. Elmo is one of the most popular ghost towns in Colorado. It has a few active businesses, including a general store and ATV rental. Tincup is a small residential community with many century-old buildings. Active businesses include the Tincup Store and Frenchie's Cafe. Located in Gunnison and San Isabel National Forest. For current conditions call Salida Ranger District (719) 539-3591. Rocky at the top with one short section of narrow shelf road at 12,000 feet that often remains snow covered into early July. After the snow clears, this trail is suitable for any high-clearance, 4-wheel-drive SUV with low-range gearing. St. Elmo can be reached by car. The optional "Old Tincup" route has one difficult rocky section.

For current conditions call Salida Ranger District (719) 539-3591.

Tincup Pass may be closed by snow well into July. Following heavy winter snows, always call ahead to make sure pass is open or wait until later in July. Trail conditions can change without notice.

Weather
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Daylight
Reviews (36)
Photos (142)
Recordings (21)
Completed (86)
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Frank Melville
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarOctober 13, 2020
Hiking

Mostly rocky Jeep road, nothing killer but still not easy. Good 2-3 hour ride with stops

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Ally Doherty
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 1, 2020
Off Road Driving

Rocky from the start, coming from St. Elmo. The reviews made it seems like The decent down Tincup Pas toward Tincup was more technical, but we felt like we were more cautious on the way. The views are the most insane and the amazing camping opportunities that exist along this trail will have us back to visit, for sure. I wish we spent more time exploring the town of St. Elmo and although it’s not. Technically a ghost town, because of its few seasonal tenants, it’s a really well preserved rendition of what life in St. Elmo was like! I’m obsessed and can’t wait to go back!

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Jeffrey Kuhnle
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 7, 2020
Off Road DrivingGreat!

Came up from Taylor Reservoir and it’s non stop rocks all the way to St. Elmo. A couple technical spots on the way up, a spotter would be nice, but I Did it in a stock 2017 Ram Rebel, banged up the running boards but worth it. Wouldn’t try the Tincup to the top section in too many stock vehicles unless your prepped for some scrapes.

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David Burnett
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 31, 2020
Off Road Driving
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Clint Owens
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Off Road Driving
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James Sawtell
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 11, 2020
Off Road DrivingRocky
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Dan Wilcoxen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJune 19, 2020
Off Road DrivingMuddyRocky

After a brief stop in St Elmo, my wife and I ventured up the trail to the pass in the rain (and occasional hail) on 18 Jun. The trail does have some steep/rocky sections, with increased difficulty due to snow melt runoff making for some slippery climbs. My FunTreks manual has that section rated as "difficult", mostly due to the rocky section at the pass. Airing down the tires helped a bit, but I certainly recommend a high clearance rig. I run a JKU with 4" lift/35" Nitto Trail Grapplers and we did fine. The views at treeline was great, and I plan to return to camp along the trail later this summer near one of the multiple streams along the trail. We did not venture over to Mirror Lake.

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Conrad Hofmeyr
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 2, 2019
Off Road Driving

Very rocky, but fun. Nothing too intense for a decent stock vehicle. Tacoma TRD OR.

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Dan Krause
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 26, 2019
Hiking

went both ways 2 weeks ago two Rangers three four wheelers one was a two wheel drive 90 given by my ten-year-old granddaughter and my eight-year-old grandson all Polaris had a great time camping by Mirror Lake is great

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Steve Larson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 15, 2019
Off Road DrivingRocky

Drove from St Elmo to TinCup today. Wrangler 4L ALL the way, but slow and steady did it. Very rocky! Especially down to the lake from the pass. Seemed more like bouldering at times. Drove through water at the lake. Looks bad, but fine if you hug the edge. 24” deep max probably. It was a great time and I’m still excited about the trip.

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Jeannie Clidence
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 5, 2019
Off Road Driving

Drove up from Tincup. Looks like it's going to be impassable at Mirror Lake for a while; the lake's water levels are well above the road.

