Hilltop Mine

Hilltop Mine

Hilltop Mine is an abandoned lead, zinc, and silver mine at an elevation of 3.950m (12,959ft) above the sea level, located in Park County, in the U.S. state of Colorado. It’s one of the highest roads of Colorado.

Located in the heart of the Mosquito Range of the Colorado Rockies, this infamous gravel road to the mine is rough with several hairpin turns. A very steep maintained (jeep) trail goes almost directly over the top of the peak. It’s called Co Road 18 (4 Mile Creek Road). This is a great trail that offers a little bit of everything -- rocky challenges, fantastic scenery, Colorado history, and access to some great hiking and fishing.

4x4 vehicle required. Stay away if you're scared of heights. It is subject to winter snowfalls with such a high summit altitude, and it can be impassable anytime when the access is not cleared of snow. After rain, even a single rainfall, conditions of the road can be challenging. Watch out for sudden loose-gravel breaks. Proper preparation is essential to having a safe, enjoyable trip on this road. Always be prepared for winter weather, even in summer. The mine was active until about 1910. It is still very well preserved.  Due to the high elevations and exposure, the road is subject to strong winds and rapid weather changes. Be prepared for the cold and wind! High winds blow here all year long. Make sure you get your vehicle and yourself well-prepared before driving this road.
Pic: Mike Langenkamp