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Kenosha Pass Tour - Long Loop

Intermediate

Trail

5.0 mile 8.0 kilometer point to point
Ascent
Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 782' 238 m
Descent: -624' -190 m
High: 10,372' 3,161 m
Low: 9,752' 2,972 m

Grade

Avg Slope: 5% (3°)
Max Slope: 19% (11°)
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Map Key

Trail shared by Mark McConnell

A tour of the forest and meadows around Kenosha Pass and the Colorado Trail.

Mark McConnell
Type: Backcountry or Sidecountry

Need to Know

Need sufficient snow! Moose have been spotted on this trail—be cautious!

Description

This cross country tour utilizes the Colorado Trail, power lines, abandoned road grades, and Forest Service roads to make a scenic loop through excellent moose habitat. Snow base needs to be at least 15" as this route crosses open meadows with lots of vegetation in low snow times.

The route starts climbing west from Kenosha Pass on the Colorado Trail. At the first powerline (if there is sufficient snow coverage), turn north and ski down the open slope, making turns as you go. At the bottom of the clearing, head due north through sage brush and open meadows, aiming for a small path in the trees nearly adjacent to Highway 285.

Follow this abandoned road grade through the trees and out into a small drainage. Continue on this grade, traversing around the open drainage and back into the trees paralleling Highway 285, heading north. Stay on the road grade, leaving it at times when fences, downed trees, and the highway interrupt your progress. Eventually, this road grade intersects a Forest Service road (FR810 Guernsey) that is frequented by snow machines.

Turn west and follow this machine packed road southwest up the valley. Ascend the drainage as it continually steepens (climbing skins or herringbone strides may be useful for the steepest sections), topping out in a clearing around 10,170 feet. At this point, turn off the road and travel directly up the drainage heading southwest.

After some brief bushwhacking, you'll pop out in a large meadow. Ascend the meadow as it widens and turns south. At the high point of this meadow, turn southeast on the Colorado Trail and return to Kenosha Pass.

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Trail Ratings

  2.0 from 1 vote

#5

in Front Range

#437

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  2.0 from 1 vote
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Ascent Rankings

#5

in Front Range

#153

in Colorado

#437

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650 Since Jan 22, 2019
Intermediate

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Photos

Colorado Trail
Jan 22, 2019 near Jefferson, CO
Old road grade adjacent to Hwy 285
Jan 23, 2019 near Jefferson, CO
Casual turns under the powerline in spring snow.
Mar 31, 2019 near Jefferson, CO
FR 810, often packed by snow machine
Jan 23, 2019 near Jefferson, CO