Loveland Pass Colorado

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Loveland Pass

The Loveland Pass before the Eisenhower Tunnel was a traffic-choked chore, but now the pass offers access to some of Colorado's best backcountry wilderness featuring mountain vistas for the hikers and skiers who find them.

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  • Loveland Pass is the highest road in the nation that is kept open year-round.
  • Hikes ranging from peak-bagging to family strolls have their trailheads at the top of the pass.
  • Backcountry skiers enjoy the easy access of the pass, meaning less hiking and more skiing.

Overview

At 11,990 ft. above sea level, the Loveland Pass is the alternative route to I-70 and the Eisenhower Tunnel. Rising 800 feet above the tunnel through a series of hairpin switchbacks, you'll find yourself with a healthy grip on the handlebar.

It's tough to keep your eyes on the road with the surrounding mountain views, so make sure to take a break for pictures at the top of the pass. There is a sign and some walking trails to appreciate the incredible views.

Location

Loveland Pass is on CO-6, located between exit 216 of I-70 and Keystone.

Seasons

The Loveland Pass is the highest road in the United States that is kept open year-round, weather permitting. 

Activities

Hiking
The top of Loveland Pass is a trailhead for many different routes. Those looking for a little exertion should try out Grizzly Peak, a 7 mile hike to 13,427 ft. Those looking for something a little less strenuous can take a walk on the loop trail, which follows a ridge on the Continental Divide for an easy 3 mile loop. 

All hikes around the area will give some great views.

Skiing
Going up the pass in winter, particularly on days after a large snowfall, skiers can be seen hitch-hiking back up the pass to squeeze in another run. The pass is a great opportunity to get out into the backcountry of Colorado to ski some open bowls, glades or the steeps. 

Proper use and knowledge of a transceiver, snow shovel and probe, and the ability to analyze safe skiing terrain are necessary to ensure a safe outing.

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Other Loveland Pass Resources

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Monarch Pass

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Rabbit Ears Pass

Mountain pass and recreation spot near Steamboat Springs, Colorado.