Mineral Park Trailhead
  

Location

Range: Mosquito Range
Coordinates: 39.31814, -106.08448
14ers: Mt. Bross, Mt. Lincoln, Mt. Cameron, Mt. Democrat
Elevation: 11,400'
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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 the town of Alma. In the middle of town, look for a small sign for the road to Kite Lake. Turn here, pass through a residential area. Drive 2.8 miles toward Kite Lake and turn right onto the Windy Ridge Road, also known as 787 or 415. Continue 2.75 miles to a parking area near the Mineral Park mine in Dolly Varden Gulch.

Winter Access

Closed at the Paris Mill site which is just below the turn-off onto the Mineral Park/Bristlecone road.

More Info

Parking: Maybe 10 vehicles can park in the Mineral Park area but there is more parking up the road, at the Bristlecone Area.
Camping: Not much in the area due to private property.
Restrooms? No
Fees? No
Trailhead added by BillMiddlebrook
Status Updates 
  
Posted By: Marcos
Info: FYI: About half a mile from the parking area, watch out for hand-dug trench crossing the road. It’s totally out of character with the rest of the road up to that point, and you will need an alignment or possibly a new driveshaft if you hit it going faster than about 3 mph.
 
Posted By: HikesInGeologicTime
Info: The recent snow did stick as far down as the road. On my way up in the morning (a bit before , I got just over a mile before getting nervous at the depth cresting the hill where 1375 splits off. I backed down and parked in a pull-off a mile from the split off the main Kite Lake Road; fairly consistent snow between I wimped out and the "proper" trailhead reassured me that I’d made the right decision.

On the descent, much of the road had melted out down to (pre-storm?) tire tracks, though there were enough patches of thick snow remaining even late into the afternoon that I still felt pretty good about my decision not to take my car any further than I had. Most likely it won’t be long before it melts out entirely.
4 
Posted By: habaceeba
Info: Very little snow left on the road to Mineral Park Mine. It’s all easily passable until you get to the actual mine where there is a large snow drift that can be bypassed on the right. I would recommend high clearance for the bypass until it melts. If you don’t have good clearance, you should be able to find pullout parking right there. The road continues past the mine to the north, but there is a large snow drift that I wouldn’t risk. It should melt out soon.

One caveat about the road is that there is a deep cross cut about 1/2-mile from the mine that should be taken with caution. I bumped the trailer hitch on my stock Tacoma with 17s.
 
Posted By: duncanmil
Info: The road to Mineral Park is 145, not 415. It is 2.7 miles from Alma. Glad I took my Rav4, and not my 2 wheel drive Optima because of one spot.
1 
Posted By: serveJesusChrist
Info: The road is closed at Paris Mill. It will likely be closed for weeks. There are bare spots on the road, but most of it is covered in feet of snow.
 
Posted By: hellmanm
Info: pretty much similar to 08/22 report -- rougher then the initial rating might suggest. I drive a Forester and this was doable, but right about at my limit. I stopped in an open area a couple switchbacks before the actual TH. Puddles abound, and you’ll want to be intentional with your lines in several places. A 4wd with decent clearance will have no problem, but a regular old sedan will have a lot of trouble.
 
Posted By: MountainHiker
Info: The road has several large pot holes and a few ditch crossings to be respected. Putting your wheels in the right place is mandatory. There are stretches with solid rock sticking up. The road is often narrow enough to require cooperation when meeting other vehicles. Low clearance vehicles or low profile tires shouldn’t be there. A carefully driven SUV or sturdy vehicle with better clearance should be able to make it to the mine. Don’t go past the mine unless you’re in a real 4WD (low range, off road tires). Actual 4WDs shouldn’t have any problems but drive slow or you’ll hit hard in many places. The big plus, since everyone drives slow, there is no washboard or perpetual dust cloud like the Kite Lake road. I parked at the Bristlecone Pine Scenic Area (small parking lot) which is up a steep narrow (hope you don’t meet someone) 4WD hill past the mine.
 
Posted By: ultradoughboy
Info: Leaving Alma, I never saw the FR 415 sign anywhere. Google maps will also try to take you through a house about 1/2 mile from actual turn. So 2.5 miles from Alma, there was a sign "Kite Lake 2.5 Miles (up arrow) ; Windy Ridge 2.5 Miles (right arrow). Taking the hard right, the road immediately turns poor. The next mile is a good climb with several places to narrow for 2 vehicles to pass. The road levels out but still in pretty rough shape. In my 4x4 full size pickup, I average 25mins to cover the 2.75 miles in each direction. Plenty of places to park at the trailhead
 
Posted By: parkcobound
Info: Road is in decent shape. Water across the road in several sections, good clearance recommended
 
Posted By: saxtonno
Info: Road to mineral park is not passable without very high clearance vehicle or atv. About halfway from then off road to kite lake the below mentioned ditch is completely washed out.
 
