This is a great high-altitude groad around the stunningly beautiful Turquiose Lake near Leadville, CO.
Hagerman Pass road is fantastic! The first 5 miles of dirt are well maintained, smooth and hard packed with a steady/easy 2-3% grade. The dirt section also features amazing views of 14ers, abundant wildflowers and waterfalls.
We particularly enjoyed the dirt decent and turn back onto Turquoise Lake Road since it also happened to be on the route of the third day of the 2019 Leadville Stage Race. We had a blast riding along-side the bad-ass racers and cheering them on.
We had planned for a longer route with more climbing and gravel, but once we got about 5 miles up the pass road, we realized it was becoming too rocky, technical and steep for our gravel bike tire’s capabilities (we currently have 700×35 tires).
Do this ride if it is mid to late summer or fall, and you want a beautiful lake loop ride that has a super enjoyable mix of pavement and gravel and features a gradual 2-3% gravel pass climb/decent with spectacular mountain views, wildflowers and waterfalls.
All of the road around Turquoise Lake is paved (15 miles), and all of the Hagerman Pass road that we did is dirt/gravel (10 miles).
Always be flexible when you are traveling an unknown dirt road in the mountains for the first time. Using Colorado Gravel Roads, we had originally planned to go further up the pass to an alpine lake. However, when the road became more rocky, technical and steep, we decided to call it a day and head back down. In our opinion, a mountain bike is needed to continue up this road.
For some reason Strava didn’t pick up on the elevation gain, but our Wahoo bike computer recorded an elevation gain on 2,257 feet.
We started this ride from the Printer Boy Campground where we had been camping. There is parking and bathrooms are available here.