Park County, Colorado
Pike National Forest
South Platte Ranger District
View this on the Colorado Trailheads Map
Forest Service Road: 565
Trail Type: Straight Through
Nearby Towns: Grant, Montezuma
Nearby Trails: Radical Hill, Webster Pass, Hall Valley
Trail Length: 6.2 miles
Elevation: 9,879 to 12,745 feet
Named Obstacles: Big Rocks
That danger is why this trail is not to be taken lightly!
Go slowly, and if your vehicle starts to slide sideways use more gas -- it will straighten your vehicle out. You can't go wrong if you hurry, only if you slow down or stop.
Note that the red dirt covered section of the first hill down Red Cone was made much safer and easier in 2004. The loose rock was largely moved out of the way and the moguls were almost flattened. You can safely stop on this hill now though you should keep moving so you don't slide.
Red Cone is a detour off of Webster Pass, with both ends on that trail. You must start from Highway 285 so the trip over Red Cone is a descent. Do not attempt to climb the steep side of Red Cone as you would be in trouble if someone comes over the top in the other direction. This is a one-way trail.
The beginnings of Red Cone are rocky and fun. In some places you can choose more difficult lines while remaining on the trail but it is impossible to avoid some fairly large rocks. As you climb through Sawmill Gulch on your way up to Red Cone the rocks will seem to end and then you come to the only true obstacle on the trail. It is easy to avoid as the trail is very wide here but if you choose to tackle these big rocks you may not be able to get over them. They are very big and often loose, making it a difficult section to climb. It is this obstacle that gives the trail its high rating. If you avoid it you can assume the lower rating through the whole trail.
There are also lots of tight switchbacks in the trees before you climb above timberline. This section may be tight for longer wheelbases.
You'll leave the trees behind as you climb up to Red Cone. You can see the trail for a long distance in front of you. The views here and for the rest of the trail are amazing.
There are a total of three big hills down from the top. The first one is probably the steepest and scariest one, coming down 250 feet from the top of Red Cone. It is steep but sometimes it has some ruts in it which makes it get steeper every once in awhile.
Once you get to the bottom of that hill the second hill follows right away. It is very much like the first hill, though not as long. You will descend 200 feet on this hill.
The third hill is not nearly as steep or narrow though it is a descent of loose rocks down 250 feet. Once you get to the bottom of this hill you will be at a large parking area and back on Webster Pass. Take the trail to the right to continue out Webster Pass to Montezuma or to take Radical Hill. If you go left you will go back to the start of Webster Pass and back to the entrance to Red Cone.
Information last updated on August 7th, 2011.