Cameron Mountain Pass  
USGS 7.5' Map: Gribbles Peak, Cameron Mountain, Salida East
Difficulty: Number: Miles: Altitude: Obstacles: Time:
Easy - Graded CR2, CR175 13.90 7,250 to 9,920 ft. NA 1-2 hours
County: Chaffee, Fremont
Adopted by:      
Managed by: Chaffee County

Fremont County
104 Crestone Avenue
Salida, Colorado 81201 615 Macon Ave., Room 102
Ca´┐Żon City, CO 81212

Summary: Cameron Mountain Pass connects the grazing land south of Hartsel to Salida. The road is also known as the Ute Trail.
Natural - Closed by heavy snow.
Best Time: June - Best
July - Best
August - Best
September - Best
October - Best
Trail Heads
Camping: The eastern end is mainly private property. The western end of the road has some dispersed camp sites in the Ute Creek canyon.
Base Camp: This would be a good place to base camp and explore the roads north of Salida.
Fall Colors: Good - Lots of aspen in the area.
Navigation: From Salida, CO. head northwest on W 3rd Street toward G Street for 0.7 miles. Turn left onto CO-291 N and go 0.3 miles. Turn right onto County Rd 175 and go 0.2 miles. Turn right to stay on County Rd 175 and go 1.9 miles to enter the canyon. Continue County Rd 175.

From Hartsel, CO. head southeast on CO-9 S toward County Rd 53 for 2.0 miles. Turn right onto County Rd 53 and go 28.0 miles. Sharp left onto Ute Trail Road, Fremont County 2.
History: This crossing between Railroad Gulch on the west side and Willow Creek on the east side was first used by the Native Americans, most likely as to the other name of the route, the Ute Trail. In 1779 Governor Juan Bautista de Anza crossed the pass when he was exploring the area. In 1806 Zebulon Pike's exploring party celebrated Christmas just below the pass. Thomas Cameron is the namesake of both Cameron Mountain and Cameron Mountain Pass. Thomas began raising cattle in the area in 1868. During his time here he made improvements including an irrigation ditch to water his fields. The Denver and Rio Grande Railroad looked at the pass as a possible crossing for a route from Denver through South Park and into Salida in the 1870s. The town of Whitehorn was started on the east side of the pass to service the local mines. In 1936 the Public Works Administration built a good road over the pass. The original road ran close to the creek, the new road moved up onto the hillside to improve drainage.

Helmuth, Ed and Gloria. The Passes of Colorado Boulder, Colorado: Pruett, 1994. Print.
Heading from the east, the Cameron Mountain Pass road begins on Fremont County Road 2 near where Herring Park, FR174, road connects. The road is a maintained graded gravel road. It will pass some open meadows as it heads west. Where the road starts up Willow Creek you will pass an old homestead across the valley, this is the remains of Whitehorn. You will continue to follow Willow Creek up the canyon, passing a few narrow sections. After passing a small farm you will come to the top of the pass, which is the separating line between Chaffee County and Fremont County.
Road near Whitehorn (small farm below the pass)

photo by:
Adam M

The road will now head down a wide valley on the north side of Cameron Mountain. The road will follow the contours of the landscape as it heads down toward Salida. You will come to a more level and open area where there are a few side roads. Continue down hill on the main road. You will come to Ute Creek and start down its narrow canyon. You are now on public lands and will find some pull offs and dispersed camping along the road. At the bottom of the canyon you will come to the residential area north of Salida. The road will come to a T intersection. Go to the right which will immediately cross railroad tracks. At the next T take a left and you will come to Chaffee County 291, a right will take you to Salida.
Data updated - November 16, 2017      4WD Road driven - September 3, 2017      Copyright - 2000-2017