Mosquito Pass

Mosquito Pass, Leadville: Address, Mosquito Pass Reviews: 4.5/5

Mosquito Pass
4.5
What people are saying
Fun adventure with fascinating history.
Sep 2019
I’ve wanted to explore the Mosquito Pass road for years. More for the history than the adventure. Also because everyone I asked about it said I couldn’t short of the 16 mile hike from Alma to Leadville. Nothing makes me more determined to do something than being told I can’t. Despite many write ups and reviews saying it is “heavily trafficked” and leading you to believe it is just a nice Sunday drive on a dirt road, it is absolutely not that at all. I once searched on Google maps for the route to Leadville and it listed the Mosquito Pass road as the best and fastest option. Oops! They have since removed that option. Likely due to people getting themselves into serious trouble attempting this drive in a regular car or SUV. This road is impassable even in a decent All-wheel drive SUV. I tried renting a Jeep Wrangler 4x4 in Breckenridge and they told me that I was absolutely not allowed to drive it over Mosquito pass. The only vehicles which can really traverse this road are serious 4x4’s with high clearance with an experienced off road driver. Or in a good UTV. But UTV’s and ATV’s are only allowed on the Leadville side. Even in a UTV, this is not for the faint of heart. The part above tree line, which is a large part of the drive, is very narrow. There are steep drop offs, no guard rails, and it is pretty much all loose rock. There is two way traffic, but there are very few places wide enough to pass another vehicle. You often have to wait quite awhile for a vehicle going the other direction before continuing as there is simply nowhere in between wide enough to pass them. The guide I finally found said one person punched him in the arm when they got to the top because they were so freaked out. Another person in my group did not seem happy at all about the whole adventure. So again, not for the faint of heart or for those totally inexperienced with off road driving. Apparently the road used to be much better maintained. But apparently it has substantially deteriorated in the past few decades. That might explain he discrepancy in perceptions about difficult traversing this road. If you own a really good high-clearance 4x4 (you would be foolish to attempt this in a standard all wheel drive SUV even with descent clearance and good tires) and are experienced in off road driving, you’d probably be just fine with this. Even then I wouldn’t go without at least two vehicles in case you get into trouble. I don’t own a UTV or hardcore 4x4. But I finally found a company in Leadville, Elk Mountain Adventures, that does guided UTV tours from Leadville to the summit. They stopped there because they aren’t allowed on the Alma side of the pass. I did this for the history. This road was the main road from Alma to Leadville for several years before the railroad in mining days. Pretty incredible when you consider that it is over 13,000 feet elevation. Imagine doing that in a stage coach packed with people in winter in the mid to late 1800’s. There are lots of old mines and many old wooden mining mills and structures. Very cool. The views are amazing too. Turns out the adventure part was a blast too. The UTV’s were a great way to do this. They are smaller than a 4x4, so easier to navigate the very narrow portions of the road. And you can see all around you much better too. Since UTV’s aren’t allowed on the Alma side, but I still wanted to see it, I found another option. I have a good SUV. So I drove as far as I could on the Alma side, then hiked most of the rest of the way up. This was definitely worth it. But you need to know what you are getting into and have the right vehicle.

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4.5
49 reviews
Excellent
33
Very good
11
Average
2
Poor
1
Terrible
2

eraymartin
12 contributions
Rain, Wind, Rocks and ONE HECK OF A VIEW
Jun 2021
Running in the Leadville Heavy Half Marathon for the first time on the original route, and learned a lot. The view cannot be described in words. the view must be experienced in person. Wear good shoes, and be ready for some 'cool' wind at and near the top.
Written June 21, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

RckyMtnTraveler
Denver, CO16 contributions
Fun adventure with fascinating history.
Sep 2019 • Solo
I’ve wanted to explore the Mosquito Pass road for years. More for the history than the adventure. Also because everyone I asked about it said I couldn’t short of the 16 mile hike from Alma to Leadville. Nothing makes me more determined to do something than being told I can’t. Despite many write ups and reviews saying it is “heavily trafficked” and leading you to believe it is just a nice Sunday drive on a dirt road, it is absolutely not that at all. I once searched on Google maps for the route to Leadville and it listed the Mosquito Pass road as the best and fastest option. Oops! They have since removed that option. Likely due to people getting themselves into serious trouble attempting this drive in a regular car or SUV.

This road is impassable even in a decent All-wheel drive SUV. I tried renting a Jeep Wrangler 4x4 in Breckenridge and they told me that I was absolutely not allowed to drive it over Mosquito pass. The only vehicles which can really traverse this road are serious 4x4’s with high clearance with an experienced off road driver. Or in a good UTV. But UTV’s and ATV’s are only allowed on the Leadville side. Even in a UTV, this is not for the faint of heart. The part above tree line, which is a large part of the drive, is very narrow. There are steep drop offs, no guard rails, and it is pretty much all loose rock. There is two way traffic, but there are very few places wide enough to pass another vehicle. You often have to wait quite awhile for a vehicle going the other direction before continuing as there is simply nowhere in between wide enough to pass them. The guide I finally found said one person punched him in the arm when they got to the top because they were so freaked out. Another person in my group did not seem happy at all about the whole adventure. So again, not for the faint of heart or for those totally inexperienced with off road driving.

