Loveland Pass is in the Front Range west of Denver on U.S. Highway 6. The road is steep with a steady 6.7% grade and is a 2,600-foot climb from Keystone’s River Run base area. There are numerous hairpin turns along the route.
Begin in Silverthorne
Ride east on US 6 to summit of Loveland Pass-- mile 16.4
Stay east on US 6 to the base of Loveland ski area--mile 21.0
Continue on Bakerville to Loveland Trail parallel to I-70
At Bakerville continue on Silver Valley Road/ I/70 frontage road--mile 25.9
At Silver Plume ride on Clear Creek Greenway Trail--mile 30.3
At railroad parking lot follow the Loop Drive--mile 31.9
Finish in Georgetown--mile 32.5
Approaching Loveland Pass from the west at Keystone Ski Area, you climb 8.7 miles to the top. You pass Arapahoe Basin Ski Area 5 miles into your ride and continue climbing above the treeline. The descent is 3.8 miles to Loveland Ski area.
The mid-way point on the Triple Bypass Route. The sweeping descents and the cold temperatures at the top penalize the unprepared bike rider who fails to pack a wind jacket. In July, snow and sleet can overtake the unwary.
Silver Plume 14.0 miles to the east
Georgetown, 16.7 miles to the east
Keystone, 13.6 miles to the south
Silverthorne 16.4 miles to the west
The name “Sniktau” refers to the pen name of Clear Creek Country journalist Edwin H. N. Patterson. Patterson lived during the 1860s, and was a close friend of the famous poet, Edgar Allan Poe. Patterson claimed to have received the nickname “Sniktau” from Native Americans.
Loveland is the highest mountain pass in the world that is regularly open during the snowy winter season. When the Eisenhower Tunnel, the highest vehicle tunnel in the world, opened in 1973, it allowed motorists on Interstate 70 to avoid crossing the Loveland Pass directly. Loveland Pass used to be the only pathway to Denver over the divide. Trucks that can’t pass through the tunnel continue to take US 6 across Loveland Pass.
The pass is named after William A.H. Loveland, a Golden resident during the late 19th century. The City of Loveland near Fort Collins, Colorado is also named after him. Loveland was a U.S. railroad entrepreneur and businessman. He was one of the founders of the Colorado Central Railroad and a prominent figure in the state’s early history. Being the president of the Colorado Central Railroad, Loveland was instrumental in the expansion of the railroad network into the mining communities of Colorado. For much of the 1870s, he waged a fierce struggle with Union Pacific investors for control of the Colorado Central. He also served as Lieutenant Governor of Colorado.