Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
2,721.00 ft (829.36 m)
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
11.10 mi (17.86 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Molas Pass Trail #665 + Molas Lake is an 11.1 mile out-and-back route through San Juan National Forest. From Molas Pass / U.S. Route 550, the trail heads east to Molas Lake. It descends into the Animas River Valley, crosses Molas Creek and connects to the Animas River and the Elk Creek Trail #503. It begins with a long descent and finishes with a climb to Molas Pass. The trail is moderately rated and features beautiful meadows and flowing creeks. Views of the Grenadier Mountain Range can be seen to the southeast, and views of the West Needle Mountains can be seen to the southwest. 

Molas Pass Trail #665 is open to trail runners, hikers, backpackers, equestrians, and mountain bikers. 

CAMPING AND PERMITS

Overnight permits are not required for San Juan National Forest. For more information about specific special use permits and passes please visit https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/sanjuan/alerts-notices/?cid=stelprdb5173137

DISPERSED CAMPING: Dispersed camping is allowed in San Juan National Forest in accordance with certain regulations.

CAMPGROUNDS: Camping reservations can be made at  www.recreation.gov, and more information about campgrounds in the area can be found in the San Juan National Forest Campground Guide.

COMMON WILDLIFE

San Juan National Forest is home to a variety of animals including, bats, mountain lions, bears, and snakes.

SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS

  • The San Juan Mountains are known for having quickly changing weather and dangerous afternoon thunderstorms. 

  • Always be prepared for rain, hail, snow, wind, and extreme cold (all seasons / year-round). 

  • Make sure that you are familiar with proper lightning safety protocols. 

  • Water found along a trail should be treated before consumption. 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Molas Pass Trail #665

USFS

Outdoor Safety Information for the San Juan Mountains

 

 

 

Logistics + Planning

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Creeks. Flowers. Mountain Views.

Cons

Popular area for mountain biking.

Trailhead Elevation

10,859.00 ft (3,309.82 m)

Highest point

10,888.00 ft (3,318.66 m)

Features

Near lake or river
Backcountry camping
Wildlife
Big vistas
Horseback riding
Wildflowers

Typically multi-day

No

Permit required

No

Location

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