Posted By: dreinberger
Info: The downed trees noted in the June report have been cleared. High clearance vehicle required to get past the one moderate ditch on the route. No issues in a 2015 Forester.
 
Posted By: aLiEn
Info: Road has 2 large downed trees, water crossings, snow piles, etc. 4X4 only! Add at least 1+- more miles to your day.
2 
Posted By: RockCaCO3
Info: Except for one large (diameter, not depth) pothole closer to Mineral Park, road mostly dry all the way from Paris Mill. In Outback.
 
Posted By: Mooney Pilot
Info: I would not attempt to drive this road in a low clearance 2WD vehicle.
 
Posted By: MikeK
Info: Went all the way to the trailhead in a Toyota Corolla on 8-28 (scouting), 8-31 (hiked up a ways), and 9-5 (summited). The road is full of water-filled holes that are deceptively shallow; the rut that transects the road (by my odometer at 1.4 miles, but clearly the one in question) was full of water the first time, but is now dry; it’s passable in a 2WD, but only if your clearance is a tad above average and you are very sure of what you’re doing; I never bottomed out. A collection of deep divots closer to the trailhead presents a similar challenge to a 2WD, but can be skirted/straddled. Otherwise, don’t try it except in a high clearance vehicle -- meaning Subaru and up.
 
Posted By: litote312
Info: Unable to make it to the trailhead in a low clearance 2wd (Honda Civic). There is a stream that crosses the road approximately 1.8 miles after the turn off Kite Lake road. It has gouged a wide dip in the road and there was a good amount of running water in early July. Even without the water, I believe high clearance is needed to reach the TH and that this is no longer a 2wd TH. Space is available to pull off before the dip, and this adds nearly an extra mile each way to the hike up Bross’s east slopes.
 
Posted By: coloradobob
Info: We drove our Honda Pilot to the trailhead on July 26. No another soul on the road or at the trail head at 6:00 am. Road had running water crossing that a 2WD vehicle or low clearance vehicle would not be able to cross. Also many deep potholes with water. The "Trail head" is just the end of the road by an old mine with no signs or facilities. We ended up leaving and driving to Kite Lake Trailhead and hiked from there instead to Cameron, Lincoln and Bross.
 
Posted By: gerrys
Info: Not driveable beyond the Paris Mine. Is *mostly* ski-able to the trailhead.
 
Posted By: BillMiddlebrook
Info: Snow closure at the Paris Mill area, 3 miles below the trailhead.
 
Posted By: clemsonmtneer
Info: As of 5/24, the road is passable to within a tenth of a mile of the TH by high-clearance 4x4 vehicles. There are some snow patches to cross, but with high clearance and enough momentum going forward they are doable. We made it to a point just before the trailhead where continuous snow with no tire tracks through it blocked the remainder of the road, but you could see the trailhead from here so it didn’t make any difference. About halfway up the Windy Point Road (about 1.4 miles) is where snowfields started to cross the road more frequently and if you’re sketched out by that, especially with the possibility of heavy slushy snow on the trip out, this would be a good place to park.
 
Posted By: Tommy Dorr
Info: A car could possibly get within within 2 miles of Mineral Park parking lot. There is a large dip that would be very difficult and somewhat damaging for a car. A 4x4 might make it all the way, depending on the snow. We were there on 5/15/10 and there was still too much snow, however it‘s melting out fast and should be cool in a couple weeks.
 
Posted By: MountainHiker
Info: The road is clear of snow all the way to the trail head parking lot. However I wouldn’t recommend 2WD until the road dries out. There was a full-road-width several-car-length puddle next to a pond I wouldn’t try with a car. With 4WD it wasn’t a problem. There were also a couple small streams crossing the road. Above the trail head mine there are still some drifts which some 4WD have passed. There is a large drift just before the Bristlecone Pine Scenic Area that hasn’t been passed yet. After that the road is mostly clear up to around 13,000‘, then it is mostly snow covered.
 
Posted By: flashover00
Info: Road clear all the way to mine parking lot.
 
Posted By: BillMiddlebrook
Info: Snow closure at the Paris Mill area, 3 miles below the trailhead.
 
Posted By: BillMiddlebrook
Info: Snow closure at the Paris Mill area, 3 miles below the trailhead.
 
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