Reports on Hayden Pass and Ellwood Pass
Spectacular moderate wheeling was had on July 8, 2007, taking Hayden Pass and Ellwood Pass on the way from Denver to Pagosa Springs. Both were a blast.
Hayden Pass took about 2 hours from pavement to pavement at a moderate pace with a few photos. 4wd low is required due to some steep grades and there is a bit of very narrow shelf road, but the surface was good the whole way. Not much camping up there. Probably only one site and it was fairly exposed to wind. Not too many side roads either.
Ellwood Pass is very remote and that had lots of appeal. It was about two hours from Del Norte back to pavement on highway 160 just north of Pagosa Springs. Much of that time was on fast graded roads up to and past the Summitville Mine Superfund site. There were many campsites and wide-open alpine meadows along the way. Many side-roads too. After the turn for Ellwood Pass the trail was mostly a descent. There was nothing too difficult and a few good crossings of Ellwood creek at the bottom.