Breakneck Pass   Easy icon
USGS 7.5' Map: Fairplay West
Difficulty: Number: Miles: Altitude: Obstacles: Time:
Easy 2 FR 175 7.00 10,128 to 11,372 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
Summary: Breakneck Pass is a low pass that crosses from South park into Sheep Park, a small valley below Sheep Mountain.
Attractions: Scenery
Agency - January 1 to June 15
Best Time: June - Early, may still be snowed in
July - Best
August - Best
September - Best
October - Early snows may close road
Trail Heads
Camping: Their are dispersed camp sites at the top of Breakneck Pass and at the lower sections on the east and west sides.
Base Camp: This would be a good area to base camp and explore Browns Pass, Round Hill, and the other short spur roads out of Sheep Park.
Fall Colors: Good - The top of Breakneck Pass has a large aspen grove.
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 4.7 miles. Turn right onto County Rd 5 and go 1.7 miles. Turn right onto Breakneck Pass Rd and go 1.0 mile to the start of Public Lands where Breakneck Pass 4WD road begins.
History: Breakneck pass was named by the early settlers for the difficulty of crossing the pass due to its steep section. Most traffic used the pass to access the grazing in Sheep Park. By 1910 more regular use happend in order to access the few mines in Sheep Park.

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

Breakneck Pass starts off of County Road 5, south of Fairplay. You will pass through private property as you follow High Creek up to the public lands. Once you get to public lands you will pass through a fence with a small parking space and then start up toward the forest. There will be wide meadows with aspen and pine forests surrounding them. This is where there are some dispersed camp sites. After approximately a mile the road will turn west and start to climb up Sheep Ridge.

The road will wind through the trees as it climbs toward Breakneck Pass. There will be one section that is a bit rougher and steeper than the rest. After another mile you will come to Breakneck Pass. There is a 4 way intersection on top of the pass where Round Hill, FR426, crosses the Breakneck Pass road. Continue west down hill to stay on FR175. The road will drop down through the aspen grove where it will pass a spur road to the left. This road pass an old cabin foundation in a meadow and takes you back to Breakneck Pass. Keep heading down hill.

In a half mile you will be in Sheep Park following along Sheep Creek. The valley will widen out and you will come to an intersection to the left with Twelvemile Lake, FR173, which dead ends in 1.7 miles near Twelvemile Creek. Continue northwest on FR175. Shortly you will come to an intersection to the right, Round Hill, FR426. This road heads back to Breakneck Pass along Sheep Ridge. Continue up Sheep Park to where it begins to narrow.
At the northern end of Sheep Park

photo by:
Adam M

You will come to another intersection to the left. This is the Browns Pass, FR176, 4WD road. It will head over Browns Pass and tie in with County Road 20. Continue north west on FR175. You will enter into a more forested area. In about a quarter mile the road officialy ends.
Data updated - November 15, 2020       4WD Road driven - August 30, 2014       Copyright 4X4Explore - 2000-2021