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Tincup Pass 4x4 Road

Beautiful 12,154-ft. pass road between historic, quaint mountain towns

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Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 13 miles
Duration: Half day
Family Friendly

Overview :  Overview A beautiful high-elevation route starting and ending at historic, quaint mountain towns. St. Elmo is one of the most popular ... more »

Tips:  Tincup Pass may be closed by snow well into July. Following heavy winter snows, always call ahead to make sure pass is open or wait... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Start Here

Follow Google mapping directions to this point just west of St. Elmo. A rough road climbs continuously to Tincup Pass. Lots of great campspots along this road. Don't go too early as snow often blocks the pass well into July.

2. Camping

Some great campspots to the right around timberline. The pass isn't much farther.

3. Tincup Pass

You'll cross a ledge road just before the pass. This is the last spot the snow melts. Turn around if snow blocks the road and come back another day.

4. Old Tincup

As you start down the other side of pass, the road is a bit rougher. Stay left at this point to follow the main trail. Old Tincup Road goes right here. It's shorter but much more difficult.

5. Bottom of Old Tincup

Old Tincup Pass Road reconnects here to the main route.

6. Water Crossing

A creek here feeds Mirror Lake. It is usually shallow and no problem, however, during heavy runoff it might be deeper. The road continues along the east side of Mirror Lake. Sometimes the water level in the lake is high enough to cover the road and you have to take a higher path above the lake.

7. Parking Area

Large parking area at north end of Mirror Lake. A maintained road continues downhill to town of Tincup.

8. Fee Campground

On left is Forest Service Campground.

9. Modern Vault Toilet

Modern vault toilet on right with small parking area.

10. Town of Tincup

Main Street intersects with major forest road 765. Left goes over Cumberland Pass to Pitkin and Alpine Tunnel. Right goes to Taylor Park and Cottonwood Pass back to Buena Vista. Spend some time in Tincup. During the summer, it's a busy little place. Don't miss the Tincup General Store. You can also eat at Frenchie's Cafe.