Ohio Pass is a Mount Axtell gap in Gunnison County located approximately one mile southeast of Kebler Pass. Part of Ohio Pass Road runs along the old railway grade. (Partner Pass: Kebler Pass)
Begin in Somerset on pavement riding east on SH 133
Turn right onto Kebler Pass Road, FR 12 where pavement turns to gravel--mile 6.0
Continue riding to partner pass, Kebler Pass Summit--mile 30.0
Just after summit take a right onto FR 730
Continue riding to Ohio Pass Summit--mile 31.9
Ride into Gunnison--mile 56.5
The route is an easy 2WD road that offers excellent views of the West Elk Mountains. You ride through a forest thick of aspen and you can imagine it is a sea of gold in the fall. After nearly 9 miles, the road passes the old town site of Baldwin just before becoming a paved surface. It follows the Ohio Creek into the valley before connecting to Colorado 135 about 3.5 miles from Gunnison. Ohio Pass is not above the timberline, so near the top dense growths of ferns carpet the forest floor.
Crested Butte, 8.2 miles to the northeast
Gunnison, 25.3 miles to the south
Somerset, 31.9 miles to the northwest
Look for the “Castles” rock formations that can be seen from the Ohio Pass road.
The Vidal brothers were the first settlers on Ohio Creek in 1875. They homesteaded at the creeks mouth at Ohio Pass. It is most likely called Ohio Pass because of the first settlers in the valley came from Ohio. Coal was the main commodity in the area.
Baldwin was a result of a rich gold strike in 1897; however, the town survived throughout the years due to its good ranchland and coal mining. Now you will observe only deserted, decaying structures of a company town for the region’s largest coal mines: Ohio, Nu and Smith mines.