Loveland Pass, elevation 11,990 ft (3,655 m), is a high mountain pass in the Rocky Mountains of central Colorado in the United States. The pass is located on the Continental Divide in the Front Range west of Denver. U.S. Route 6 traverses the pass; the road is considered to be especially treacherous during the winter months. A steep, steady 6.7% grade, along with numerous switchbacks on either side, make it difficult to plow the road regularly.
The pass is the highest mountain pass in the state that regularly stays open during the winter season. The construction of the Eisenhower Tunnel in the 1970s allowed motorists on Interstate 70 to avoid crossing the pass directly. Trucks that cannot pass through the tunnel (those carrying hazardous materials and those over 13'6" (4.1m) in height) must still cross the pass on US 6.
Loveland Ski Area is located at the eastern end of the pass, and Arapahoe Basin is on the west side. The pass itself is a popular destination for backcountry skiers. Occasionally during the winter, the pass road may be closed by a blizzard and all traffic must use the tunnel, even the normally forbidden HAZMAT-carrying vehicles.
The pass is named for William A.H. Loveland, a resident of Golden during the late 19th century who was president of the Colorado Central Railroad. The town of Loveland, which is not located near Loveland Pass, is also named after him.