I think this is another one best led with the GPS track. I traveled from the east (Animas Forks via Picayune and Placer Gulches) to the west (Corkscrew Pass). This GPS track is sort of in the middle of lots of things. Separate posts cover Animas Forks and Corkscrew Pass. This shows what’s between.
The parking area at California Pass is steeply slanted. I found a relatively level spot for the motorcycle. The last mile or so up the road from Animas Forks to California pass is not really as steep as it looks, but it’s well above tree line and does not countenance mistakes. Stay on the road. If you want to goggle the view, stop!
The view from California Pass is nothing short of spectacular! I’ve got a couple pictures here. One looks from California Pass down onto Como Lake and the other looks down the road toward Hurricane Pass. Yes, the mountaintop had snagged a cloud!
Once you’re at the bottom near the lake, you’ll see the sign for Poughkeepsie Gulch. Beware! Poughkeepsie Gulch is for super-expert+++ riders. If you’ve rented a Jeep, your contract will prohibit you from traveling Poughkeepsie Gulch Road. Note the “Travel at Own Risk” on the sign. They mean it.
The road over to Hurricane Pass, traveling west, is not that bad. Once you cross over the pass, however, the road dips steeply down and, I’m afraid, there’s a fair amount of scree.
After traveling down the scree and around the mountain, you’ll have a view as shown in the next photo. You can see the cutoff to the right that goes over Corkscrew Pass and down to US Hwy 550. Note this is a fairly good road but also quite steep, with 20% or more grades in places.
I haven’t yet traveled Hurricane Pass the other way (from west to east). I’ll do that someday.