Browns Pass   Easy icon
Maps:        
USGS 7.5' Map: Fairplay West
Statistics:
Difficulty: Number: Miles: Altitude: Obstacles: Time:
Easy 4 FR 176 5.70 9,800 to 10,910 ft. NA 1-2 hours
County: Park
Adopted by:      
Managed by: Pike Nat. Forest,
South Park Ranger District
320 Hwy 285, P.O. Box 219
Fairplay, CO 80440
(719)836-2031
Summary: Browns Pass is a lower pass over Sheep Ridge into Sheep Park.
Attractions: Pass
Seasonal
Closure
Natural - Closed by heavy snow
Best Time: June - Early, may still be snowed in July - Best
August - Best
September - Best
October - Early snows may close road
Trail Heads
Accessed:
FT 691 (motorcycle)
FT 739 (motorcycle)
Camping: There are a few dispersed camp sites on the east side of the pass, but be aware of private property. On the west side in Sheep Park there are a few more camp sites.
Base Camp: This would be a good area to base camp and explore Breakneck Pass, McFarren, and Round Hill.
Fall Colors: Poor - Pine forest
Navigation: From Fairplay, CO. head southeast on Main Street toward 5th Street for 0.5 miles. Turn right onto CO-9 S/US-285 S and go 3.7 miles. Turn right onto County Rd 20 and go 2.1 miles. Turn right onto Browns Pass Road and head west. You will pass some private property and then come to a Y in the road. Take the left heading into the trees to start the Browns Pass 4WD road.
History: Browns pass is named for a local prospector, Mr. Brown, who had mine claims in the area.


Helmuth, Ed & Gloria The Passes of Colorado Boulder, Colorado: Pruett Publishing Company, ISBN 0-87108-841-X, 1994. Print.

Description:
Browns Pass is a low pass crossing Sheep Ridge. It is fairly easy on the east side to the top. You will cross a few open areas before entering into the forest and starting the climb.
Browns Pass beginning

photo by:
Adam M

As you work your way up you will climb a few rocky sections and traverse a few small switchbacks. You will come to an intersection with the main road heading up to the right and a small road heading left. The left road is the Browns Pass road. There is a carsonite sign with FR176 marked on it. From here the road becomes a bit narrower in the trees and continues the climb.
East side of Browns Pass

photo by:
Adam M

At the top of the Pass, indicated by a spur road to the right, FR176.2A, and FT739 to the left, the road will start to descend. FR176.2A is a quarter mile spur that will end in the trees at a small prospect.
View from Browns Pass west

photo by:
Adam M

The west side, going down, quickly descends toward Sheep Park. The road is fairly good at the top, but the lower you go the rougher and more eroded the road becomes. Going down does not present a large challenge, but going up this side would rate at a Moderate level 5 to 6. In about a half a mile you will come out of the trees and connect with the Breakneck Pass road, FR175.
Data updated - February 19, 2016       4WD Road driven - August 30, 2014       Copyright 4X4Explore - 2000-2016