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Kebler Pass

A scenic drive through aspen forests, alpine meadows and mountain lakes


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Kebler Pass is a beautiful high-mountain pass between Crested Butte and Paonia. The road goes west from Crested Butte to Highway 133, near a mining town of Somerset. The speed limit is just 48 kmh (30 mph), and the grades are not that steep. The gravel road is open for traffic from approximately mid-June to mid-October. It’s closed every winter after the first substantial snowfall, that makes the road impassable. You don't have to ride a 4WD vehicle to ride this road in the summer—it's good enough for all cars.

Kebler Pass is part of the West Elk Loop, a national scenic byway. Many drivers use Kebler Pass road as a scenic shortcut to get to Aspen while enjoying magnificent views of the West Elk Mountains. The highest point of the pass is 3,048 m (10,007 ft) above sea level. The road passes through the lush Gunnison National Forest, that is famous for its fall foliage. The forest features some of the largest aspen groves in the United States. The two-hour drive also leads through scenic alpine terrain surrounded by tall rigged peaks.

Kebler Pass road features several picturesque lakes along the way that allow fishing. Lake Irwin and Lost Lake are the most famous fishing spots of this area. There are campsites near most lakes and near Crested Butte for those who decide to spend the night and take advantage of premium Colorado hiking experience. Paonia Reservoir is surrounded by a state park with campgrounds, boating and hiking trails. Biking on Kebler Pass is also a popular summer activity.

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