McClure Pass

Coordinates: 39°07′44″N 107°17′02″W / 39.12901°N 107.28398°W / 39.12901; -107.28398
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McClure Pass
DSCN2710 mcclurepass 600.jpg
View north from the summit of McClure Pass towards the Elk Mountains near Marble
Elevation8,755 ft (2,669 m)[1]
Traversed byState Highway 133
LocationGunnison / Pitkin counties, Colorado, U.S.
RangeRocky Mountains
Coordinates39°07′44″N 107°17′02″W / 39.1288754°N 107.2839398°W / 39.1288754; -107.2839398[1]
Topo mapPlacita

McClure Pass is a mountain pass in the Rocky Mountains of western Colorado in the United States. It is located along the boundary between Pitkin and Gunnison counties, in a gap at the western side of the Elk Mountains. The pass is at an elevation of 8,755 feet (2,669 m)) and separates the headwaters of the Crystal River (a tributary of the Roaring Fork River) to the east with the headwaters of the North Fork Gunnison River to the west. The pass is named in honor of Thomas "Mack" McClure who in the late 19th Century owned a large house at the eastern base of the pass. The house served as a stage stop where McClure fed and lodged travelers.[1][2][3]

The pass is traversed by State Highway 133 between Carbondale and Paonia, providing the direct route between the Roaring Fork Valley and the North Fork Valley. The pass is not especially high and is generally open year-round, closed only during heavy snowstorms. The approaches are fairly steep on each side, with an 8% grade.[2][4]


  1. ^ a b c "McClure Pass". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey, United States Department of the Interior.
  2. ^ a b Helmuth, Ed; Helmuth, Gloria (1994). The Passes of Colorado: An Encyclopedia of Watershed Divides. Boulder, Colorado: Pruett Publishing Company. ISBN 0-87108-841-X.
  3. ^ Rynearson, Larry; Jones, Rick (2014). Colorado's Historic Mountain Passes. Lake City, Colorado: Western Reflections Publishing Company. ISBN 978-1-937851-19-4.
  4. ^ "Maximum Grades On Colorado Mountain Passes". Retrieved 31 January 2021.

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