Rio Blanco County Road 8 (Ripple Creek Pass)   
USGS 7.5' Map: Ripple Creek, Pagoda Peak, Dunckley Pass
Difficulty: Number: Miles: Altitude: Obstacles: Time:
Graded Cnty 8 19.10 7,920 to 10,343 ft. NA 2-3 hours
County: Rio Blanco
Adopted by:      
Managed by: Rio Blanco County 555 Main Street, Meeker, CO 81641 (970)878-9400
Summary: Rio Blanco County 8 is an easy road that connects Oak Creek, CO with Meeker, CO.
Attractions: Pass, Trail Heads
Best Time: June - Best
July - Best
August - Best
September - Best
October - Best
Trail Heads
Snell Creek, FT1810 - Hiking, Motorcycles (from 6/21 to 8/31)
Mirror Lake, FT1821 - Hiking, Horseback
Lilly Pond, FT1811 - Hiking, Horseback
Pagoda, FT1804 - Hiking, Horseback, Motorcycle and ATV (from 6/21 to 8/31), Snowmobile (from 11/23 to 5/20)
China Wall, FT1803 - Hiking, Horseback
Cyclone, FT1112 - Hiking, Mountain Bike, Horseback
East Fork, FT1119 - Hiking, Horseback
Baldy, FT1200 - Hiking, Horseback
Camping: There are some campsites along Cnty Road 8.
Base Camp: This would be a good area to base camp.
Fall Colors: Very Good - the road crosses through many aspen groves.
Navigation: From Meeker, CO head east on Market Street towards 7th Street for 1.8 miles. Turn right onto County Rd 8/State Hwy 132 and continue to follow County Rd 8 for 37.0 miles. From here you will begin the climb to Ripple Creek Pass.

From Yampa, CO head north on Main Street towards 4th Street for 0.2 miles. Turn left onto CO-131 N and go 46 feet. Turn left onto Routt County Rd 17 and go 413 feet. Continue onto Rcr 17 and go 0.7 miles. Turn left to stay on Rcr 17 and go 3.6 miles. Continue onto Rcr19 and go 1.0 miles. Turn left onto Rcr 132 and go 4.2 miles. Continue onto County Rd 8 and go 16.6 miles. From here you will continue to follow County Rd 8 and climb up to Ripple Creek Pass.
History: Ripple Creek Pass is an old native american trail that was used for travel between the White River and the Williams River. It divides the drainages of Poose Creek and Snell Creek.

In 1866 the Colorado Territory issued a toll road charter to the Overland Wagon Road Company to build a route over what was known then as Simpson's Pass.

Helmuth, Ed and Gloria. The Passes of Colorado Boulder, Colorado: Pruett, 1994. Print.
Rio Blanco County Road 8 is an easy graded road that crosses over Ripple Creek Pass. The west end starts east of Meeker, CO. where the county road crosses Snell Creek. At this turn in the road is the Snell Creek Trail Head. From here the road climbs passing the Mirror Lake Trail Head and then it comes to a large switchback where the Lily Pond Trail Head is off to the right. The road will head west again climbing to another large switchback before climbing up through the aspen. There will be a few pulloffs along this section of the road.

After a shallow switchback you will come to the Pagoda Trail Head on the left side of the road. Shortly after that you will come to the top of Ripple Creek Pass. From the top of the pass you will enter the Routt National Forest where the road designation is FR16. After about two miles you will come to the Vaughn Lake Campground on the right. Another mile and a half further will bring you to FR969 which is a short spur to the Cyclone Trail Head at an abandoned quarry that was used to build the Ripple Creek Pass road. After a switchback you will come to FR967 to the right which is another short spur to the other half of the Cyclone Trail. As the road continues down the east side you will enter into the aspen forest again. You will come to large swtichback followed by a second large switchback. At the apex of the second switchback is the East Fork Trail Head. In about three quarters of a mile you will leave the Routt National Forest and then the Baldy Trail Head should be on your left located on private land. The road will cross the East Fork of the Williams Fork River and then come to a large intersection. The road to the left that follows the river is County Road 19. To the right is a spur road to private property. Straight ahead and starting to climb up again is the Dunckley Pass Road.
Data updated - December 31, 2016      4WD Road driven - September 6, 2016      Copyright - 2000-2016