Kite Lake Trailhead


Range: Mosquito Range
Coordinates: 39.32758, -106.12928
14ers: Mt. Democrat, Mt. Cameron, Mt. Lincoln, Mt. Bross
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Road Difficulty

2WD, rough dirt road 2   (0=Paved, 6=Very Difficult 4WD)
Rough 2WD dirt to the TH.

Driving Directions

Take Colorado 9 to Alma. In the middle of town and on the west side of the road, look for a small sign for the road to Kite Lake. It's across the road from the "Caniglia Real Estate" building. Turn here and drive a bit through a residential area. Continue 6 miles to Kite Lake. The last mile of this road can be a bit more rough, but a good-clearance 2WD should still be able to make it when the road is dry. There are restrooms and some camping spots at the trailhead. You must pay a $5 fee to park/camp at Kite Lake. If you park below, walk up the road to Kite Lake.

Winter Access

Closed at the Paris Mill site which is about 3 miles up from Alma but 3 miles below Kite Lake.
Status Updates 
Posted By: 14er101
Info: Tried the loop today but to no avail. Road open and clear to the gate 1.5 miles from the trailhead. Gate is closed.
Posted By: Buckie06
Info: Made it to .25 miles from the trailhead in a Ford fusion. Easy going until this point, then there’s some rough sections for sedans. Large pullout at the .25 miles spot to park
Posted By: djj2504
Info: Gate is open and road is clear of snow all the way to the lake. Restrooms are open and TP is stocked. The road does get rougher towards the top and there is a pretty deep ditch just before the parking area that kept some sedans from making it all the way. 4Runners, Tacomas, F150s, and a Crosstrek all made it.

Snow is in the forecast but a few warmer days are as well so the road could remain drivable.
Posted By: KevinInFoCo
Info: Gate is open, road is mostly clear of snow all the way to Kite Lake. Several really rough spots especially above the switchbacks. But probably any 4WD or AWD can make it with some care and determination. I made it all the way up just fine in Toyota Highlander AWD, although the road conditions are much worse than I remember them last time I was up there Dec 2020. Bathrooms are open, free of snow, and stocked with tp. Cleanliness? Ehh...
Posted By: Mrzx9r
Info: Got a low ground clearance 2WD conversion van just past the switchback. I parked and camped there - there are a few cutouts you can park in. After that it gets real bad, real fast- definitely high-clearance needed to avoid damage. Was entertaining listening to low-clearance cars/trucks try to make it past there. Lots of expensive sounding banging off of rocks. Maybe an 1/8 mile walk up to the trailhead from there.
Posted By: CommanderDawn
Info: I appeared to be the first day-use arrival at 5:45am on this Tuesday with good weather. The parking lot wasnt more than half full all day. I finished around 1pm and saw warnings on windshields for vehicles that hadnt paid the $5.

The last section of road after the hairpin turn was worse than reports led me to believe (in my opinion, worse than the forest road to Grays TH last week). There were several spots I didnt feel had a workable line even with my Forester. Really the entire last mile needs to be taken with caution as there are a few rogue potholes and one big boulder hiding in thr good section. Saw several day-use vehicles parked right after the hairpin.
Posted By: Roll_Tide
Info: Good ride until the last 1/4 mile. Non-high clearance vehicles should use caution and probably park before the first hairpin turn. Restrooms did have TP.
Posted By: strausnb
Info: Road was mostly clear, a few small puddles that were easily avoidable. Made it to the top of the road with my 2016 honda accord, just have to take your time for the last 0.5 mile or so due to pot holes, bumps, and rocks. Only scraped once on the way down but it was my fault for not going slow enough over a bump. Otherwise the rest of the road is smooth and high flying!
Posted By: Gweilo climber
Info: Trail was dry, saw a couple of sedans and an Odyssey minivan, so FWD will get you to the campground even though the terrain was really rough.
Take your time to navigate the boulders, washboard and some ruts (and watch out for the speed ’dips’.
Only 2 other vehicles when we got there at 5.40 am and only a dozen there when we completed Democrat at 10.30am.
Lot was clean and the restrooms had been maintained
Posted By: wolfgangstiller
Info: Road is in good shape until the last 800 feet before the end. At that point, 4wd, or very careful driving will get you to the end. You can park just before the rough section but be sure to pay the $5 parking fee since this is in the fee area. Saw some tickets on cars parked there.
Posted By: etutter
Info: Kite Lake Trailhead is now open. Most vehicles should be able to make it to the trailhead but the last half mile would be easier with a 4WD.
Posted By: kalestew
Info: TH is temporarily closed from 5/1 - 5/31/21 (see
Posted By: Brad44650
Info: Dry road until right before Paris Mill, but quickly becomes very snowy and rutted. A high clearance vehicle can get to about 0.5mi from the private land sign. Personally got the Subi stuck about 100yds up from the last parked car roughly 0.5 from the sign; spent an hour digging out before reversing to the cars below. Seemed to be melting rapidly on our descent hours later; but the gate remains closed. Best case is 1.5-2mi from parking to the lake.
Posted By: Buckie06
Info: Lots of snow on the road. Trucks and high clearance SUVs can make it to 1.6miles below the summer trailhead if you’re a capable driver. Many cars and subarus were parking much lower.
Posted By: 14er101
Info: The road is plowed and dry up to the private property sign. The gate is still closed so do not go past the parking area before the private property; any car should be able to make it about 2 miles from Kite Lake.
Posted By: serveJesusChrist
Info: A high clearance vehicle can make it to 1.2 miles from the trailhead. My Subaru had no problem. A sedan might make it that far with skilled driving, but you would be likely to scrape your bottom. The road is closed beyond that point.
Posted By: shapovalovm
Info: Road is mostly dry till around 1.5 miles to Kite Lake. Doable in any vehicle.
Posted By: Clint the climber
Info: Plowed to the inner gate about a mile from the summer trailhead. The mine has put up "no parking" signs here where the plowing ends so you have to park down the road below the private property sign, but it doesn’t add more than a half-mile. In total, you can get to about a mile and a half of the summer trailhead.
Posted By: BillShatner
Info: Road plowed to outer gate. Room for a few cars to park about a half mile down the road, a mile or so past the Mill.
Posted By: markf
Info: And the road is still clear to the gate, although FWD cars might have a little trouble on the last 100 yards to the gate.
Posted By: sixlebsack
Info: Road clear to the gate 1.1 miles before Kite Lake TH.
Posted By: daway8
Info: Doesn’t get any easier than this in winter - road was almost dry (at least in the middle) all the way to the gate 1.1miles from the summer trailhead, as opposed to the normal winter closure about 3mi from the trailhead. If you want to snowflake Decalibron - GO NOW! (before the next snowstorm rolls in)
Posted By: JosephG
Info: Road is in great shape up to the gate closure. From there, only 1.1 miles to the TH on mostly frozen dirt with some lightly drifted snow.
Posted By: JQDivide
Info: Road closed at gate.
Plowed to the mine.
Space for several cars near gate.
Road was mostly clear, wind blown, to summer TH.
Posted By: wolfgangstiller
Info: Road to TH is closed at the gate. Somewhat odd since the road past the TH is mostly dry but they decided to close the gate for some reason.

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