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Getting to the Pass Creek Yurt

Pass Creek Yurt

El 10,250 feet

Summer trailhead parking: 33 miles/1.5 hour drive NE of Pagosa Springs, CO.  18 miles/1 hour drive SW of South Fork, CO.
Winter trailhead parking is at Wolf Creek Ski Area: 28 miles/1 hour from Pagosa.  20 miles/30 min from South Fork, CO.


Winter Access Directions

Park in the Wolf Creek Ski Area Alberta Lot: Park ONLY in designated “YURT PARKING”

Distance from Parking Lot to PCY: 3 miles
Elevation gain 400’, Elevation loss 800’

Time: Expect the approach to take 2-4 hours; longer with trail breaking. Plan appropriately to arrive before dark.

Directions: Descend the groomed ski trail toward the base of the Alberta Lift. Pass to the left of the Alberta Lift and look for the brown USFS “Alberta Reservoir/Pass Creek Yurt” sign 100 yards past the Alberta Lift. Follow the cross-country trail / Alberta Reservoir road (sometimes groomed) downhill to Alberta Park Reservoir dam. Cross the dam & climb a short, steep hill to your left, and to the right of the creek. Travel .5 mile through woods, then gain an old logging road to a small pass just north of point 10,615’ (Mtn Bike Pass). From here it is a gentle 1 mile downhill run contouring on an old logging road to the Pass Creek Yurt. If the weather is inclement and/or there is not a track to follow, map and compass and/or GPS navigation may be necessary.

Note: Orange survey tape marks the route from the Alberta Lake dam to the Yurt (in early season look high in the trees). Although we make an effort to maintain the tape, we don’t guarantee its presence. Do not depend on it to get you to the Pass Creek Yurt. Download the Winter PCY map from our website to use, as well as the GPS coordinates below.

Winter Coordinates for Pass Creek Yurt

WC Ski Area Pkg Lot:   N 37.47167 W -106.79083
Alberta Lake Dam: N 37.470210   W -106.765233
Mtn Bike Pass: N 37.4723 W 106.754625
Pass Creek Yurt:   N 37.471634 W 106.746536

The USGS 7.5’ quads for the area are “Elwood Pass” and “Wolf Creek Pass”.

Summer Access Directions

Drive to Trailhead: Turn south from Highway 160 onto the Pass Creek/Tucker Ponds Road/FS RD 390*.  Drive 5.8 miles on this 2-wheel-drive gravel road.  At 5.8 miles look for a large turnout on the left. Park here. Look for the locked, rusty green Forest Service gate uphill of the parking area. You can also park by the gate as long as you don’t block the gate.

Distance from Parking location to PCY: 1 mile. Elevation gain 200′

Time: Expect the approach to take 1 hour. Plan appropriately to arrive before dark.

Directions: The elevation gain is minimal (200′) and gradual with the steepest bit just before you reach the Pass Creek Yurt. Stay on the obvious, best logging road; do not make any turns off this road. When you see the old yellow truck you are almost there.

Do not leave valuables in your car.

Summer Coordinates for Pass Creek Yurt

Jct 160 – FS Rd 390    N 37.52774    W 106.76995
PCY Parking                    N 37.47693    W 106.73766
Pass Creek Yurt             N 37.47163     W 106.74654

The USGS 7.5’ quads for the area are “Elwood Pass” and “Wolf Creek Pass”.



To download the files below to your mobile device, click on the map’s image below which will open a larger version in a new window. Once there, press your device’s screen, on the image, until that “save image” option (or the equivalent) appears. Click “save image” and the map should be saved in your device’s local photo gallery.

Winter Access Ski Route with slope shading

Summer Access Directions to Trailhead Parking