Road trip guide: Boreas Pass in Colorado

Boreas Pass is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 3,507m (11,505ft) above sea level, located in the U.S. state of Colorado. It’s a low-maintenance, rough gravel road closed in winters but passable by two-wheel-drive automobiles in good weather.

Boreas Pass

Where is Boreas Pass?

The pass is located on the boundary between Summit and Park counties, in the central part of Colorado.

When was Boreas Pass in Colorado built?

Tucked away in the White River National Forest, the pass connects Breckenridge to Como. This route was used by prospectors during the gold rush who were crossing from South Park in search of gold in the Blue Valley around Breckenridge. It used to be a railroad pass between Denver and the mining mountain town of Leadville. From 1872 to 1938, the road was used as a narrow-gauge railroad and gained fame as the nation’s highest narrow-gauge railroad. It was made into an automobile pass in 1952.

Can you drive to Boreas Pass in Colorado?

The road to the summit, formerly known as Breckenridge Pass, is called Boreas Pass Road (County Road 10- Forest Service Road 404).

How long is Boreas Pass in Colorado?

The pass is 32.18km (20 miles) long, running north-south from Breckenridge to Como, in the central part of Colorado. Keep an eye out for bicyclists. At the summit, there’s ample parking and a mountain hut known as Ken's Cabin, built in the 1860s.

Is Boreas Pass in Colorado paved?

The road is a pretty, scenic trail but very narrow in places with two-way traffic. It's very busy in the fall. Some of the road is paved, but the higher you go, it is unpaved. This dirt road is well-maintained and accessible by 2WD vehicles when it is dry. If the road is wet or snowy, you will want 4WD. It has rough washboards and embedded rocks.

How long does it take to drive Boreas Pass in Colorado?

Plan about 1 hour to complete the drive across the Continental Divide without any stop. However, it’s a very scenic drive and one of the best places in Colorado to see the stunning fall colors. There are splendid views of aspen trees and nearby Mount Silverheels and the Tenmile Range. If you like ghost towns, this is a great destination.

Is Boreas Pass in Colorado open?

Set high in the Colorado Rocky Mountains at the crest of the Front Range, the road is closed to all vehicles from October to May.