Colorado Mines Peak

Travel guide to the top of Colorado Mines Peak

Colorado Mines Peak is a high mountain peak at an elevation of 3.812m (12,506ft) above the sea level, located in Clear Creek County, in the U.S. state of Colorado. It’s one of the highest mountain roads of Colorado.

Set high in the Rocky Mountains of central Colorado, the narrow road to the summit is totally unpaved. It’s a service road called Colorado Mines Peak Road. It’s closed to private vehicles. Snow is usually not plowed, so trail opens later in the season. Accessibility to the summit is largely limited to the summer season. It is not generally snow-free until late June or even July in some years.

The road is very steep. Starting at Berthoud Pass, the ascent is 2.0 miles (3,21km) long. Over this distance, the elevation gain is 360m. The average gradient is 11.21%. The drive features amazing views in nearly every direction. It’s usually very windy at the top. The peak is so named because the Colorado School of Mines maintains a weather station on the summit.

Located within the Arapaho National Forest, a 4x4 vehicle is required. Conditions can change rapidly, be careful of the weather. Access through snow can change daily. Along with a great view remember that the top of this hike is above 12k so take lots of water and be ready for sudden weather changes. The road has several very long switchbacks. The summit is crowned with an array of communications towers and other equipment built in the 1950’s. There are great views in all directions assuming you can ignore the telecommunication facilities.
Pic: Tony Webster

 

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