DIRECTIONS: Boreas Pass can be accessed by taking Co Rd 33 (Boreas Pass Road) north from Como, CO or south from Breckenridge, where the road is Co Rd 10. I have not driven the road from Breckenridge. From Como, follow the road for about 10 miles to the summit of Boreas Pass. The road is generally a well maintained dirt road but there are some tricky and rocky sections. It would be very slow going in a sedan. I drove the road in a Subaru Forester and had no problems.
The Black Powder Pass trail starts high up at the summit of Boreas Pass. Boreas Pass is a popular destination for hikers and sightseers due to it's close proximity to Breckenridge. That being said the road is dirt and can be difficult. Boreas Pass road also leads south to Como, in South Park and this section also is passable to most vehicles in good weather but can have difficult spots requiring good clearance.
At the top of Boreas Pass there is a large parking area that fills up quickly on summer weekends. The pass is also home to the Boreas Pass Section House part of a historic narrow gauge railroad, the highest in the world. Near the historic site, is the Black Powder Pass Trailhead.
The trail is beautiful from the start and gets better and better the higher you hike. The trail is well maintained and easy to follow and it never gets too steep. As you hike, the trail heads towards Bald Peak and turns towards the pass in between Bald and Boreas Mountain. The views back down the trail are incredible as the Tenmile Range Stretches out before you. You'll get awesome views of the ranges most striking peaks including Quandary Peak, Pacific Peak, and Atlantic Peak. You'll also be treated to a wonderful display of wildflowers in the summer months.
When you arrive at the pass, the trail splits off the north to an overlook on the slopes of Bald Peak. If you stay straight at this junction a few more steps takes to the end of the trail. The view is beautiful as you look east towards French Pass, Mt. Guyot, and down the French Creek Valley. Off towards the southern side of the pass the stark cliffs of Boreas Mountain are an impressive sight. The hike back down to the pass is even more scenic as the mountain views are with you the entire way.
This hike is relatively easy considering the quality of the high alpine scenery. This trail is good for kids that can hike at high altitude and makes the perfect quick half day trip while visiting the Summit County or South Park areas. For a more challenging hike, try climbing Boreas Mountain 13,082 or Bald Mountain 13,684, both accessible from Black Powder Pass.
HIKES BY REGION
NATIONAL PARK HIKES
- BENT'S OLD FORT NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE
- BLACK CANYON OF THE GUNNISON NATIONAL PARK
- COLORADO NATIONAL MONUMENT
- CURECANTI NATIONAL RECREATION AREA
- DINOSAUR NATIONAL MONUMENT
- FLORISSANT FOSSIL BEDS NATIONAL MONUMENT
- MESA VERDE NATIONAL PARK
- ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK
- GREAT SAND DUNES NATIONAL PARK
- HOVENWEEP NATIONAL MONUMENT
- SAND CREEK MASSACRE NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE
- YUCCA HOUSE NATIONAL MONUMENT
- HIKES BY CATEGORY
- $UPPORT GHC
- INTERACTIVE MAP
Black Powder Pass
White River National Forest
Date Hiked: August 2, 2020
Distance: 3 mi (RT)
Elevation Gain: 700 ft
Elevation Min/Max: 11,423 to 12,165 ft
Trailhead Lat/Long: 39.41024, -105.96834
Managing Agency: U.S. Forest Service