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David McNutt
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 18, 2019
Hiking

I wonder How my dad did this in a 1972 AMC Gremlin back in 1975....Mmm I guess he really knew how to drive though it did scare my older brother quite a bit lol

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Jason Booth
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 30, 2018
Off Road Driving

Easy beginner trail with great views from the pass. We rented a jeep from BV Jeeps in Buena Vista, grabbed some sandwiches in town and set off from the St Elmo side. We also did a short trail to Mary Murphy Mine nearby. A great day.

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Court Merz
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 9, 2018
Off Road Driving

We drove up to Tincup Pass from the Tincup/Taylor Reservoir side. You could get up to Mirror Lake in a car with some clearance (Subaru), but beyond that I was glad to have 4 wheel drive and solid clearance. Most stock 4x4s with low range should be okay, with some careful tire placement. If you haven’t been “4 wheeling” I could imagine thinking it is pretty sketchy. We drive a lifted Toyota Landcruiser on 33” tires and had no issues. It’s rocky and bumpy and a bit steep at times. As expressed by many others, the views are great!

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Tanya Greenwood
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 5, 2018

This is one of my favorites! We have taken our ATV’s over a dozen times. We stage just outside of St. Elmo and sometimes go to the top and come back, or go an entire loop. We take our time and enjoy the scenery. The entire loop takes us about 8 hours.

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Doug Neidholdt
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMay 22, 2018
Scenic driving

Nice mountain road with views. Have done this a number of times when in the area. Did in a passenger car. Been a few years so don't know road condition now

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Holly Walker
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 18, 2018

Just stunning. Road has always been in pretty good shape for me

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B Roll Offroad
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarOctober 2, 2017
Off Road Driving

trail is easy, maybe (2) S-M obstacles, but bumpy. since its a pass, obviously the views are amazing. if you'd like to see a video of the pass i have one here, but the second half is half of coney flats trail: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zHuTfvpeSBU&index=4&list=UUOwWBeGU3w1bW52fFA_O6BQ 07 ranger manual 33" 13psi bilsteins no lift no locker no sway bar youtube trail channel: b roll offroad have fun!

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Caleb Cowan
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 30, 2017

First of all: this is an EASY trail. The dude who wrote that you need lockers and off road tires has probably never driven on trail before. We went from Tincup to St Elmo which is the “harder” route. We did this in 2wd the entire way. We have a 3.5” lift on 35s with 1200 lbs of extra gear on our rack since we are an overlanding rig. There was one section with some water runoff which was slick, but I never had to put it in 4wd. There was a bone stock F150 on street tires that followed us up. He needed 4wd because of his tires and wheel base, but seriously.... a stock f150 did it. The shelf road is a 400 meter section on the St Elmo side which at its most narrow point still left me with 2’ of space on either side. Not narrow at all. The trail is VERY bumpy, so just go slow.. other than that, I’d let my mom drive my jeep up this pass.

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Josh Bradt
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 12, 2017
Off Road Driving

Took St Elmo to Tincup last week. Very very scenic drive. Somewhat crowded with jeeps and UTVs. The road is pretty rough from the beginning and it is slow going. Most of the trail is pretty easy but there are large rocks to watch out for. There are also a couple of alternate routes that would make for more difficulty and excitement. I was in a 2014 tundra and made ever obstacle without trouble. I wouldn't rate this trail as moderate. Anything 4x4 with a semi decent driver should make it just fine.

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Carmen Edwards
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 30, 2017

loved it has a child

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James Hicks
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 7, 2016
First to Review

Beautiful trail from St Elmo up to pass. Saw moose in meadows along the road. After pass the path ceases to be a road but a rocky area with no defined borders. Crazy! Then road reappears and nice trip into lake and finally Tincup. Portions not for the faint of heart!

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James Sawtell
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 17, 2020
Hiking
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Kent Allen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 19, 2020
Snowshoeing
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Clark Smitherman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 16, 2020
Hiking
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Lee Bowers
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 1, 2020
Off Road Driving
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Paul Alexander
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 26, 2020
Hiking
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James Jones
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 19, 2020
Off Road Driving
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Douglas Tutino
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 6, 2020
Hiking
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