Apparently the road used to be much better maintained. But apparently it has substantially deteriorated in the past few decades. That might explain he discrepancy in perceptions about difficult traversing this road. If you own a really good high-clearance 4x4 (you would be foolish to attempt this in a standard all wheel drive SUV even with descent clearance and good tires) and are experienced in off road driving, you’d probably be just fine with this. Even then I wouldn’t go without at least two vehicles in case you get into trouble. I don’t own a UTV or hardcore 4x4. But I finally found a company in Leadville, Elk Mountain Adventures, that does guided UTV tours from Leadville to the summit. They stopped there because they aren’t allowed on the Alma side of the pass.

I did this for the history. This road was the main road from Alma to Leadville for several years before the railroad in mining days. Pretty incredible when you consider that it is over 13,000 feet elevation. Imagine doing that in a stage coach packed with people in winter in the mid to late 1800’s. There are lots of old mines and many old wooden mining mills and structures. Very cool. The views are amazing too. Turns out the adventure part was a blast too. The UTV’s were a great way to do this. They are smaller than a 4x4, so easier to navigate the very narrow portions of the road. And you can see all around you much better too.

Since UTV’s aren’t allowed on the Alma side, but I still wanted to see it, I found another option. I have a good SUV. So I drove as far as I could on the Alma side, then hiked most of the rest of the way up.

This was definitely worth it. But you need to know what you are getting into and have the right vehicle.
Written October 19, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

dixiepeach
Kansas City, MO8,074 contributions
Pretty but rough
Jul 2019 • Couples
We drove quite a way back through the gulch but ultimately turned around as we started out too late in the afternoon and it started getting pretty rough. Next time we’ll drive our 4WD truck, not our SUV. We’ll also start in the morning.
Written September 13, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

tdr1960
Leadville, CO21 contributions
Good Off Road Trek
Jun 2018 • Couples
This is a good Jeep trip which takes 2-3 hours from Leadville to Fairplay. The trail has some tricky spots, but if you take it easy and aren't scared of heights, it's a good trip.
Written May 8, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

FJRon
Denver, CO22 contributions
Highest pass in Colorado
Sep 2018 • Friends
Mosquito pass is only open for a few weeks a year, depending on the previous Winter's snowfall. Usually mid-August open. From the top you can see about a dozen of the highest peaks in the state, including Mt. Elbert, the highest point. From a driving standpoint, it's at worst, a moderate 4-wheel drive or ATV trail that is a good trail for beginners or tourists with rental ATVs. From the top is a short spur to the North with incredible views, but steep drops. Go to Youtube and my video of this treasure covers the whole trip. Enjoy.
Written January 16, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

aschuh2018
Blanchester, OH20 contributions
Awesome view
Dec 2018 • Couples
Very cool pass, we did it by ATV. Views are amazing once you make it up. Plenty of riding around, super easy to navigate.
Written December 10, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

richardameyer2016
Payson, AZ2 contributions
RZR Trip to the Peak
Sep 2018
This was a very interesting and the view from the top is unbelievable. RZRs can be rented so there is no excuse to delay. You can access it from either Leadville or Alma, which is easier if you stay in Breckenridge
Written November 7, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

jdcjdcjd
Bozeman, MT33 contributions
Not for beginners and motorcycles be very careful!
Aug 2018 • Solo
This pass has deteriorated drastically over the years. Most of the road is covered with small and some large rocks. Four wheelers have a rough ride, but two wheelers, especially if its a larger adventure bike will have their hands full. Did this on KLR650 and after dumping the bike several times, vowed to never again do it on such a large bike. Saw a guy on a small dirt bike that was doing OK. On two wheels its like riding on billiard balls. Great views, but two wheelers be forwarned.
Written August 28, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

JPWalker10
Poznan, Poland92 contributions
Great 3-4hrs pass for 4WD
Jul 2018 • Friends
It's beautiful pass to do!
We did this as a day trip from Breckenridge. After getting to Leadville through the pass, we came back through weston pass - it was easier.
Drive is good, IMO good for not advanced, but with 4WD and plenty of time.
Written August 6, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Astros80
Arlington, TX223 contributions
Great climb!
Jul 2017
Was on a back packing trip with some students and really enjoyed the climb, the view, and the history. Hit both peaks and climb Treasure Vault as well. The old mine about half way up is really cool.
Written May 16, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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