Saturday, June 1, 2019

Three Mountain Passes - The Crest of a Continent

Kenosha Pass

Recently, we explored three mountain passes that traverse the crest of a continent. It may be spring in the foothills but after a looping excursion through Colorado’s Front Range, we discovered that winter is still lingering in the high country.

Kenosha Pass (10,000 feet) is a wide open space famous for its charming aspen grove and being bisected by the untamed Colorado Trail. The centerpiece of this grassy plateau has to be the sparkling blue lake that reflects the ring of white peaks that surrounds it.

As it’s early spring here, the cool temperatures create persistent snow drifts that are scattered across the muddy earth. Kenosha Pass descends abruptly while forming the steep eastern boundary of the spectacular South Park meadow.

Hoosier Pass (11,500 feet) is a narrow gateway to the town of Breckenridge renowned for its cluster of big mountains and rich mining history. The beautiful landscape is forested with a picturesque combination of subalpine fir and Englemann spruce.

It’s late winter in the raven’s domain where rock, snow and ice dominate this harsh environment. Hoosier Pass rises sharply below steel-blue skies while a steady breeze pours down through the forbidding quagmire of dark peaks.

Loveland Pass (12,000 feet) is an arduous, winding thoroughfare looming over the I-70 corridor while linking some of Colorado’s most popular ski resorts. Positioned well above tree line, it’s celebrated for crossing over the Continental Divide.

Winter is dug in deep here where a ferocious wind blasts your entire being with jagged pellets of ice and snow. Loveland Pass is a harsh environment blessed with panoramic views that include several, legendary mountain summits.

Kenosha Pass is wide open

A lake is the centerpiece

White peaks surround it

Spectacular South Park meadow

Hoosier Pass is a beautiful landscape

A quagmire of dark peaks

A rich mining history

Loveland Pass looms over the I-70 corridor

Panoramic views

A harsh environment

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