Taylor Park, Colorado offers hundreds of miles of trails but one of the best ATV rides the area has to offer is the ride over Taylor Pass to Pearl Pass and Montezuma Basin. This is a long rough rocky ride but the views are out of this world, everything from panoramic to open meadows carpeted with wild flowers to barren valleys.
The ride starts off from Taylor Reservoir. Ride north on Taylor Park Road approximately 13.5 – 14 miles to the Taylor Pass trail. Taylor Pass trail actually goes up a running creek for about a hundred yards. The rest of the trail to the top of Taylor Pass is rocky in some parts but not bad. At the top you have some spectacular 360° views and if you brought your fishing pole you could fish at Taylor Lake close to the top of the pass.
From Taylor Pass take Express Creek Road down to the ghost town of Ashcroft. Ashcroft, an old silver mining town, was founded in 1880 and grew to a population of 3,500 people by 1885. As quickly as the town went boom it went bust. There are guided tours through the ghost town now.
At Ashcroft take Castle Creek Road south about 2.25 miles to Pearl Pass Road. Castle Creek Road is paved, just stay to the shoulder. Once on Pearl Pass Road take the rocky sometimes challenging road on up to Pearl Pass. Along the way you will pass several meadows and ponds.
Just before you get to the pass you will go through a large barren rock field and you will literally feel like you are on a remote distant planet because it is just large gray rocks with no vegetation for as far as you can see and a wicked mountain range, very eerie.
At the top of Pearl Pass is the real treasure, the view. Words can not explain how breath taking this view is. After 30 miles of rough rocky terrain it is well worth it.
After taking in the sites atop Pearl Pass turn around and head back on Pearl Pass road about 2.5 miles and take the trail heading west, this trail, about 2.25 miles long, traverses the side of a mountain and will take you to the Montezuma Basin for some more spectacular views.
Once you’ve seen the sites of Montezuma Basin, you will ride the trail back to Pearl Pass Road and follow it back down to Ashcroft. Ride Express Creek Road back up to Taylor Pass and back down to Taylor Park Road. Take Taylor Park Road back to the trailhead at Taylor Reservoir.
This ride with all the stops to take in the scenery is about 8 hours and is one of my best ATV rides. It has great terrain, large change in elevation and some of the best scenery Colorado has to offer. You will want to pack extra gas in case you want to explore more of the area.