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Kite Lake Trailhead

Posted By: starfishprime
Info: Still easily driveable to the gate 1mi below Kite Lake with AWD/4WD, there was a corolla parked about 2 miles from the Lake, unsure if they parked to be safe or if they had issues.
Posted By: tlgold1990
Info: Road is still accessible to the gate. A little snow here and there but nothing crazy. Same from the gate to the summer trailhead.
Posted By: sarahmariekirk
Info: Road to Kite Lake is basically dry all the way to the gate. There is some snow covering the road at the very beginning, but dry all the way after that. The gate is closed which adds 1 mile each way to the trip!
Posted By: Da Legit Master
Info: The road leading to the Kite Lake Trailhead is closed at a locked gate 1.1miles back from the trailhead at around 11,500’. There is enough room to park three vehicles here. There is hardly any snow on the road on either side of the gate.
Posted By: corkypeavy
Info: The cost of a day pass is now $8.
Posted By: MaryinColorado
Info: Honestly, this road has been in the best condition this season than any other years I’ve been up there. Not sure why. It’s got some decent wear and tear in the form of "speed dips" as you get within a mile of the TH, but overall it is the most low-clearance friendly I’ve ever seen. Maybe not actual low-clearance friendly within a few hundred feet of the TH, but certainly to the big pull out at the curve below the TH.
Posted By: poseidon
Info: Arrived at 6 a.m. on a Saturday, the lot was about two-thirds full. The last quarter-mile leading to the trailhead parking lot was rough, and if you have a low clearance car (like I did with only 6"), you may want to go slower and find the right lane, or just pull off and park alongside the road a bit earlier.

This trailhead does require a paid permit, which comprises a paper envelope with a tear-off windshield display slip that you are required to fill out by hand and submit $8 cash with. They do not take card. Most cars did not display a permit slip on their windshield, but luckily, when I returned at around 12:30 pm there were no tickets that I could see. Please remember to bring a pen and cash. If they happen to enforce permits, there is a fine if you are caught without one ($47 I believe?)
Posted By: Kluge
Info: Just checked with the ranger station & town of Alma to clarify - the parking fee is NOT covered by interagency passes/national park passes/etc. - $8 cash.
Posted By: Aardvark
Info: Day use fee is now $8. For camping its $20.
Posted By: Aardvark
Info: Day use fee is now $8. For camping its $20.
Posted By: dwoodward13
Info: Parked a Camry at the gate. I could have pretty easily got within a quarter mile (near the hairpins) if I had know.

Big thing to note that upon returning to my car it wouldn’t stay started. Was able to immediately shift into gear upon starting and it would say going as I limped into Fairplay. Turns out had two wires on the mass airflow sensor apparently chewed by a critter...
Posted By: HikesInGeologicTime
Info: Road seems doable in a sedan up until the winter closure/start of fee area 1 mi. below Kite Lake; after that, more ground clearance is preferable. Parking at the lake sure is easy with the fourteeners closed - my car was the only one in the lot from our arrival just before 6 a.m. to our departure around 10:45, though there were two vehicles parked at the winter TH.
Posted By: AndrewJCraigie
Info: A few miles from the trailhead there are several windblown piles of the snow on the road. I made it over the first few in my Subaru Outback, and then got stuck. Spent 40 minutes digging my car out - not the greatest way to start a hike. Learn from my hubris and park a few miles down. Not worth pushing through, as you’ll eventually hit bigger and bigger piles.
Posted By: Misi197
Info: Best I’ve seen the road maybe ever. Smooth sailing for pretty much any 2 wheel drive sedan.
Posted By: Dan_Suitor
Info: Gate closed 1.1 miles from the trailhead. The road to the gate was snow packed or gravel. Easy enough for any vehicle with good tires to manage. The road from the gate to the trailhead was clear, with a few snow drifts. I used my ATV to get from the gate to the trailhead without any issues. I confirmed with the Park County ranger station that this was ok to do.
Posted By: jhalee4
Info: The road seems better than how I remember it being 2 years ago. Totally drivable (was in a jeep patriot). Already lines of cars parking down the side of the road when I arrived at 7am.
Posted By: Swerner
Info: Probably gonna be irrelevant soon since they’re doing work on it, but I had no trouble getting all the way up to the trailhead in my Corolla (2wd sedan) which has pretty poor clearance. The last ~1/4 Mile was a bit rougher than the rest but not anywhere close to as bad as the road to Harvard/Columbia or Missouri/Belford. I wouldn’t recommend doing it in a sedan unless you’re confident in your abilities on dirt roads though.
Posted By: bsargeant1
Info: NOTICE: The Town of Alma will be performing road maintenance near the Kite Lake Trailhead on Tuesday, August 2nd. Workers will begin placing traffic cones on Sunday, July 31st and heavy machinery will be travelling on the road Monday, August 1st. Road maintenance will begin on Tuesday, August 2nd. Visitors will not be able to park at the upper Kite Lake Trailhead on 8/2. Hikers should expect to park below the TH and hike the final stretch of the road. A portion of the road will remain open for foot traffic.
Posted By: Istoodupthere
Info: I parked my 2wd suv .2 miles below the lot. A bad, rutted hill section right there pretty much prevents a passenger vehicle from getting up imo. Sry no pic
Posted By: hsfedina
Info: Dry but very rutted. High clearance vehicle pretty much required to get to lots, especially the last one.
Posted By: ltlFish99
Info: i could bot find the sign for the turnoff from the main road.
i asked someone lical, and they informed me or the location if the road.
it is across the street from the real estate building as the description states, just no actual sign.
The last mile is somewhat rough, and the trailhead was a popular place Friday night.
Posted By: Agstrohmeier
Info: Made it to the top in our ID.4 but not sure I would again. Clearance was alright just a ton of rocks on the road, nervous about a punctured tire. Easier parking not far down the road. Forgot to pay and they just left an envelope on the windshield instead of a ticket which was nice.
Posted By: stickmann
Info: Road is open to the trailhead. Bathrooms open and stocked. The last quarter mile is rough and low ground clearance vehicles were parked below it. My stock Forester made it to the TH.
Posted By: flyzapper
Info: Clear of snow, but gate is still closed ~1 mile and 500 vertical below Kite Lake. Road is also snow free up to Kite Lake despite gate being locked.
Posted By: mtnmike
Info: Road is good to the gate ~1 mi below Kite Lake (6-7 parking spots at the gate itself...remember to stay OFF the private mine property!). Beyond the gate everything has melted out / been plowed out, but the gate is still closed. Will be drivable by just about anything...as soon as they open ’er up!

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