Colorado Scenic Drive: Wolf Creek Pass
Just 25 miles east of Pagosa Springs, Colorado lies a stunning scenic drive through Wolf Creek Pass. I pulled over and snapped this beautiful view just before we began to make our ascent into the the San Juan National Forest.
The Wolf Creek Pass is famously steep and was characterized by a 1975 Country music song as “37 miles o’hell”:
- I looked at Earl and his eyes was wide
- His lip was curled, and his leg was fried.
- And his hand was froze to the wheel like a tongue to a sled in the middle of a blizzard.
- I says, “Earl, I’m not the type to complain
- But the time has come for me to explain
- That if you don’t apply some brake real soon, they’re gonna have to pick us up with a stick and a spoon…”
- “Wolf Creek Pass” written by Bill Fries and Chip Davis, sung by C.W. McCall
Rising over 5,000, the summit of the Wolf Creek Pass reaches the Continental Divide. There are plenty of scenic drive lookouts, and once you reach the crest of the paved highway, a well graded dirt-road will take you from 10,840 ft. to Lobo Lookout at a spectacular 11,750 ft.
We were here in late-August, which is during southeast Colorado’s monsoon season. As you can see, the color in my photographs was hampered by all the moisture in the atmosphere. But, the views were stunning nonetheless.
If you find yourself in southeast Colorado, we highly recommend a picnic right here on this bench atop the world at the Lobo Lookout.
Here’s a map to Co Road 402 that will take you to the Lobo Lookout.