Mosca Pass Trail
ElevationAscent: 1,546' 471 m
Descent: -3' -1 m
High: 9,718' 2,962 m
Low: 8,176' 2,492 m
GradeAvg Grade: 8% (5°)
Max Grade: 19% (11°)
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“A steady climb with incredible views of the Great Sand Dunes and foothills of the Sangre de Cristos.”— Kristen Arendt
Mosca Pass Trail follows Mosca Creek as it winds through aspens and evergreens. While it is a singletrack trail and there are some rocks and roots to avoid, overall the footing on this trail allows you to keep your eyes on the scenery as you climb up into the Sangre de Cristo mountains.
The first part of the trail is situated in a small valley and you won't have very many expansive views unless you turn around and look back the way you came. Around two miles, you begin to emerge from the creek drainage to more expansive meadows where you can enjoy the view.
The trail ends in an open meadow at County Rd. 583 and while this may endpoint may at first seem unimpressive and not worth the effort you just put in to climb the pass, just turn around and get ready to enjoy the views on your way back down. The steady climb has earned you some spectacular views of the sand dunes framed by the foothills of the Sangre de Cristos.
Deer, elk, squirrels, rabbits, hawks, jays, ravens, magpies, woodpeckers, and a variety of other birds. Mountain lions, bobcats, and black bears also inhabit the higher altitudes of the Sangre de Cristos, and while you probably won't see them on your hike, be aware that they are active in the area.
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Local Club: Friends of the Dunes