Lake County, Colorado
View this on the Colorado Trailheads Map
Nearby Towns: Leadville
Nearby Trails: Mosquito Pass, Buckskin Joe, South London Mine
Trail Length: 4.65 miles
Elevation: 10,263 to 12,205 feet
Note that the mud pit has been repaired and it is no longer an obstacle.
The trailhead on highway 91 is difficult to find, but the end of the trail at the intersection with Mosquito Pass is easy to find, so most people will do it in the opposite direction and end on the pavement.
If you start from highway 91 the trail is uphill, making the rocky sections more fun and challenging. If you start from this end, the trail goes next to private property as it winds through a few close trees. Soon you are working your way along the narrow trail, immediately next to the east fork of the Arkansas River. It is mere feet from the trail.
Soon you find yourself in the gulch itself, with Mosquito Peak on one side and Prospect Peak on the other. The views are gorgeous as you climb.
At one portion you get to follow along the river as it merges with the trail. The water isn't usually very deep, though this part of the trail is definitely interesting.
Soon after the river crossing you cross over some railroad tracks. Then the trail opens up a little and you can see around you.
There are a few rocky sections after this, and each section gets a little rockier. There are a few parts of the trail that are a little steep, but only for short distances.
After the rocks end the trail gets very tippy. It tilts you out toward a lower part of the gulch for a brief section. There is no way around this.
After the tippy section you come out of the trees and find what used to be the mud pit. It has been repaired and it is maintained, so this is no longer a challenging section.
Once you are past the old mud pit area the trail is easy as it climbs up to intersect with the Mosquito Pass trail. Turn right here to go to Leadville, or left to go over Mosquito Pass to Alma.
Information last updated on September 19th, 2014.
- September 6th, 2014: ran by Gary, Roger and Walt
- August 11th, 2007: ran by Bill S., Brian D., Dave B., Don, Ladd, Matt K., Michael, Mike C., Mike S., Steve B., Todd and Walt
From Denver, take I-70 west to highway 191 south. The trailhead is on the left, 16.7 miles from I-70 and Copper Mountain.
From Leadville, take highway 191 north. The trailhead is on the right, 5.4 miles from the intersection of highway 91 and highway 24.
Meet on I-70 exit 234 at the Starbucks in Downieville.