After we ran the Mount Bross trail and had lunch in Fairplay, we returned northward to route 12 going over Mosquito Pass. We took the turnoff up the valley to the South London Mine. About a mile up this valley we came to a three headed junction with the two side routes being chained and numerous signs between the center and right side route. Since one of the signs stated there was a locked gate ahead we decided to return to the main route to Mosquito Pass.
About a half mile above the North London Mine, a road comes up from the south (left) and is also marked locked gate ahead. We could not locate the gate from this high vantage point, but observed two lakes in this elevated valley which appeared to be partially ice rimed. We also observed three routes in various locations to the north and northeast, either going to lakes or partially up the sides of the mountains. We agreed these would be worth a future exploring trip.
From the North London Mine to the pass the road has numerous sections of rocks mixed with holes. Neither of us had to make a second attempt in any of these areas. There was still a large area of snow off to the side of the road near the top and we encountered a number of vehicles on the road and parked at the top.
At the pass we took the short spur to the south to get a better view of the area and avoid the crowd stopped at the pass. We were interested in taking the spur to the north but could not find anyone who knew its condition. Perhaps there is no way to turn around at the end and the return would be by backing up for two miles. We decided that would also be for another time.
The decent on the three or four switchbacks toward Leadville was uneventful. The west side is very mild compared to the east side.
Our descent on the switchbacks toward Leadville was uneventful. The west side is much easier.
We decided to try the Birdseye Gulch trail which begins near the base of the switchbacks. The first 1/5 mile had a smoother surface than the Mosquito Pass trail. It then becomes rocky with two sections (one level and one sloping) requiring a good line for a stock vehicle. There is a long, rutted, sloping section that could be interesting in wet weather. After a shallow, small stream crossing there is an extensive marshy area with deep, soft, black mud. Gary tried to cross this section in two locations and needed the help of a strap to return back to solid ground. We decided to return and attempt the remainder of the trail another time.
Reports from Other Days: 5
Use the arrows or dots to flip through the previews of the other reports for Mosquito Pass. Click one of them to read more and see all of the photos from that day.